Anti-wrinkle injections – are they all the same?
When you read any beauty blog or article about modern skin care you will likely hear these phrases: anti-wrinkle treatment, muscle relaxing injections, wrinkle preventers. They are usually referring to Botulinum Toxin injections, which are currently the most popular cosmetic medical procedures performed in Australia. Even though the Botulinum Toxin belongs among the strongest biological toxins known and causes weakness or paralysis of the muscles, modern medicine and pharmaceutical industry managed to find a beneficial use for it. When minute quantities of Botulinum toxin are injected into strategic locations on the face, they will reduce exaggerated movements of the muscles, and stop them folding your skin into creases and lines.
And, just for clarification, this article is not about fillers, they work differently, but we will have a blog about them soon.
Back in 2002, Botox® emerged as the first Botulinum Toxin brand registered for cosmetic use in the US, and since then became almost a household name and a synonym for cosmetic injections. It has proved to be very successful, and soon other pharmaceutical companies developed and registered their competing products. Today there are 3 different brands of Botulinum Toxin registered for cosmetic use in Australia: Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin®.
So, are they all the same? Does it matter which one is used for your treatment?
Short answer is that it does not matter, because there is very little difference between these products in terms of their safety or how they can be used. All three are well established now and they are produced to a very high quality standard. They are TGA approved and classified as schedule 4 prescription medicines. All three brands are very effective in relaxing the muscles of the face and softening the dynamic wrinkles.
The important differences between the brands are mostly affecting their storage, preparation and shelf life. Because of this, most clinics would choose to stock only one or two of the brands, as it simplifies their procedures and reduces the chance of an error.
One difficulty that has been documented with repeated treatments using Botox® or Dysport® is that some patients may become immune to it, in which case the repeated injections lose their desirable effect and produce almost no results. This problem has not been observed with Xeomin®, which is produced by an extensive purification process and does not contain other proteins, which have been suspected to trigger the immunity.
Even though the three brands have a very similar effect for the patient, a therapist familiar with the slight differences between the brands may prefer to use a particular one for a particular job. For example, since Xeomin® has been shown to have the smallest spread to the surrounding tissues, it may be a preferred choice for areas closer to the eye.
For the treatment purposes, all three brands are measured in “units”. The number of units needed for the treatment varies between different people, as stronger muscles will need more units to make them relaxed. Also, Dysport® units are much “weaker” or “smaller” than Botox® and Xeomin® units. The same client will need more units of Dysport® (more than twice as many) to achieve the same result as with Botox® or Xeomin®. At our clinic we keep a detailed record of each client’s treatments over time, including the product and the number of units used, which helps us achieve safe and reliable results, that can be repeated when desired.
Hope this clarifies the situation a bit and reassures you that in trained hands any of the three brands available can safely produce excellent cosmetic results. If you would like to find out more about this treatment or whether your skin would benefit from it, please book an appointment through this website for an obligation-free assessment and professional advice.