The 3 main botulinum toxins used in appearance medicine are introduced and outlined below.
What is Botox?
Botox ® is a natural, purified protein that relaxes wrinkle-causing muscles, creating a rejuvenated appearance. The active ingredient in Botox ® treatment is derived from bacteria in much the same way penicillin is derived from mould. It is manufactured in sterile laboratory conditions.
Botox ® is a prescription-only medicine and treatment is only available from a qualified medical professional. It is registered for the treatment of crow’s feet (the lines that radiate from the corner of your eye when you smile or squint), forehead lines (the horizontal lines that form when you raise your eyebrows) and glabellar frown lines (the vertical lines that appear between your eyebrows when you frown).
How does Botox® work?
Botox ® can be used to relax specific facial muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles (these are the wrinkles that are formed during facial expression). Once the muscles are relaxed, you cannot contract them and continue to make undesirable facial expressions. Thus, the lines gradually smooth and new lines are prevented from forming.
Botox® is used to treat:
What does treatment with Botox® involve?
It is a non-surgical procedure whereby a small amount of Botox ® is administered into selected facial muscles by a trained medical professional using a very fine needle. Generally, treatment takes around 10 minutes. Discomfort is typically minimal and brief, and no anaesthetic is usually required. The injection may sting for a few seconds, but normal activities can be resumed soon after.
When can you start seeing the effects of Botox®?
After the injection, it takes 2-3 days for the treatment to begin taking effect, and about 7 days to see the full effect. The dose recommended for the treatment will vary depending on your individual situation and the severity of your lines. Your medical professional will know what the best dose is for you, and which muscles to inject to give you the best results.
How long do the effects of Botox® last?
The effects can last up to 4 months before lines slowly begin to return. If you have repeated treatments, the effect tends to last longer.
Does Botox® cause more wrinkles to form?
Botox ® will relax the facial muscles that cause expression lines. It does not cause more wrinkles to form. If you choose not to have further treatments, your muscles will eventually return to normal activity, and your wrinkles will gradually revert to their pre-treatment levels.
Will facial expression be affected by Botox®?
Botox ® works specifically on the muscles treated. This means that any muscle left untreated, including untreated facial muscles, should not be affected. Your medical professional will determine the best dose for you, and which muscles to inject to give you the best results.
Are there any side effects of Botox®?
In addition to its use for cosmetic reasons, Botox ® is also used to treat patients in a variety of therapeutic indications, including cerebral palsy in children, movement disorders (head, neck, shoulder, face), and axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating).
In the amounts used for the treatment of upper facial lines, the side effects are usually temporary and localized to the area of injection. Possible side effects include headaches, pain, burning/stinging, bruising, swelling or redness at the injection site, local muscle weakness, including drooping eyelids/eyebrows, swollen eyelids, skin tightness, tingling sensations, itching/aching forehead, nausea, and flu-like symptoms.
How long has Botox® been used?
Botox ® has been used in Australia and New Zealand in therapeutic treatments for over 30 years. It was first approved for use in New Zealand in 1991.
Can Botox® be combined with other products and procedures?
Many people use a combination of cosmetic products and/or procedures with Botox ®. Your medical professional will advise you whether you will receive better results if your Botox ® treatment is combined with other products and/or procedures.
Other forms of Botulinum Toxin – Dysport® and Xeomin®
What is Dysport®?
Dysport® is a simple, effective, non-surgical treatment that works by relaxing facial muscles, thereby reducing and smoothing away frown-lines and wrinkles. Dysport®, like Botox®, is a protein extracted from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. The Dysport® protein was initially used for the treatment of motor disorders and various kinds of involuntary muscular spasms, including cerebral palsy.
How does Dysport® work?
Dysport® blocks impulses from the nerves to the facial muscles that are related to expression lines. Dysport® relaxes the muscles so they do not contract. After treatment, the overlying skin becomes smooth and unwrinkled, while the untreated facial muscles contract in a normal fashion, allowing normal facial expression to be unaffected.
Dysport® injections have been used safely and effectively for over fifteen years to treat many ophthalmologic and neurological disorders. Numerous safety studies performed around the world have shown it to have an equal or more favourable safety profile than Botox®.
History of Dysport®
Though approved in the United States in April 2009, Dysport® has a history of use in other countries since 1991. Dysport® was first approved for aesthetic use outside the US in 2001, and has steadily gained in popularity around the world.
Dysport® was developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s to successfully treat a number of neurological and ophthalmic conditions. It was further developed to treat a wide variety of neuromuscular disorders, for which it is licensed in over 60 countries.
Since that time, with an increased understanding of the uses of Dysport®, thousands of treatments have been safely and effectively performed for a variety of conditions ranging from facial wrinkles to axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating under the armpits).
Today, Dysport® is marketed and sold for aesthetic use in many countries around the world and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
What is Xeomin®?
Xeomin® is the purest form of Botulinum Toxin on the market today. It does not have the complexing proteins that its predecessors have, which can be one of the factors involved in treatment failure with the other forms of Botulinum Toxin.
In other words, if you are treated with this toxin only, you will have less likelihood of a strong immune reaction. The less pure the toxin, the stronger the immune reaction that can be triggered. Botox® has more complexing proteins, Dysport® has less, and Xeomin® has none.
Like Dysport® and Botox®, Xeomin® works by paralyzing wrinkles. It blocks the signals from the nerves to the muscles. As a result, the targeted muscle cannot contract.
How is Xeomin® made?
In nature, C. botulinum produces the toxin in association with accessory proteins (toxin complex). Merz takes the toxin complex and employs a proprietary manufacturing process that isolates the therapeutic component and removes the accessory proteins to produce Xeomin®.
Xeomin® versus Botox® and Dysport®
Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® have a lot in common, but they also have some important differences. Unlike its predecessors, Xeomin® does not need to be refrigerated. This may be an advantage when it comes to distribution. What’s more, Xeomin® is “naked”. There are no additives – just Botulinum Toxin Type A. This may lessen a patient’s likelihood for developing antibodies to Xeomin®. When your body senses a foreign invader, it responds by creating antibodies and launching an attack. If this were to occur with a neurotoxin such as Botulinum Toxin Type A, then it may not be as effective as planned.
Xeomin® is said to be more like Botox® than Dysport®. It takes about one week for the full effects of Xeomin ®injections to be realised, and once this occurs, the results last from three to six months.
Are all Botulinum Toxin products the same?
Not all Botulinum Toxin products are the same. This is reflected in the unique names for each product. The dose of Xeomin® may be different from other Botulinum Toxin products. If you are interested in Xeomin® injections, or wish to discuss the different Botulimum Toxins, and which one is right for you, feel free to make a consultation with one of our Cosmetic Medicine Nurses.
If you are interested in learning more about Dysport®/Botox®/Xeomin® use for any of these treatments, please contact Beautiphi on 022 3837 968 to schedule a consultation with one of our Cosmetic Medicine Nurses.