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Stop Squinting!

Finally the summer that had previously alluded us has arrived! And hopefully, even if just on the weekend, we can all now start spending a bit more time outside. Here in New Zealand we’re so lucky to be able to spend so much time out on the water, barbecues at the beach or playing sport at the park. I like to think we’re pretty sun safe these days in NZ and we’re very aware of the need to apply sunblock and cover up but there’s one thing I still see a lot here and that’s squinting.

What Causes Squinting?

To an extent squinting is a natural reflex to a bright environment; by decreasing the opening of your eyes you reduce the amount of light taken in. This probably doesn’t sound like something you’d necessarily want to prevent, except that with repeated expression it eventually creates wrinkling around the eyes, commonly referred to as “crows feet” as well as vertical lines between the brows called “frown lines.” Also in addition to lines and wrinkles, it can permanently lower the overall position of your brow, giving you a constant ‘angry’ expression.

That’s why it’s important to wear sunglasses whenever you need them, but it’s not just the sun that’s to blame and you’ve probably noticed even when you’re wearing sunnies or you’re inside, you still squint. Often people squint when they’re concentrating or reading a book, phone or computer screen, especially if their vision is impaired (i.e. they should be wearing glasses). If you’re identifying with any of these scenarios then you may find it pretty hard to simply ‘stop’ squinting from now on; once it becomes habit, most of the time you won’t even realise you’re doing it.

How can I stop it?

The good news is you can treat the issue and even reverse some of the damage using Botox. It’s a very quick and simple appointment that involves treating the main muscles involved in squinting with Botox which reduces and weakens their movements to help prevent you from being able to make the facial expressions that cause the issue. It’s very targeted so it only treats the specific muscles you want to affect, meaning you can still keep all other facial movements. You can even adjust it to simply reduce the expression, rather than stop it completely, if you want a more natural result.

Choose Your Doctor Wisely!

It’s important to choose your provider wisely though. Your face has a total of 43 muscles which means the application (while quick and simple for you) requires a great deal of knowledge from the person administering it. The result depends entirely on the skill of the person applying it, so this is definitely not something you want to buy on a ‘deal’! If you choose your doctor wisely then you’ll be in good hands. Personally I really respect the team at Clinic 42 and I’m always happy to rave about them. They’re all doctors so they fully understand facial anatomy and the best way to achieve whatever results you want to see when you look in the mirror.

Will I Still Look Like Myself?

The most common concern I hear when I talk about Botox is “Oh but I don’t want to look like I’ve had work done.” Well Botox doesn’t actually do that! People who look like they’ve had work done have had a lot more than just Botox, including full face and eye surgical lifts, extensive fillers and other much more invasive procedures. Botox simply relaxes the muscles in your face, meaning you really just look smoother and more rested, like you’ve just returned from very relaxing vacation or a day at the spa.

So does that mean if you have Botox you can stop wearing sunglasses? No way! You still need to protect your eyes from the sun but at least you have an excuse to treat yourself to a new pair of shades. And when you do take them off your face will look relaxed and well-rested.

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