Botox®, also known as botulinum toxin, is a popular skin treatment for relaxing wrinkles and fine lines, but have you ever wondered about how it works? For those who are curious to learn more about the fundamentals of Botox®, here is a lowdown of the science behind its magical effects.
Where Does Botox® Come From?
Botulinum toxin is a protein that was originally made by a form of bacteria commonly found in the soil known as Clostridium botulinum. The medical version of Botox® that is used by dermatologists is now created in a well-controlled sterile lab and is purified to get rid of any unwanted contaminants. With proper training and dosing, this product is made safe to be used on humans by licensed skin specialists.
Types of Botox®
There are seven types of botulinum toxin with Botox®, Dysport, and Xeomin classified as Botulinum toxin type A. Despite their slight differences, each type of botulinum toxin inhibits a transmitter called acetylcholine from being released to relax the muscles and soften the appearance of wrinkles.
The Scientific Breakdown
Each muscle in the body has nerves that control it. For example, when you think about lifting your eyebrows, the message from your brain gets sent along the nerves to your forehead which causes the muscles to contract and raise your eyebrows. However, for the muscles to respond, the nerve must release a transmission signal with a molecule called acetylcholine to start the process.
The key to understanding how botulinum toxin works for wrinkles is knowing how acetylcholine gets released. Acetylcholine is stored within envelopes in the nerve but must find its way to the nerve edge facing the muscle to cause movement.
Botox® effectively disrupts this process by stopping acetylcholine from finding its way to the end of the nerve, therefore, blocking the message meant for the muscles to contract. No muscle contractions mean no wrinkles! That is the magic of Botox®.
Taking the Next Step
Despite the complex science behind Botox®, this aesthetic procedure offers a very simple way to reduce the signs of ageing. If you’re interested in discussing Botox® cosmetic treatments, please do not hesitate to reach out. The doctors at our Rejuvenation dermatology clinic in Edmonton would be happy to answer any questions and help you find the best treatment options for your skin.