Facing the Facts of Aging: Understanding Neuromodulators
Our facial features and expressions make us who we are and help us convey many emotions. While our expressions help us demonstrate animation in conversation, intense expressions can also cause deepening lines and wrinkles that can make us appear older than we feel! Fortunately, there is relief for those fine lines and wrinkles caused by facial muscles of expression. These are known as neuromodulators.
What is a Neuromodulator?
A neuromodulator is an injectable drug that is utilized for relaxing the muscles of facial expression. This occurs by injecting a small amount of botulinum toxin which blocks the nerve from communicating with the muscle. As a result, these muscles cannot contract. After relaxing the muscles that make those expressions, the skin in turn softens and the appearance of wrinkles is decreased. The effects of this can be reduced or erased wrinkles, decreased oil production and facial contouring to provide a younger, refreshed appearance. Botox, one of the most commonly-known neuromodulators, has been FDA approved since 2002, meaning it has been utilized in aesthetics for nearly 20 years!
Where are the Most Common Areas for Neuromodulators?
During a consultation for neuromodulators, your provider will ask you to make several expressions to determine where you will receive the most benefit from neuromodulators. The most common areas for neuromodulators are in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes (crows feet). However, there are several other areas that can benefit from neuromodulators, including the upper lip (“lip flip”), chin (for the orange peel texture with tension in the chin), “bunny lines” (wrinkling in the nose), and to relax a gummy smile.
How Long Does it Take to Start Working?
The onset of neuromodulators varies slightly. At ARTisan Skin and Laser Center, we offer both Botox and Dysport for injection. These are both neuromodulators that utilize the same toxin, or drug, but vary slightly in their protein makeup. Dysport typically takes effect in approximately 7 days after injection, and Botox between 10-14 days post-injection. Both Botox and Dysport last approximately 3 months, but this varies between individuals, depending on dosage, injection locations, and individual metabolisms.
What Else Should I Consider Prior to Getting Neuromodulators?
When consulting with one of our qualified and experienced providers, we will review your medical history to ensure there are no contraindications or other risk factors. It is important to note that wrinkles caused by sun damage or aging skin will not benefit from a neuromodulator. It is also important to understand the difference between neuromodulators used to improve lines of facial expression and dermal fillers, which are used to improve signs of aging caused by volume loss.
If you are interested in determining whether or not you are a candidate for neuromodulators, we recommend that you contact our office at 605-371-7057 to schedule a consultation with one of our providers.