Neurotoxin treatments have been popular for decades thanks to their proven ability to temporarily eliminate fine lines and wrinkles in the face. Neurotoxins are powerful substances that help the facial muscles relax, leading to a softer, more youthful facial appearance. They are most commonly used to treat frown lines, forehead creases, and crow’s feet near the eyes.
Two types of neurotoxin treatments, Dysport® and Botox®, are available at our neurotoxin clinic for patients in Cape Town
What is neurotoxin treatment?
Neurotoxin injections are a tried-and-true cosmetic treatment that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Cosmetic neurotoxins are available under various brand names, most popularly Botox®. Currently, only Dysport® and Botox® are available in South Africa.
Neurotoxins are substances that can alter the structure and functions of the human nervous system. When injected into the face, neurotoxins help temporarily eliminate fine lines and wrinkles caused by muscle contraction, such as smiling, squinting, or frowning.
Cosmetic neurotoxins, including Botox® and Dysport®, contain an injectable form of botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin that blocks the nerve signals that cause your facial muscles to contract. When the contracted muscles relax, the patient’s facial appearance becomes softer and smoother and appears rejuvenated.
Although Botox® and Dysport® both use botulinum type A as their primary ingredient, their formulations are different. The most significant differences between the products are the rate at which the drug spreads through the muscles and the duration of effects.
Dysport® results appear quickly, usually within 3 to 5 days, while Botox® generally takes up to 2 weeks to fully develop. Dysport® is also more cost-effective than Botox®, as it requires a smaller quantity per injection.
Dysport® and Botox® can treat a variety of concerns, including:
- Wrinkles around the eyes, such as crow’s feet.
- Forehead creases.
- Smile lines and other fine lines around the mouth.
- Bunny lines on the nose.
Results from neurotoxin injections are temporary. Results usually last three to four months on average, but patients who receive regular treatments can see longer-lasting results.
While neurotoxin injections are primarily used for cosmetic purposes, they can also help treat several medical issues. Neurotoxin injections can help:
- Minimize pain from chronic migraines.
- Treat severe underarm sweating (hidrosis)
- Reduce the pain of bruxism
- Relax the platysma muscle, which affects jawline appearance.
- Reduce the appearance of a dimpled chin.
- Fix gummy smiles through injection into the upper lip muscle—this prevents the lip from lifting too much while smiling.
Neurotoxin treatments are quick and usually performed within minutes, depending on how many areas are being treated. Patients typically experience little to no pain throughout the procedure, as the needles used for injection are medical-grade and incredibly small. However, if you’re concerned about discomfort or pain, ice or topical numbing cream can help.
Is neurotoxin treatment safe?
Although Dysport® and Botox® are made from the toxin that causes botulism, they are safe. Neurotoxin treatments have been used for years due to their high success rates and low risk.
Recovery time after neurotoxin injection is minimal. Patients can usually resume their regular activity immediately after treatment. However, you should avoid touching or rubbing the treated area immediately after injection and limit strenuous activity.
Results from neurotoxin injections will develop over time, with full results seen around the two-week mark. Results may appear sooner depending on the substance used for treatment.
Side effects from neurotoxin treatment are rare and usually minimal if they occur. Patients may experience bruising around the injection site, redness, pain, minor swelling, numbness, and headache. These symptoms are normal and should subside within a few days. If you are experiencing any discomfort, applying ice to the treated area for a few minutes can help.
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