Botulinum Toxin Treatments
Botulinum toxins work by blocking the communication between nerve and their surrounding muscles, thus they are also called neuromodulators. They are medical grade biological products, derived from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum, and subsequently commercially purified for medical and cosmetic use. It works by inhibiting the neurotransmitter acetylcholine release from the nerves, and thereby slowing down muscle contraction. It also blocks the release of sweat, leading to improvement in conditions such as hyperhidrosis. Cosmetically, doctors use botulinum toxin treatments to improve dynamic wrinkles on the face (e.g. frown lines, crow’s feet), vertical necklines and for V Face Slimming.
Indeed, the use of neuromodulator toxin has proved to be a useful treatment in modern day medicine. It can improve sweaty underarms, migraines and even treat urinary incontinence due to an overactive bladder! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the neuromodulator toxin for the reduction of frown wrinkles in April 2002. Since then, neuromodulator toxin for cosmetic enhancement has been successfully used in many areas of the face, and has a role in recontouring the lower face.
Looking natural by reducing wrinkles can be maintained with the use of neuromodulator injections. The aim is to give you a natural outcome by softening your wrinkles and not one making you appear ‘frozen’ or expressionless. Precise injections are strategically placed into your facial muscles to soften your look, restoring facial balance and harmony. Being one of the most popular aesthetic treatments around the world, it has minimal downtime while enjoying a high safety profile.
There is evidence to suggest that regular botulinum toxin treatments prolongs the effect, giving you a longer lasting natural look. Interestingly, combination with procedures such as fillers has a synergistic effect on the aesthetic outcome because tackling the effects in ageing occurs at multiple levels of the human face.
Face Treatment Areas
How soon can I see results?
Between the 3 common brands (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), the average time to see results is 3-7 days. Some individuals would be able to appreciate a difference within 24hours.
The cosmetic effect of botulinum toxin treatments initially lasts for 4 months, but gradually increases to 6 months or more with regular treatments as the muscles are more relaxed.
For the treatment of axillary hyperhydrosis, a significant reduction in sweating is noticed within 2 weeks, and results lasts 6-7 months.
Any post procedure effects?
Mild injection site redness and swelling are common, which fades in a few hours. Mild bruising may be encountered and resolves in a 7-10 days.
Some individuals may experience a headache following treatment. This is common and simple painkillers will usually address the issue.
Uncommonly, some individuals may notice a lowering of the eyelid or eyebrow. These effects are temporary and may not be noticed by the person.
Botulinum Toxin Treatments
What is the difference between the different brands of Botulinum toxin?
Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are the same products that contain botulinum toxin type A. They are simply made by different manufactures, just like how paracetamol is made by many different manufacturers.
In multiple studies, they have shown to have similar efficacy, onset of action and duration of action. They are FDA approved for the treatment of wrinkles in the glabellar region (the area between the eyebrows that gives you the 'angry 11'), and crow's feet around the eyes. Botox Cosmetic has the addition indication for axillary hyperhydrosis, or excessive underarm sweating.
Botulinum Toxin Aftercare Recommendations
- Stay upright for 4hours following the procedure to avoid unwanted migration of the product to other areas of the face.
- Avoid massaging the area following the botulinum toxin injection.
- To ensure safe and long lasting results, you will be asked to exercise certain muscle groups after injection. Raising your eyebrows, frowning and smiling for 20 minutes after the procedure has shown to enhance effectiveness. This is because with increased muscle activity, the botulinum toxin proteins will concentrate around the targeted muscle group.
Botulinum ToxinForehead, Frown lines or Crow's Feet
Lasts 4-6 months
- Frevert J. Content of botulinum neurotoxin in Botox®/Vistabel®, Dysport®/Azzalure®, and Xeomin®/Bocouture®. Drugs R D. 2010. 10(2):67-73.
- Schlessinger J, Dover JS, Joseph J, et al. Long-term safety of abobotulinumtoxinA for the treatment of glabellar lines: results from a 36-month, multicenter, open-label extension study. Dermatol Surg. 2014 Feb. 40(2):176-83.
- Yeilding RH, Fezza JP. A Prospective, Split-Face, Randomized, Double-Blind Study Comparing OnabotulinumtoxinA to IncobotulinumtoxinA for Upper Face Wrinkles. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 May. 135 (5):1328-35.
- Carruthers J, Rivkin A, Donofrio L, et al. A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Repeated OnabotulinumtoxinA Treatments in Subjects With Crow's Feet Lines and Glabellar Lines. Dermatol Surg. 2015 Jun. 41 (6):702-11.