“Neurotoxin injections” isn’t exactly the most appealing term in the world. Yet millions of individuals around the world undergo these types of procedures each year. In fact, neurotoxin injections are by far the most popular cosmetic procedure in the US. So how exactly do they work and why are they so popular? There are a number of benefits of neurotoxin injections (most commonly Botulinum toxin type A) that continue to appeal to patients over the years.
Today, we will be defining neurotoxin injections including reviewing some of the types of neotoxin injectables, discuss how botox (Botulinum) injections work, how neurotoxin injections differ from traditional facelifts, and finally by answering some commonly asked questions about neurotoxin injections.
Defining Neurotoxin Injections
Encyclopedia Britannica defines neurotoxin as: “(a) substance that alters the structure or function of the nervous system. More than 1,000 chemicals are known to have neurotoxic effects in animals. The substances include a wide range of natural and human-made chemical compounds, from snake venom and pesticides to ethyl alcohol, heroin, and cocaine.” Injections can refer to anything that involves injecting a substance into a patient.
Put these together and we get an injection of a substance that has a neurotoxic effect in animals or in our case, humans. And yes, neurotoxins used in injectables really do work by impacting the patient’s nervous system. Thankfully, these procedures have been proven to be both safe and effective over the years.
Types of Neurotoxin Injectables
While there are several variants, the neurotoxin injections used to tighten facial and neck tissue are typically derived from the Botulinum Toxin. “Seven serologically distinct types of botulinum toxin exist: A, B, C1, D, E, F, and G. Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX®; Allergan) was the first commercially available type in the United States.”
Now that we understand why neurotoxin injections are at a high level, how exactly do they work? Botox works by slowing or halting nerve impulses in facial muscles. This results in facial tissue which is more “relaxed”, which in turn reduces the visible appearance of aging in the patient. Botox injections are localized, and procedures can be targeted to include or exclude certain areas as needed. Botox is effective at treating facial/neck wrinkle areas including:
- Crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes)
- Areas in the corner of the mouth
- Furrowed brow (forehead wrinkles)
- Glabellar lines, more commonly known as frown lines
- Chin wrinkles, AKA the “cobblestoned” look
There is a certain stigma with Botox that patients will have a “frozen” face after the procedure. This is somewhat true, but not in the same way many imagine. There is no question that the primary effect of Botox is to reduce your face’s ability to receive neuro-transmissions, which results in a loss of certain facial control. Yet most patients report that this is not the same life-altering problem as they had feared. It is recommended that all patients understand how Botox will impact their face and neck areas before undergoing the procedure.
Neurotoxin Injection FAQs
Can Botox injections achieve similar results as facelifts?
Similar? Perhaps. The same? No. Despite the popularity of Botox and other neurotoxin injections, there are reasons why facelifts remain a popular cosmetic procedure. The primary reasons include:
- Facelifts are inherently more effective in reducing the visible signs of aging in the face and neck region.
- Facelifts last significantly longer than neurotoxin injections. While Botox results typically last between 3 to 6 months, facelift results commonly last 10 plus years.
What areas of the face can be treated with Botox?
For all intents and purposes, any area of the face can be treated with Botox. Cosmetic surgeons will discuss the details of what areas should be treated per patient, but this is more a question for achieving the desired results than a question of what areas can be treated.
Am I too young for Botox?
If you are an adult, there is no medical reason to be concerned that you are too young for neurotoxin injections. Whether or not you are “too young” is completely subjective and will vary from individual to individual. As with all cosmetic procedures, it is recommended that patients consult with their doctor to understand what to expect before making any decisions.
Join us for SCALE 2020 to Learn About the Latest Neurotoxin Injection Technology!
This July 22-25th, join us at the world famous Music City Convention Center in downtown Nashville for SCALE 2020! The annual Symposium for Cosmetic Advances & Laser Education is bigger and better than ever. We are proud to present a wide range of exhibitors and sponsors who will be discussing topics ranging from robotic dermatological surgeries to acne to non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Register now to reserve your spot to the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States.