Botox Alternatives – What Else Is Out There? Neurotoxins Explained

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Neurotoxins are incredible substances – in the hands of a certified expert, they will erase your wrinkles easy as one-two-three. Everyone’s heard of Botox, and some of you reading this might have had the pleasure of experiencing it yourself. But Botox is just one of the neurotoxins available on the market, even though it’s the most popular of them all.

Here at Vibrant Skin Bar, we offer four different neurotoxins to our clients. While we generally recommend you come in to consult with our doctor, PAs, or aestheticians to find the best treatment for your specific condition, we also know you’ll be googling and looking for info all over the internet. No need – here’s everything you need to know about the magic four neurotoxins out there!

What Are Neurotoxins, Again?

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urotoxin literally means a toxin damaging to the nervous system. All neurotoxin products that the beauty industry utilizes are made from the same substance – Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium is found naturally in lakes, soils, and forests. Out in its natural environment, it is pretty much inactive and non-toxic. However, when its toxin is released in an anaerobic environment (meaning without oxygen), it becomes one of the strongest poisons known to man, and can cause botulism and in some cases even death.

You don’t have to worry though – medical and cosmetic Botulinum toxin is pure and inserted in very small, diluted amounts, by certified professionals who know how to handle it.

Botulinum toxin is used in medicine for treating certain neuromuscular disorders, as well as in the beauty industry. Once injected into the muscle, the toxin blocks nerve signals that are traveling to the muscles, which causes a reduction in muscle activity. This smooths out the skin that contained wrinkles before the injection, and the effects last until the toxin is fully absorbed.

What Neurotoxins Do We Offer?

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he great four that you can choose from at Vibrant Skin Bar are Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau. They are all different trade names of the Botulinum toxin substance. The name, of course, isn’t the only thing that sets them apart. They all have some unique features that make them more suitable for one treatment or another.

When you leave the practice after a facial, not only will your skin look rejuvenated, but you will feel fresh, relaxed, and pampered!

Info – The Sweet & The Short

Botox

Botox injections don’t need any special introduction. After all, it’s the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the entire world! It has become so popular and widespread across the globe that people use the word “Botox” to talk about other brands on the market. Some people will tell you that they underwent Botox and that “their doctor used Dysport, which is a type of Botox”. As you’ll learn in this article, Dysport is another product, but formulated from the same substance.

Botox is generally used to treat frown lines (between the eyebrows), forehead lines, wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), and chin wrinkles.

Dysport

Dysport is a Botulinum toxin product whose primary use is the treatment of glabellar lines – also known as frown lines, the vertical lines between your eyebrows. Its defining feature is that it has the tendency to spread. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good, because it will give you a more natural look, and bad, as it can make it easier for the toxin to spread where you do not want it to end up.

Xeomin

Xeomin is a type of Botulinum toxin used and approved for treating moderate to severe glabellar lines – wrinkles between the eyebrows. It was approved in the U.S. in 2011, but it has been used in many other countries since 2005. The U.S. was the 20th country to approve Xeomin. Xeomin is a pure toxin without any coating proteins.

Jeuveau

Jeuveau is the newest member of the neurotoxin family – it just got the green light from the FDA in February 2019. It’s structurally very similar to Botox and can treat moderate to severe glabellar lines.

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How Do They Differ?

The four neurotoxins are similar in terms of the active substance they use, and how this substance works. Their differences reside in their molecular structures, and the parts of the nerve they attach to. What does it mean for you? Basically, it means that dosages are not equivalent across different products – so one unit of Botox is not the same as one unit of Dysport. Besides, duration of the effects can differ across products, as well as immune response of the body.

Botox works where it is injected. In the hands of a non-skilled injector, a face can exhibit variations between the areas that have been treated with Botox and those that haven’t.

Dysport, on the other hand, has the tendency to spread and is more feathery-like, so the boundaries are not that clear. That means that even a non-skilled injector would not make visible separate areas on the client’s face. Of course, we’re not suggesting you go to a non-skilled person, just explaining theoretically.

