Botox Explained

Posted on October 3, 2011 by Ella Fedonenko

To understand how Botox works, you first need to have an understanding of how the muscles in your face are controlled. Whenever you work a muscle, either the large ones in your legs or the tiny ones in your forehead, you send a signal to the muscle from your brain through the nerve. When this signal arrives at the place where the nerve and the muscle meet, a chemical is released. This chemical is called acetylcholine. The release of acetylcholine creates another reaction where several more chemicals are released. These chemicals tell the muscle that it is time to contract.

The muscles in your face contract every time you smile or frown. Over time, the constant movements of the muscles create lines and creases in your skin that become deeper and more noticeable as you age. This is where Botox comes in.

When you receive a Botox injection, the Botox prevents the muscle from receiving the signals that are being sent by the acetylcholine. Even though everything is working as it did before, with the brain sending the signal through the nerves that tells acetylcholine to be released, when the chemical is released it has nowhere to go. The muscle essentially ignores the signal.

Since the muscle doesn’t know that it is supposed to be moving, it is, in a sense, paralyzed. While paralysis is normally caused by damage to either the brain or the muscle, Botox causes no damage to either. The effect takes place as early as 48 hours following the injection and lasts for about three to five months. Slowly the muscle regains the ability to recognize the acetylcholine being released and the effect begins to wear off.

Because of this action, Botox is most helpful in treating the deep wrinkles and creases that appear when the muscles on the face move. While it may not completely treat the lines that are left on the face as a result of the muscle contractions over time, it can soften them so that they are not as noticeable.

Thinking about getting Botox in Los Angeles?  Call us for a free consultation at (323) 525-1516