Your skin changes as you age. You might notice wrinkles, age spots and dryness. Your skin also becomes thinner and loses fat, making it less plump and smooth. It might take longer to heal, too.
Sunlight is a major cause of skin aging. You can protect yourself by staying out of the sun when it is strongest, using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding sunlamps and tanning beds. Cigarette smoking also contributes to wrinkles. The wrinkling increases with the amount of cigarettes and number of years a person has smoked.
Many products claim to revitalize aging skin or reduce wrinkles, but the Food and Drug Administration has approved only a few for sun-damaged or aging skin. Various treatments soothe dry skin and reduce the appearance of age spots.
Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It's the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Doctors use it in small doses to treat health problems, including the following:
- Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving your appearance
- Severe underarm sweating
- Cervical dystonia - a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions
- Blepharospasm - uncontrollable blinking
- Strabismus - misaligned eyes
- Chronic migraine
- Overactive bladder
Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to twelve months, depending on what you are treating. The most common side effects are pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. You could also have flu-like symptoms, headache, and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids. You should not use Botox if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.