How do Neurotoxins work
Botulinum toxin type A is the primary active ingredient in each Neurotoxin. And, while BoNT is considered one of the strongest toxins discovered to date, small doses of the neurotoxins have the ability to temporarily paralyze muscles for cosmetic effect. In aesthetic medicine, botulinum toxin is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by facial expressions (think: frowning, squinting, smiling, and the like) by injecting it into the muscles underlying the affected area. In turn, the lack of muscle contraction prevents the face from forming lines and wrinkles and the result is smoother skin for three to four months (or until it wears off). While the active ingredient in each brand is botulinum toxin type A, some also feature protein blends that may affect the diffusion and efficacy of the injection. However for the average patient all of the products last a similar amount of time, and they all provide similar result.
FDA Approved in July 2011 (and it has also been medically approved to correct muscle spasticity and, most recently, excessive drooling). Xeomin® is unique in that it does not blend BoNT-A with complexing proteins (though inactive ingredients include human albumin and sucrose). Xeomin® costs the same as Botox® and Dysport® — but fewer units may be needed to achieve the desired result. Patients who show signs of resistance to Botox® and Dysport® may find success with Xeomin® due to the purified state of BoNT-A. Results from Xeomin® injections take 5-7 days to become visible and last a similar amount of time to Botox®, Dysport®.
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FDA approved in April 2009 and like Botox®, also has therapeutic uses to calm muscle spasticity. While Dysport® and Botox® have the same proteins at their core, the weight of the protective proteins in Dysport® are not uniform like those in Botox®. As a result, Dysport® has a higher rate of diffusion, which makes it ideal for treating larger areas (think: foreheads). Like Botox®, it is formulated with human albumin, however Dysport® also contains lactose and cow’s milk protein — making it unsuitable for patients with milk allergies. While the effects of Dysport® may show up sooner (within 24 hours) than Botox®, some studies have shown that they may not last as long. The shorter lifespan could make it a good choice for patients who are unsure about whether they will like the results of Neurotoxins injections.
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FDA approved as a temporary aesthetic treatment to improve the appearance of frown lines between the eyebrows, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Botox® is formulated with protective proteins that a subset of patients may develop an antibody against over time, lessening the effectiveness of the treatment. The inactive ingredients in Botox® include human albumin (i.e. plasma proteins) and sodium chloride. There is also a therapeutic version of product that can be used to treat medical conditions like migraines, excessive sweating, and eye spasms to name a few. Botox® is effective but not permanent. It takes about 3-5 days post-treatment for the results to appear (though it can take up to two weeks for the final effect to be visible), and it lasts about three to four months in most patients. The longevity depends on everything from the way a patient’s body metabolizes the product to the area being treated.
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Will my face look overdone or unnatural?
Neurotoxin injection is a technique-sensitive treatment. You can trust Neurotoxin products to deliver subtle results when you are treated by someone who is licensed, trained, and a medical expert in facial anatomy. So you’ll look like yourself—only with less noticeable lines. No one should be able to tell you’ve had anything done.
Does treatment hurt?
Some patients report that being injected Neurotoxins feels like a pinch. Your specialist may use ice to numb the treatment area. If you are concerned about discomfort, your specialist can instead apply a topical numbing cream before administering your treatment.
How long is the recovery time after treatment?
Treatment requires minimal downtime. So you can return to your daily routine immediately after you leave your specialist’s office.
What were common side effects seen in clinical studies?
The most common side effects of any botulinum toxin injectable are bruising and pain at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache, nausea, redness, and temporary facial drooping. While rare, it is possible that the toxin may spread beyond the treatment area, which could lead to botulism-like symptoms including trouble breathing and swallowing, muscle weakness, and slurred speech. Please see the Important Safety Information including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide and talk to your specialist.
How long do results last?
Last 3 – 6 months depending on the area being treated and how patient’s body metabolizes the product. Athletes tend to metabolize Neurotoxins faster.
WHAT TO EXPECT
At the consultation:
During the initial consultation, our Registered Nurses will discuss with you exactly what your concerns are and manage your expectations to ensure you get the best result. They will make treatment recommendations to align with what you want to achieve and your budget.
On your appointment date:
At your first Botox® appointment, you’ll complete a medical consent form and pre-treatment photos are taken to track your results. This initial appointment is about 30 minutes, which is longer than follow up appointments which are only around 15 minutes. This follow up visit allows us time to assess your response to the Botox and to perform any additional treatments that may be necessary. Our philosophy is that it is better to err on the side of using less products (especially on your 1st visit) because you can always give more, but you cannot remove it.
Immediately after the treatment
Right after the treatment, you may have a small amount of redness and swelling – this will usually resolve within ten minutes. Most people experience no pain or side effects, a small number get a mild headache after the treatment which can be eased with mild pain relief.
The biggest concern when having this procedure is a droopy eyelid. This happens when product migrates down into the muscles above the eye, but having a skilled injection specialist, essentially make this a rare occurrence.
1 day after the treatment
Most people will not experience any symptoms that show they’ve had the treatment done, however it is possible to have some minor bruising. Noticeable results are not usually visible the next day, as it take a bit of time for Neurotoxin to kick in.
1 week after the treatment
After 5-7 days, you are likely to start to see results of your treatment, with the full effect seen at 10-14 days. The treated area will appear smoother and look more refreshed.
1 month after the treatment
A month down the track, your treatment will still be very effective. Some people will have a very small amount of movement return, although this differs for everyone and also depends on the area treated.
3 months after the treatment
After about 3 to 6 months, the effects of Botox start to wear off and you will start to see a gradual return of movement. If you want the fresh and smooth look to return, you will have to repeat the injections. Most people get injections every 3 to 4 months.
You may not be a good candidate if you are allergic to any ingredient in Neurotoxin products, you have a skin infection at the planned site of injection, you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or have a history of nerve damage or muscle conditions, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Your aesthetic nurse injector will thoroughly review your health history and contraindications with you prior to treatment.
PRE TREATMENT CARE
Schedule your neurotoxin appointment at least 2 weeks prior to a special event which you may be attending, such as a wedding or a vacation as results take approximately 7-14 days to appear.
POST TREATMENT CARE
Refrain from straining, heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for at least 24 hours following treatment. DO NOT lie head down flat, touch or rub the treated areas for at least 4 hours after treatment. AVOID the use of Tretinoin (Retin-A) and/or active skincare products for 24 hours after treatment. AVOID alcohol for 24 hours after treatment. AVOID wearing tight fitting headwear (hats, headbands, etc.) over your treatment area for 24- hours after injections. The best thing to do is to AVOID MAKEUP. But if you must apply it, wait till the bleeding has completely stopped and the swelling has subsided.