What are Neurotoxins?
Neurotoxins are chemicals that target the nervous system, disrupting the signaling process that allows the neurons to communicate effectively. When injected in very small concentrations into humans, these toxins work by preventing signals from the nerve cells reaching muscles therefore paralyzing them temporarily. In order for muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine parentheses a neurotransmitter), at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cell. Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten. Injected neurotoxins prevent the release of acetylcholine, preventing contraction of the muscle cells which makes the muscles less stiff.
Are these neuromodulator dangerous chemicals?
Everyone knows the name Botox. Botox is the most well-known of the neurotoxins, owned by Allergan and previous to cosmetic use it was used for years for medical conditions. Botox belongs to a category of drugs called neuromodulators. Originally Botox was introduced in 1987 took your blood for a plasm eyelid muscle spasms and was injected by ophthalmologist. Botox blocks the nerves from activating muscles and stops muscles from moving by blocking the activation or firing of nerves to the muscles the muscle spasm was broken. Ophthalmologist noticed that these patients also developed less wrinkles and lines of their skin.
Botox relaxes muscles and therefore decreases the depth of wrinkles. Because you aren’t actively using the muscles you are not increasing the depth of wrinkles during the time the medication is active. Once it wears off you will not be worse off than when you started. In fact several studies have shown that long-term, continued use of Botox slows down the appearance of facial aging. There is absolutely no danger to continuing Botox once you start.
What else is Botox used for?
Botox has found many medical uses and is currently used to treat over 20 different medical conditions including treatment of migraine headaches, excessive sweating, muscle spasms in children with cerebral palsy, bladder spasms, and many more indications. The safety profile of the use of Botox is well known.
How are neuromodulators injected and are there risks or side-effects?
They are injected using the smallest possible needles. There can be a small pin prick sensation from the needles and occasionally a small pinpoint bruising or swelling can occur at the site of injection. A physician with excellent knowledge of the muscles, nerves and blood vessels of the face will be able to know where to inject and how much to inject to get the proper results. Some clients are concerned that they will look “overdone “or “not natural”. In the hands of an experienced doctor this will not happen.
These injections are typically well tolerated. Rarely an individual may have a genetic predisposition that prism results in a mild transient unusual response to the drug. About 1% of people receiving injections may develop antibodies to the toxin that makes subsequent treatments ineffective. The most common side effects reported or mild pain or local swelling or redness, numbness, transient headache, generalized malaise, mild nausea and flu like illness.
What is Dysport?
Although everyone knows the name Botox, Botox has competitors on the market. All are well studied and effective treatments with safety profiles that have been proven. Dysport is another neuromodulator, manufacture by Galderma. Some doctors report that it’s onset of action is slightly shorter (starts working a day or two earlier) and might even last a little bit longer (four months as opposed to 3 months)
What is Xeomin?
This is another neuromodulator made by a company called Merz. The unique thing about Xeomin is that it is the only neurotoxin that doesn’t have the complex proteins attached to it. So it is a purer version of the neuromodulator and therefore perhaps less chance of having an adverse reaction to it and or becoming resistant to it in the future.
Is there another, new neurotoxin on the market?
Yes! It is called Jeaveau (parabotulinumtoxinA)and it is manufactured by Evolus. it works similarly Botox, Dysport and Xeomin and lasts approximately 3 months.
Why is finding the right doctor to perform the injections so important?
As mentioned above only and experienced and skilled doctor, as Dr. Ivan Cvik, who has complete knowledge of all the facial muscles and their function, facial nerves, and blood vessels can safely and effectively perform the injections to get the best outcomes. Dr. Ivan Cvik is a highly trained professional always does an initial, consultation (going over desired outcomes, client expectations) and explains the procedure in detail before proceeding with the actual injections. For more information on neurotoxins please contact our office at 239-500-7727.