Xeomin is a pure Botulinum toxin without coating proteins that all the other Botulinum toxin injections contain. It goes through a unique manufacturing process that results in this highly purified neurotoxin without any accessory excipients. This makes it possible for people allergic to some substances of other neurotoxins to undergo a Xeomin procedure to treat wrinkles.  It also minimizes the risk of developing antibodies against Xeomin in comparison to Botox and Dysport. Antibodies are created as the bodily answer to the “foreign invader,” and could, in theory, prevent the medicine from having its effects. Additionally, since it doesn’t have any preservatives, Xeomin is easier to store, as it doesn’t require refrigeration.

Jeuveau is structurally similar to Botox, but unlike Botox, which may be used to treat migraines and some muscle disorders, it is purely cosmetic. The main draw for consumers, so it seems, is that the price of the toxin may be lower in comparison to the other products.

How Do They Work?

Once a Botulinum toxin product is injected, it stops neural signals that are traveling from the nerves to the muscles. Left without the instruction to move, muscles will become stiff, and the skin covering them will soften and smooth out.

Do you know that there are 43 muscles on the human face? Every time you speak, smile, frown, sniff, or exhibit any facial expression, these muscles move. But as they move, the skin above them moves too, and gradually this will lead to the creation of wrinkles and lines.

When Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or Jeuveau is injected into the muscle, it will limit muscle movement in that very area, and after a few days, you’ll notice that your lines have become dramatically less visible.

It’s important to emphasize that neurotoxins will only work on wrinkles created by repeated muscle movements, because they are getting down to the very cause. They will not have any effect on wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.

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How Is The Procedure Performed?

All Botulinum toxin products used for treating wrinkles and fine lines are injected in a quick and relatively painless procedure. If you are getting this procedure, you will come in for a treatment and be out in less than 30 minutes.

Neurotoxin injections are administered by an authorized medical professional. You won’t need anesthesia, but your doctor or PA may apply a numbing cream to numb the area he or she will treat. The toxin will then be injected in the areas earlier determined and marked with a pen. This shouldn’t cause any pain – you may feel slight discomfort, mainly pressure from the injections.

There is no downtime for the neurotoxin injection procedure. You will probably feel you can resume your normal daily activities right after the procedure.

You should refrain from touching or rubbing the treated areas for several hours afterward, as it can cause the toxin to spread. You will notice the first results within two to ten days.

Important: when you schedule your procedure, do not take aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks before the date. Also, your medical professional may advise you to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours before the procedure, as it will reduce the chance of any bruising or swelling.

You should also not get back to your normal physical activities too soon after the procedure. Avoid intense cardio for several days after the procedure, until the injection is fully absorbed.

If you’re getting Dysport, your medical professionals are likely to advise you to “exercise” your facial muscles gently to even out the absorption of the toxin.

If you’re getting Xeomin, know that it may lead to an impairment of vision or depth perception. If possible, avoid driving or engaging in hazardous activity for a while, until you know how Xeomin affects you.

Where Can They Be Injected?

Botox

The most common areas treated with Botox are forehead lines, frown lines (between the eyebrows), wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), and chin wrinkles.

Lines under the eye (tear through), lipstick lines, and neck wrinkles can be better treated with dermal fillers, either alone or combined with Botox.

Dysport

Dysport is FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe glabellar lines between the eyebrows, also known as frown lines. Dysport can also be used in other areas: it can raise your eyebrows, lift the corners of the mouth, decrease dimpling of the chin, reduce any neck lines, and also slim the face.

Xeomin

Xeomin is FDA-approved for treating glabellar lines – wrinkles between the eyebrows.
However, since it got approved in 2011, some doctors opt for using it on other areas of the face, such as forehead wrinkles and lines around the eye.

Jeuveau

Jeuveau is FDA-approved for treating glabellar lines

How Long Do The Results Last?

The results of all the neurotoxins are temporary. Over time, the injected neurotoxin wears off, and the muscles go back to their regular communication with the nerves. This means that treated wrinkles and lines gradually re-appear.

If you continue injecting every several months, your muscles may get used to being inactive, so the wrinkles become less severe over time.

Botox

The effects of Botox last for about three to six months.

Dysport

The effect of smooth skin with fewer wrinkles will stay apparent for up to six months.

Patients are generally advised to wait for two months before seeking another round of Dysport treatment, whether it is in the same area or in another one.

Xeomin

The effects of Xeomin last between three and six months. After that, it might be time for another round of injections.

