What Does Botox Exactly Do? Learn How Botox Works
If you are thinking about getting Botox, but still have not done so because you just don't know how Botox works, then this article is for you. When you are done, you will know how Botox works, what Botox does and what Botox can not do.
Botox is actually a protein. In fact, it is an extremely small amount of an extremely purified protein. There is absolutely no bacteria in a vial of Botox, NONE. The confusion has to do with how Botox is made. The disease, Botulism is caused by a bacteria that creates huge quantities of 7 different proteins all a the same time. These 7 proteins are labeled A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Only the A and B proteins have any medical use. When Botox is created, the "A" protein is extracted, purified and precisely measured. A vial of Botox has about 5 billionths of a gram of this highly purified protein. When the doctor gets the vial of Botox, it actually looks empty. Water is added to the vial so that the protein can be drawn into a syringe and injected.
So what happens when the Botox is injected? The Botox spreads about 1 cm. Any spread beyond 1 cm is so small that it has very little chance of doing anything at all. The protein is then absorbed into the nerves that are within 1 cm of the injection site. Over the next 15 minutes, the Botox protein, now inside the nerve, finds another protein called a SNAP-25, attaches to it, and dissolves it. In the process of doing so, the Botox itself dissolves. In other words, after 15 minutes, the Botox is GONE.
At this point, the nerve is still alive and well, but it has lost most of it's SNAP-25 proteins. Without SNAP-25 proteins, the nerve does not know how to talk to the muscle. The muscle is perfectly fine, but it is not getting any messages from the nerve. So, they both just sit there and do nothing. It takes about 3 months for the nerve to make new SNAP-25 proteins. That is why the Botox seems to last for about 3 months. Remember, the Botox disappears in about 15 minutes. The duration of the effect is based on how long it takes for those nerves to make new SNAP-25 proteins.
Notice that I did not even mention skin or wrinkles when talking about how Botox works. That is because Botox does NOTHING to skin. Botox only works on the muscles underneath the skin, not the skin itself. That is why Botox will not get rid of deep wrinkles in your skin. It relaxes the muscles so your skin is not being moved around as much. The wrinkles that appear when you move your muscles will disappear quickly. If you keep getting retreated with the Botox without letting it wear off between treatments, even the deep wrinkles will start to get better because the skin is not being folded over and over again.
In summary, Botox is a protein that dissolves another protein called SNAP-25 which exists inside the nerves. The lack of SNAP-25 proteins prevents the nerve from talking to the muscles which causes the muscles to relax. The wrinkle reduction is due to the muscles not moving as much as normal. The Botox itself does nothing to the skin.