What Are Neurotoxins?

Do you feel self-conscious about your wrinkles?   Injectable neurotoxins can give you the smoother, younger-looking skin you desire.  But what are neurotoxins, and how do they work?

What Are Neurotoxins?

Neurotoxins are compounds that affect the function of nerve tissue.   Botulinum toxin type A is a neurotoxin widely used in cosmetic treatments.   

Botox is the most celebrated botulinum neurotoxin because it was the first brand to be approved by the FDA in 2002.  However, Dysport and Xeomin are other notable brands on the market. 

Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are all made from botulinum toxin type A, which is produced from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  While injecting a toxin into the body may seem frightening, clinical studies have proven that these neurotoxins are very safe. 

Botulinum neurotoxins are primarily used to address wrinkles related to the movement of the facial muscles.  Common areas for treatment are crow’s feet, forehead creases, and frown lines.  These expression lines are also known as dynamic wrinkles and develop over time due to repetitive muscle movements such as frowning, squinting, and smiling.  

Although neurotoxins are incredibly popular cosmetic treatments, they can also address medical conditions such as eyelid spasms and excessive underarm sweating. 

How Do Neurotoxins Work?

Neurotoxins block the release of the chemical messengers that cause the muscles to contract.  During treatment, small doses of the neurotoxin are injected into the targeted areas, resulting in a temporary relaxation of the muscles.  This helps to minimize the appearance of wrinkles associated with muscle activity.  

Patients can still make facial expressions after being treated with neurotoxins, but they are not as intense, so new wrinkles don’t develop.  

Neurotoxin treatments take only 15-30 minutes and require no anesthesia.  It typically takes just one session to achieve optimal results.  

When Will You See Results?

Depending on the neurotoxin, results are noticeable within 3-7 days.  Most neurotoxins last an average of 3 months and can be repeated as needed.  Muscle motion returns within 2-3 months because new nerve endings form during this time.  

Is There Any Downtime?

Side effects are minimal after neurotoxin treatment and usually involve some redness and swelling, but there is no downtime.  Consequently, patients can resume normal activities right away. 

Are Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin The Same?

Although Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin contain the same active ingredient and have a similar mechanism of action, they are formulated differently.    Botox and Dysport contain accessory protective proteins not included in Xeomin.  The lack of accessory proteins in Xeomin is believed to prevent resistance over time.  There are also differences in dosing between the neurotoxins. 

Including Neurotoxins In Your Anti-Aging Regimen

More and more people are adding neurotoxins to their anti-aging regimen because they are a safe and effective solution for unwanted wrinkles.  Since neurotoxins reduce muscle motion, they result in smoother, younger-looking skin. 

In recent years, neurotoxins have been trending among people in their 20’s and early 30’s.  Younger people are choosing Botox as a preventative treatment to delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.  They are aware that it’s easier to minimize dynamic wrinkles before they become deeply etched in the skin.  

When it comes to anti-aging treatments, neurotoxins aren’t appropriate for all signs of facial aging.  They are not recommended for wrinkles such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines, which are caused by sagging skin and lack of facial volume. 

Which Neurotoxin Is Right For You?

If you would like to know which neurotoxin would be right for you, schedule an aesthetic consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who is knowledgeable about the options available.   A skilled medical professional can assess your skin and select the best neurotoxin for your needs. 

When used as directed and administered by skilled, experienced professionals, neurotoxins can enhance your anti-aging efforts.   

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