Jeuveau

The effects of Jeuveau last around three months.

Are They Safe?

Neurotoxins used in the beauty industry for treatment of wrinkles are generally safe.

Some copies of the FDA-approved products can be found on the black market, so your best bet is to find a provider that is trained and licensed to administer Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or Jeuveau – whichever you are after.

Here at Vibrant Skin Bar, we’re authorized to do so and have vast experience, so by coming to us, you’ll ensure you’re using the right toxin and are getting it from someone who is experienced and knows what they’re doing. This will minimize any issues that may occur.

Like every drug, a neurotoxin injectable may exhibit side effects (read more below), but you will minimize this risk by visiting a certified professional. It is recommended you undergo the procedure with a professional who has had experience injecting the exact neurotoxin you are after.

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Am I A Good Candidate?

If you want to improve the appearance of your wrinkles, Botox / Dysport / Xeomin / Jeuveau injectables might be just the perfect choice for you. They are safe for most people. Some conditions will, unfortunately, disqualify you from getting an injection. You shouldn’t get neurotoxin injections if you;

  • plan on getting pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it’s not known whether neurotoxins can hurt your unborn baby or get into breast milk
  • are allergic to Botulinum toxin, have had an allergic reaction to other Botulinum toxin products, or are allergic to any of the other ingredients of the product
  • are older than 65
  • have a neuromuscular disease
  • have an infection at the injection site
  • have skin problems
  • have deep facial scars
  • have very thick facial skin.

If any of the above apply to you, please talk to your medical professional to determine whether you are a candidate.

Furthermore, you should tell your medical professional if you have a history of one of these medical conditions:

  • Breathing problems
  • Swallowing problems
  • Bleeding problems
  • Facial muscle weakness (drooping eyelids, trouble raising your eyebrows, etc.)
  • Heart disease
  • Seizure disorder
  • Have diabetes
  • Have undergone surgery on your face, or plan on getting one
  • Fluid in your lungs
  • A change in how your face typically looks.

If you want to get Botox / Dysport / Xeomin / Jeuveau injections, be upfront with your medical professional about your medical history and all the medications you are taking. This should include all prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal supplements, etc. Additionally, if you have had Botulinum toxin injections in the past – this includes Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau, or Myobloc – especially in the last 4 months, let your medical professional know that.

You should also not start any new medication without telling your doctor that you have had Botulinum toxin product injections.

When you come to Vibrant Skin Bar for a consultation, it’s important to let us know about all these matters so we can decide on the best treatment for you while taking care of your health.

Side Effects: Are There Any?

The majority of patients who receive Botox / Dysport / Xeomin / Jeuveau injections will experience mild, normal side effects from the injectable. However, these products are drugs after all, and all drugs can cause side effects. The most common possible side effects of Botulinum toxin products is bruising at the site of injections. Some patients get headaches that will resolve in 24-48 hours.

Other, more serious and possibly life-threatening side effects include:

  • Allergic reactions (itching, swelling, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness, or dizziness or feeling faint)
  • Infection (fever, chills, cough, pain with passing urine, pain in ears or sinuses, mouth sores, wounds not healing)
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Eye irritation, eye pain, or change in eyesight – double or blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Difficulty in swallowing, speaking and breathing
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems (irregular heartbeat or heart attack)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Change or loss of voice
  • Low mood
  • Trouble speaking
  • Nausea
  • Bleeding (in case the doctor injects too deep and hits a blood vessel).

We need to emphasize that these are infrequent, and more likely to occur in people who are allergic to any of the ingredients found in the neurotoxin product. This is why it’s important you know of these allergies and let your medical professional know about them. You will minimize the chance of any serious side effects by being upfront with your neurotoxin administrator about your medical history, any medical conditions, and medicines you might be taking.

Make sure you are undergoing the procedure in a certified place by a licensed professional who is experienced, prepared, will use the ideal dosage, and administer the procedure properly. This will also decrease the possibility of any side effects.

Most of our patients have undergone Botox / Dysport / Xeomin / Jeuveau in less than half an hour: you can come in for the procedure during a lunch break, and go right back to work!

If you do experience some of the side effects, please reach out to your doctor immediately.

Contact us today and book your appointment!

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