Does Botox Prevent Wrinkles?
Absolutely. Botox (and competitors like Dysport, Xeomin and Jeuveau) are highly purified toxins that can temporarily erase or reduce horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines, and crow's-feet. "The injections slow muscles that contract hundreds of times a day, eventually etching lines in the skin," says New York City board-certified plastic surgeon Michael Kane, author of The Botox Book.
Basically, wherever Botox is injected in the body, it paralyzes the muscles underneath the skin. "Botox interferes with the nerve stimulation of the muscle causing excess facial expressions," Lancer explains. "When the muscle relaxes, the line diminishes." In addition to relaxing frown lines in between the eyebrows, Botox can also lift the corners of the mouth that sag with age, smooth out the "pincushion" look in some chins, soften smoker's lines around the mouth, and soften vertical neck cords.
Will Botox Make Me Feel Numb and Look Frozen?
"Botox is not designed to remove facial expressions," Lancer says. "It's designed to soften lines of excessive facial expression from squinting, frowning, and smiling." It does paralyze your muscles, but it will not affect the nerves that cause sensation, or make you feel numb. When it is used correctly, it can lift the brow to give an appealing and sincere look.
"But if too much is injected in the danger zone — the horizontal lines in the forehead — you can look Spocked, as in Spock from Star Trek," says Jean Carruthers, a Vancouver eye surgeon who, with her husband, Alastair, coauthored the first paper on the cosmetic benefits of Botox in 1989. That's why it's important to be treated by an experienced doctor who can judge the size of your muscles and how much Botox you will need.