Woman receiving botox injection

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Botulinum toxin type A is a biological substance that is produced by specific bacteria. In large doses, botulinum toxin type A can be highly toxic, but when used in very small doses, it can be used to treat a number of medical conditions. Botulinum toxin type A is most frequently referred to as Botox, which is a brand name of botulinum toxin type A. To find out more about what botulinum toxin type A is and how it is used, continue reading.

What is Botulinum Toxin Type A and What Does it do?
Botulinum toxin type A is a neurotoxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are eight distinguishable exotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum: A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G, according to an article published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. The same article states that “all serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis.” While muscle paralysis sounds like it would be a bad thing, the paralysis is completely reversible, which is why people who use Botox have to go in every few months to maintain results. Botulinum toxin type A has results that last an average of three months. Botox is the primary brand name under which Botulinum toxin type A is sold, however, there are other brands like Dysport and Xeomin (in the UK).

Why is Botulinum Toxin Type A Used?
Botulinum toxin type A is perhaps most famously used for cosmetic purposes as it is an effective way to treat wrinkles. However, botulinum toxin type A is also used “…in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially…various spastic movements, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment.”

When it comes to cosmetic uses, there are some misconceptions. Many believe that Botox is helpful in the removal of fine lines, but Botox is only helpful in treating hyperkinetic wrinkles, or wrinkles that are caused by repeated muscle movement. Botulinum toxin type A is an incredibly effective way to reduce wrinkles like frown and smile lines, crow’s feet and mental creases. The rationale behind using Botox for hyperkinetic wrinkles is that motion wrinkles occur due to repeated contractions of your facial muscles. By interfering with the cause of the wrinkles, Botox allows the skin to gradually reform itself, significantly reducing the appearance of the wrinkles. If motion wrinkles were shallow to begin with, Botox can make these wrinkles virtually nonexistent, but deeper set wrinkles may require additional treatment in the form of dermal fillers.

One of the most common concerns surrounding botulinum toxin type A is its safety, but it is generally well tolerated and it produces little to no side effects. Experts recommend choosing your cosmetic surgeon very carefully, because ultimately the effectiveness and safety of Botox injections depends on the skill and expertise of the person who administers the injections. If you are concerned with wrinkles that have been caused by repeated facial movement, then Botox is an excellent option to consider.

Woman with mature skin

Perioral Region Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Think about how many times throughout the day you make facial expressions – you may not even be able to come up with a number because it happens so frequently. Over time, these expressions result in facial lines and wrinkles as your skin loses its collagen and elasticity. Perioral lines are common among aging women, and there are ways that you can help to prevent and treat these fine lines. Keep reading to learn more about perioral lines and how you can get rid of them.

What are Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Perioral fine lines and wrinkles are those that occur around the mouth and lip areas. There are three major types of perioral fine lines and wrinkles:

  • Smile Lines (Nasolabial Lines) – Smile lines are the lines that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth. These often start small and progressively deepen with age.
  • Marionette Lines – Marionette lines often result in an angry or sad looking face as you age. These lines are vertical fine lines and wrinkles found at the corners of your mouth and they can give your mouth a naturally downturned appearance that can make you look angry or sad even when you are completely relaxed.
  • Vertical Lip Lines – Smoking is one of the leading causes of vertical lip lines for two reasons: the constant lip pursing and the damaging chemicals, toxins and free radicals that result from smoking. Nearly all women, even non-smokers, end up with vertical lip lines because they are caused by repeated motion of the lips. Things like pursing your lips and drinking through straws also result in vertical lip lines.

Woman touching her face

Prevention and Treatments for Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles
You can’t live your life completely expressionless, but learning how to relax your facial muscles is a good start in preventing perioral fine lines and wrinkles. Facial massage is a great way to provide your muscles with much-needed relaxation, and you can do a quick two-minute massage at the end of your nighttime facial routine or as your apply an antioxidant serum. If you are a smoker, quit now. Always remember to apply sunscreen to every area of your face, and follow a healthy lifestyle that includes drinking plenty of water.

There are multiple ways you can treat perioral fine lines and wrinkles, including:

  • Facial Exercises – Giving your face a nice massage can help to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and performing facial exercises are a way you can help strengthen your muscles. When you lose collagen in the perioral region, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent. Using facial exercises tones your muscles, and when you have sufficient muscle tone, it can make up for the lack of collagen in your skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Topical Treatments – Anti-aging creams, serums and targeted treatments are all ways that you can help treat perioral fine lines. Look for skin care products that use antioxidants like vitamin C or resveratrol, that have moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid and/or products that contain retinol. All of these ingredients help to fight the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent the formation of new fine lines.
  • Botox and Fillers – Injectables are a common way to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Injectables like hyaluronic acid help to plump up your skin and smooth wrinkles, while Botox paralyzes the muscles around the face, keeping them in a permanent state of relaxation. It is important to note that while these treatments are effective for wrinkles, the results are not permanent and typically last for a few months.

When it comes to preventing signs of aging, including perioral fine lines and wrinkles, sunscreen is the best anti-aging weapon you can use. A skin care routine full of quality ingredients like retinol and resveratrol will also significantly impact the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles. Be consistent with your skin care routine and give your face some extra attention with exercises and massages to see your perioral fine lines and wrinkles diminish and disappear.