BY JAMI NELSON, RN CANS
Botulism toxins what are they, how do they work, and which one do I want?
Botulinum toxin A is a type of protein that can be used cosmetically as well as to treat certain medical conditions. The two types of botulinum toxin I am going to focus on in this blog are Botox and Dysport. So what is it and how does it work? I’m gong to keep this simple and not get into the chemical make up and how it blocks acetylcholine in the neuromuscular junction…..yada, yada, yada. Let me just say it’s an injection of a tiny amount of medication into a muscle or group of muscles that stops the nerves and muscles from communicating. Muscles that are constantly contracting for a number of years, decades, etc., create wrinkles. Sometimes really deep wrinkles. This can make us look older than we are, tired, grouchy, sad…..just down right unpleasant. So God bless doctors Jean and Alcester Carruthers for discovering a cosmetic use for botulinum toxin! They deserve every million they have earned! They began using it therapeutically and discovered that their patients started looking younger – wrinkles were disappearing. They began injecting into areas that had muscles used for facial expression….and miracles happened! In my opinion it is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth!
Now, which one??? In my honest opinion, it really doesn’t matter. I have used Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. Which would I tell you to choose? The one that has a reward for using them. Botox is the king in the market. Allergan is the company that has made Botox a common household name, and because of that the consumer views it as a superior product. It is what people come in and demand. I love Botox…..always will. But the best thing that happened to the consumer was when other companies developed similar products and created competition. An example of this is Dysport. I think of it as some people love their Fords and some people love their Chevys. In theory it’s the same with your brands of “toxins.” There are subtle differences. For instance, Dysport is believed to have a faster onset of action but spread farther from the injection site. If someone says to me “I don’t want Dysport because it spreads more” – well frankly there are places I want it to spread more. Like the forehead or even the armpits. Now in other places, like the crows feet, 11’s or lips…no, I want no spread/migration and I like to use Botox. If you want your treatment working in just a few days…..then Dysport is possibly the better choice. I also encourage people to use whichever product is offering an incentive or sale. If you think one didn’t last as long as it should…try switching in order to compare. Regardless, they are here to stay and I can’t wait to see what else the future holds! They are truly blessings to the aesthetic world.
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