How Does Botox Actually Change The Skin?
Posted on March 31 2017
Human skin has three biomechanical features: strength, pliability (the ability to stretch) and elasticity (the ability to recoil). As people age, these properties change and the loss of skin elasticity appears to be the most prominent. Physicians use a variety of methods to reverse the signs of aging and onabotulinum toxin A injections are among them.
James P. Bonaparte, M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.S.C., of the University of Ottawa, and David Ellis, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., of the University of Toronto, both in Canada, sought to further understand the effect of onabotulinum toxin A on the skin by studying its effect on 48 women (43 completed the study) treated at a private cosmetic surgery clinic for mild wrinkles of the forehead and around the eyes.
The authors observed that onabotulinum A injections in the facial skin resulted in increased pliability and elastic recoil. These biomechanical changes mimic those of more youthful skin. The mechanism for this skin change is unclear but the effect of the onabotulinum A injections is similar to a radiofrequency skin tightening procedure. However, by four months these improvements returned to how the skin was before treatment.
"The changes occurring in patients' skin appear to be the opposite of those associated with the aging process and UV radiation exposure and inflammation. This study also suggests that the duration of effect of these changes mimics the duration of effect of the medication. Future studies are required to determine and quantify the histologic changes that are occurring," the study concludes.
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