However, the irresistible march of time is beginning to leave evidence of its passage. I’ve used products from dermatologists and have had skin treatments. For the past few years, I imagined that I should see a dermatologist and take the next step. I knew that the recommended procedure would involve some kind of injection. I resisted following through, because I have a deep-seated aversion to needles and cringed at the thought of anyone sticking a sharp piece of metal into my face. I wasn’t actually afraid, but the thought of getting poked like that made me squeamish.
However, I realized that, without intervention, the aging situation would only worsen, so I faced up to my reservations and decided to get the procedure. It was easy to choose to see Dr. Ed Becker, co-owner and lead dermatologist at Walnut Creek Skin and Laser. Dr. Becker has a reputation for quality and service unmatched by any in the area. I knew from personal experience that the high reputation was well deserved.
As I suspected, Dr. Becker recommended Botox injections. I admitted that this was my first time, so he went into detail about the procedure, what to expect including cost, length of treatment, and results. He also explained in detail the movement of muscles in my face surrounding my eyes and explained how the movement, over time, creates the lines and furrows that we interpret as signs of aging. I learned that the word Botox is an abbreviation of botulinum toxin, which is a neurotoxic protein. The version that is actually injected into facial muscles is called Botox Cosmetic. Botulinum toxin injected into a muscle, inhibits communication between that muscle and the controlling nerve. The loss of movement means that the aging lines associated with the muscle will cease to become more pronounced. In other words, the aging process, at that point, has been halted. Furthermore, the Botox fillers have the effect of diminishing or even erasing lines that are already there. The change in my own appearance wasn’t radical enough to make people suspect I had done something, but a number of them have commented on how good I look and that my appearance seems fresh and youthful.
Dr. Becker explained that he approaches the procedure with caution, careful not to inject too much, thus avoiding the permanent frozen face expression that is a tragic outcome of intemperate Botox use. Dr. Becker explained that I would begin to see the results three days after the procedure and that the improvement would continue to take place for two weeks.
A number of muscle groups in the face could benefit from Botox injections, but I chose muscles that would relax the frown lines between my eyes, the wrinkles in my forehead, and the crow’s feet at the edges of my eyes.
I admitted to Dr. Becker my issue with needles and he explained that they would carry out the injections using the smallest possible needle, which would cause a minor and momentary sensation, no more than a pinprick. He was right about the pain; I experienced only minor discomfort during the procedure and none afterwards. He claimed that there might be a little residual redness, swelling, or bruising, but I had none. Botox injections impede the aging process, so I’m glad that I’m finally taking this step. Dr. Becker said that the results would last for a longer or shorter time. Depending upon my particular physiology, they will persist from three to six months. After that, in order to maintain ongoing protection against wrinkles, I will have to continue to repeat the process until I finally don’t care whether I look old, or not — which I figure will never happen before I’m 100 years old.
I asked Dr. Becker if 48 was a good age to begin the process. He said that he has treated people for the first time who were younger than 30 and older than 60. It’s never too late to start for anybody who simply wishes never to look older than they do at the present. Obviously, the ideal age to begin treatments is the when aging lines first appear. Thirty-something would probably have been ideal.
I wish I had started this ten years ago. I’ve become a fan of Botox and tell people that I’ve boarded the “Vitamin B Train.” I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to get onboard.