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Back to Basics: Neurotoxins

botox trainingWe recently dove into the basics of dermal fillers and now we will do the same for neurotoxins. With the increasing demand for non-invasive cosmetic procedures, both dermal fillers and neurotoxins continue to gain increasing popularity.

Neurotoxins, in their purest form, work by preventing certain muscles from firing or contracting as hard by blocking the release of acetylcholine. They help relax the muscles that cause the skin to wrinkle, resulting in the smoothing of the skin. Whereas dermal fillers add volume to the skin, neurotoxins smooth out wrinkles and lines.

Botulinum Toxin (BTX, also commonly referred to as Botox) is the most common neurotoxin used for cosmetic purposes. Most commonly, Botulinum Toxin is used in the treatment of the upper facial features, such as frown lines between the eyebrows (Glabella), crow’s feet, forehead lines, and around the eyes to reduce bags. It can also be used in the treatment of hyperhidrosis, migraines, and other medical conditions. The treatment is temporary and in most cases, an injection is needed every 3-4 months, depending on the patient’s metabolism.

There are three Botulinum Toxin products available on the market today: Botox by Allergan,  Dysport by Galderma, and Xeomin by Merz. All toxins have a similar mechanism of action but it is important for injectors to understand that it is not like comparing apples to apples.  There are important differences between all three in which it is vital that an injector understands the specific properties of each.  In addition, a patient may have a preference as to which product they choose to be treated with based on a past experience.

Neurotoxins can be used in conjunction with dermal fillers and work beautifully together. It is best to inject the dermal filler first as many times some massage is required post-injection and then conclude with the neurotoxin treatment.  It is important to do your research, take a neurotoxin class or Botox training, and be educated about the different products, uses, and effects of Botulinum toxin.

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