Botox injections are a cosmetic form of treatment that has come to be associated with lip plumping, breast augmentation and wrinkle reduction procedures. However, it has recently come to light that this substance may in fact be able to affect the overall structure of the skin in a positive – and even anti-aging – way as well.
Increasing Skin Pliability
A recent study found that, when used long-term, Botox injections have the ability to increase skin pliability and flexibility. One of the study’s authors, Dr. James Bonaparte from the University of Ottawa in Canada, stated the following in this regard, “Apart from just seeing the paralysis in the muscles that are treated, we are also seeing changes in the skin that are indicative of possible changes in fibroblasts.” These findings have suggested that Botox may not only have direct anti-aging effects on the skin; it may make the substance useful for scar treatments as well.
A Four Month Study
Researchers kept track of the patients in the study – 48 women who had never had Botox treatments before and who were showing signs of mild wrinkles – for four months. A skin elasticity meter was used to measure any deformation and relaxation experienced by the skin when suction is applied and removed. Each of the patients in the study were injected in the lateral orbit, supra orbit and glabella areas, and all of them experienced an improvement in elasticity recoil and overall skin pliability in these areas. It was also noted during the study that these changes did not occur due to inflammation and swelling.
Potential Anti-Aging Solution
Dr. Bonaparte went on to mention that fibroblasts may in fact have receptors that are able to interact directly with the Botox, which would then cause the cells to produce additional elastin and collagen that would tighten the skin. Another study carried out in 2014 noted that Botox was able to block the expression of aging-related protein substances in fibroblasts that had been exposed to UVB rays, while also increasing the production of collagen. These findings suggest that it may be possible to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by injecting the Botox directly into the skin instead of using it to paralyze the muscles in the affected areas.
Preventing the Release of Free Radicals
Dr. Catherine Winslow (Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington) noted in an editorial that Botox could have a direct effect on the skin by helping to prevent the release of free radicals that occur whenever muscular contraction takes place. “Piecing together this research with continued studies on elasticity and collagen content of injected skin will further the ability of facial plastic surgeons to refine their strategy for long-term planning of anti-aging strategies with patients and educate them as to the importance of non-surgical therapies for maintenance, in addition to opening new fields of potential treatment options for difficult scars and skin conditions,” she said.
Studies and research like that mentioned above could indeed suggest that there may be far more uses for Botox than initially imagined – especially when it comes to long-term anti-aging strategies and providing hope for patients who suffer the embarrassment of debilitating scars on their bodies.