Facial lines and wrinkles can be thought of as having two different causes: dynamic, meaning they are caused by the direct action of the muscles of facial movement, and static, meaning they are caused by factors like gravity, tissue thinning, and relaxation of skin tone by sun damage, smoking, or repetitive pressure, as when lying on the cheek when asleep. We have discovered that when used properly, solutions of botulinum toxin type A are very effective at alleviating wrinkles caused by muscle activity, that is, the dynamic type of wrinkles. Neurotoxins are not fillers; they only weaken muscles which cause wrinkles or unsatisfactory position of facial features like the brow, and they are not used to fill creases or wrinkles. These prescription medications are purified derivatives of the same toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that causes botulism. Much the same as penicillin is a prescription drug made from purified products of mold spores, botulinum toxin has been purified for its beneficial effects, and when used properly they are very safe. There are no confirmed serious cases of botulism-like sickness caused from cosmetic injection of Botox® into the facial muscles. It is very important that you understand the qualifications of the person performing the injections and only receive injections with one of the botulinum toxin type A preparations commercially available in the U.S.
What Type of Neurotoxins are available and How to Choose?
The currently available neurotoxins in the U.S. approved for cosmetic uses are: Botox Cosmetic®, Xeomin®, and Dysport®. While all of them are botulinum toxin type A and have the same mechanism of action, there are some slight differences in how each is purified, or manufactured, and stored. In addition, there may be some people for whom one toxin works better than others, and there may be some uses of each toxin which may be better than others. For instance, one area of the face may more reliably respond to Botox® while another area may do better with Dysport® or Xeomin®. People in certain age groups or with certain tissue types and thickness may respond better to one of the toxins than another. This is why it is important to go to an injector with knowledge and experience in the use of all available options. While any one of the toxins will produce results, obtaining the best results may require more than simply using that injector’s “preferred product” in that injector’s standard manner.