No Benefits From Botox?
3 December 2019 onur
If you have lost that initial excitement in your relationship with Botox, this article is for you.
The effect of Botox may not be like the first time or the effect lasts much shorter, which are both troubling cases for patients who have these injections regularly.
Same face, same medicine, same doctor. How come it didn’t turn out the way I wanted this time?
I wonder if the doctor did not care this time. Was the medicine not good? Did he give me the leftovers from someone else? Or is it his magical hands holding the injector that failed? Shouldn’t it get better when I get it done regularly? Shouldn’t my aging process slow down?
Let’s review the basics. Botox is a bacterial toxin that temporarily weakens or paralyzes the muscles. The name of the bacterium is Botulinum, its surname is Clostridium. This bacterium that produces Botox for us is an ancient enemy that causes can poisoning. When it reproduces in the can and produces the toxin, people who eat from that can are first paralyzed and then die eventually. So the bacterium does not aim to make us look beautiful. Moreover, the extended family of this bacterium is also very troublesome. Other bacteria in the Clostridium family can cause serious and deadly infections in humans. Scientists managed to reproduce one of the toxins produced by this bacterium in the laboratory, breaking new ground in the treatment of diseases that cause uncontrolled muscle contractions because of this toxin. That paved the way for its use in cosmetics.
The indication of Botox for cosmetic use is quite clear: To reduce mimic wrinkles by paralyzing mimic muscles in a controlled manner in individuals with intense mimic wrinkles at an early age due to excessive contraction of mimic muscles.
Now let’s see why you do not get any benefits from Botox.
- Your immune system may be intercepting: Our immune system is programmed to fight foreign microorganisms as well as the toxins produced by these microorganisms. When our body’s immune system meets botulinum toxin, it produces special proteins called antibodies that recognize this toxin and neutralize it. In repeated applications of Botox, the antibodies formed by the body bind to the toxin and reduce its effectiveness. Each Botox injection acts like a vaccine, causing the immune system to recognize Botulinum Toxin better and to give a faster, more effective and stronger defense response. The immune system is personal. Therefore, the immune response to Botox also varies one person to the other. Rarely, some individuals lose the effect completely from the second application on, while in some individuals, the same effect can be observed in each application. But most individuals navigate somewhere between these two extremes.
- Your mimic muscles may have shrunk: Imagine a bodybuilder, a man with huge muscles. Do you know what would happen if he had an accident and was paralyzed and stayed in the intensive care unit for 3 months? That big man gets smaller day by day. Unused muscles are doomed to shrink. Mimic muscles are no exception. When you repeatedly paralyze mimic muscles, these muscles lose volume because they cannot be used. Scientific studies indicate that Botox causes volume loss in skeletal muscles. Particularly in applications around the eyes, the frontalis muscle on the forehead, the orbicularis muscle around the eyes and the temporalis muscle in the temple shrink over time. The loss of muscular volume leads to faster sagging of the soft tissue on the surface, as is the long-term case in patients with facial paralysis. Patients with facial paralysis do not have mimic wrinkles, but the face droops significantly earlier on the paralyzed side. Unfortunately, many patients think that they will age later when they have regular Botox. However, there is no such evidence in the medical literature. Since many patients do not understand the action mechanism of Botox, they have an unrealistic expectation that sagging tissues will also get firmer with Botox. Eventually, in an attempt to stay young, the patient’s aging evolves into a different form in which the facial wrinkles decrease but the sagging accelerates.
- You may be aging: I don’t mean to discourage you, but you may be getting old like all mortals. Botox does not slow down, delay or prevent aging. It is perfectly normal that at age 45, you cannot have the benefit you previously got from Botox when you were 35. It is too optimistic to hope that facial aging, which occurs through highly complex mechanisms in the middle-to-advance stages of aging, can be prevented by a bacterial toxin.
So what can we do?
First of all, Botox application must be done on the basis of accurate indications. If your mimic muscles are not overactive and you don’t have constant and deep wrinkles at an early age due to overactive mimics, you don’t need to have a Botox injection just because all your friends have it done.
Mimic wrinkles have a unique place in overall beauty in all ages. Don’t be obsessed with those expression lines. If some iconically-beautiful women are at peace with their mimic wrinkles, you can be at peace with them, too.
If you present the right indication but the toxin has lost its effect very quickly, you can discuss this with your physician and switch to a different type of Botulinum toxin.
One thing is very important: If you are not within the impact scope of Botox in terms of your aging phase and you do not benefit from repetitive injections, it may be time to stop having Botox injections and think about more effective surgical options.
Do not develop a definite opinion after reading this article but rather discuss the problem with your doctor.
Take good care… of yourself and your beauty.