Is Botox Still All That?

When Botox made its debut nearly twenty years ago, the FDA-approved drug was met with a mixture of excitement, fascination, and skepticism. Some of the first Botox treatments resulted in unwanted cosmetic side effects. The point of getting injections in the face was to smooth wrinkles, not lose all visible signs of emotion. People wanted to get Botox to look younger, not surprised or frightened. Alas, doctors quickly learned how to administer this drug appropriately across numerous situations. For the past 15-plus years, Botox has been pretty much the most popular injectable treatment around the world. But does that mean it’s still all that, all these years later and in light of a plethora of new injectables and treatments? Let’s see!

What is Botox?

Botox is a neuromodulator wrinkle reducer. It is made of minute amounts of purified botulinum toxin A. This ingredient had been used at higher doses to treat various muscle disorders. The cosmetic use began after patients being treated with botulinum toxin A started noticing that some signs of aging, like crow’s feet, were going away. We point this out to confirm that Botox Cosmetic is safe and effective and has a long history of success. The drug works by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter in targeted muscles. Without this neurotransmitter, the muscle cannot contract as it would normally. The effects are beautifully subtle and tend to last an average of about 4 months. 

Why Botox Has Been So Popular

The primary reason Botox has been so popular is that it works. The treatment itself is convenient and virtually painless. Patients can visit their dermatologist for Botox injections with relatively little planning (maybe just skip happy hour the day before) and no need to take time off work and other activities. Some patients get their Botox during their lunch hour, that’s how subtle the side effects of treatment can be! So why, with all the reasons to love Botox, might someone want an alternative?

From what we see, Botox still reigns as the most sought-after wrinkle reducer. Next to dermal fillers, that is. Still, some people are trying the alternatives that have been developed. These include Xeomin, Dysport, and Jeuveau, all of which are used in our San Antonio offices. Another strategy that has been mentioned by some people is the use of patches called Frownies. These rigid patches stick to the skin and prevent muscle movements. Usually, they are worn at night. While Frownies can temporarily improve the appearance of some lines and wrinkles, the problem we see is that having a visible piece of inflexible paper-like material on the face, even at night, can get in the way of romance in the bedroom. 

Anti-aging treatments don’t have to be complicated to be successful. Perhaps that is yet one more reason for the continued popularity of Botox. If you would like to know more about this treatment or its alternatives, schedule a visit to our La Casita or Sonterra office. 

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Talia Noorily MD

A Message from Dr. Bucay: Champions for Change Gala

This year I am honored to join the committee for the Champions for Change Gala, taking place on May 10, 2023 at Ziegfield Ballroom in NYC.

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