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08-03-11 | Posted by


BOTOX is what the ‘Housewives” of BRAVO swear by and what some celebrities admit to when they are suspected of having had much more work done.  It is best known for its ability to erase frown lines and crow’s feet, although there is a growing list of other areas that it can treat from migraines to sweaty palms. Botulinum toxins work by blocking the nerve impulses to the wrinkle producing muscles to soften contractions. The result is that skin appears smoother and lines and wrinkles are reduced temporarily. The treatment is simple, effective with almost no discomfort, and you can go back to the office or dinner  immediately. The effects lasts from three to six months in most people, and the treatment is repeated to maintain the wrinkle relaxing results.

In 2002, the FDA announced regulatory approval of botulinum toxin type A (Botox Cosmetic – Allergan botoxcosmetic.com to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). According to the BOTOX® Cosmetic website, 11 million women and men have experienced BOTOX®, making it the single most popular cosmetic treatment in the world.


The next botulinum toxin type A to appear on the scene was Dysport®. The US FDA granted approval for cosmetic uses for Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) marketed by Medicis Inc. In the U.S., dysportusa.com, in 2009. Dysport got off to a somewhat slower start due to the wide acceptance of BOTOX® Cosmetic, and a learning curve among practitioners regarding the exact dosage to be used and rate of diffusion. However, Dysport has been well accepted in the U.S. among physicians and consumers, as it has been in Europe where it is marketed as Azzalure® by Galderma galderma.com

As Philadelphia dermatologist Dr. Franziska Ringpfeil explains, “There are seven distinct serotypes of botulinum toxins. Among the current range of neuromodulators,  clinical variables include the onset of action, spread or field of effect, duration and safety. What is unique about Xeomin® is that it is considered a “naked toxin”, so it does not contain complexing proteins, which may offer some advantages.”  Another distinction of Xeomin® is that the dosages used are the same as Botox® Cosmetic so practitioners will not need to alter their method of injecting.

Fast forward to July 2011, which marks the approval of the third botulinum toxin brand to the U.S. market.  Merz Aesthetics received FDA approval for XEOMIN® (incobotulinumtoxinA) for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines in adult patients.

The good news for the growing number of us who are seeking to maintain a youthful appearance for as long as possible is that there are now three safe and effective wrinkle relaxing agents available on the market to suit their needs, and more products in the pipeline for the near future. Perhaps the biggest question remains; will the addition of Xeomin® change the price range of these treatments so more people will be able to enjoy the benefits of fewer lines and creases?

Merz reports that Xeomin® merzaesthetics.com will be available in Spring 2012 so we will just have to wait and see.


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