Welcome to the JAG Medical Cosmetics blog, where you’ll find in-depth information about our services, educational resources concerning aesthetics, and helpful tips for looking and feeling your best. As always, we hope you’re doing well and enjoying this wonderful time of year! With clinics located in Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and St George, our practice seeks to serve the Lowcountry with high-quality, affordable care. According to our philosophy, our patients come first with the emphasis on educating on the most clinically relevant treatments to prevent aging. That’s why we take the time to develop a relationship based on trust with each person who walks through our doors. When you feel comfortable and informed, you’re able to make optimal decisions for your internal and external wellness. Since our job is to provide expertise and support, we allow our patients the freedom to express their unique desires. By working together as a team, our patients can feel confident about reaching their aesthetic goals!
Our blog is dedicated to helping patients understand their options, educate, and demystify the practice of aesthetics. By providing deeply researched, easy-to-understand breakdowns of how our services work, and how they benefit our patients, we hope those reluctant to receive anti-aging treatments will see how beneficial these treatments can be. . We encourage any topic recommendations and please feel free to ask any questions. Our first topic will cover the different types of Neuromodulators. If you’re interested in these types of articles, check the JAG Cosmetics blog regularly!
We also wanted to make you aware of our recent move into a new location in Summerville, South Carolina. As we continue to grow with the help of our patients, this can sometimes mean outgrowing certain spaces. We’re happy to announce our new location is only a few doors down from our last. Our Summerville location is now 105 S Cedar St. Suite A, in the Village Square Shoppes. While we don’t need a housewarming gift, we’d love it if you dropped by to see us but please pardon the mess as we continue to build the space to make it our own.
Today we’re discussing types of neuromodulators. Many clients have no idea what I am talking about when I say Neuromodulators. But when I say “Botox” then most have a superficial understanding of what these medications are and how we use them. “Neuromodulators” may seem like an intimidating word, but the truth is, we speak about neuromodulators all of the time without realizing. For example, dopamine and serotonin—the chemicals released by our brains to make us feel love and happiness—are both considered neuromodulators. Likewise, histamine—the chemical which causes our eyes and throats to itch come pollen season—is also a neuromodulator. Put simply, a neuromodulator is any substance which alters the activity of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the signals sent by our brain to various nerves throughout the body.
Now that you know what neuromodulators are, you’re probably wondering what they have to do with aesthetics, right? Well, everyone’s favorite injectable—Botox—is a type of neuromodulator but so is, Xeomin, Dysport, and Jeuveau. In this article, we’ll be diving deeper into Botox and Xeomin, two types of neuromodulators. Neuromodulators such as these are considered inhibitory in nature, since they operate by blocking signals delivered to your muscles. Consider them as you would interference on your cable TV, which prevents the picture from showing. (Except, in this case, the interruption is beneficial instead of annoying!) When these medications are injected into a muscle they reduce the strength of its contraction by preventing a chemical called Acetylcholine from being released from a neuron to activate the muscle. This is how these medications reduce the aging process in the face by reduction the strength of the muscles of expression to prevent them from creating deep lines and wrinkles. There are no better mediations that can prevent aging like neuromoduators.
We’ll discuss their make-up, their efficacy, and their safety. By the end of this article not only will you have a deeper understanding of how neuromodulators work, you’ll likely be an expert!
The generic name for Botox is actually botulinum toxin. The “toxic” aspect of botulinum is only present at extremely high doses—ten or twelve times the amount injected intramuscularly for cosmetic purposes. Botulinum toxin type A, or Botox, is a protein created by certain types of bacteria. This protein acts in the manner described above and prevents certain neurotransmitters from passing between nerves and muscle receptors, causing a weakening of the muscle. In this way, Botox prevents the formation of wrinkles by relaxing the muscles which contract to cause them. These are called dynamic wrinkles and Botox is very skilled at eliminating these. Static wrinkles, or wrinkles which are present even when the face is at rest, can be eliminated using a combination of long-term Botox use and dermal fillers.
While ophthalmologists had been using the substance to treat eye muscle disorders prior, the cosmetic benefits of botulinum toxin were first researched in the late 80s. Jean and Alastair Carruthers, an ophthalmologist and dermatologist married couple from Vancouver, conducted a study in 1987 to determine whether botulinum toxin could be used to treat people with “eyebrow furrows.” Since then, botulinum toxin has been used to treat a host of muscular disorders and chronic conditions, such as migraine headaches. In 2002, only ten years after the findings of the Carruthers study were published, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved botulinum toxin type A for cosmetic use.
There are several types of botulinum toxin, aptly given the names “type A” through “type G.” Only types A and B are used for cosmetic or medical purposes. Type A can be used to treat crossed eyes, uncontrollable blinking, esophageal spasms, and to decrease sweating, in addition to its cosmetic purposes. Type B, however, is only used to treat certain muscular diseases.
Botox is incredibly safe. Though formulated using a toxin, Botox is no more harmful than saline. The toxin used for cosmetic purposes is purified by several processes. After it’s injected, the body begins to break down the substance. Within three to four months, the substance will have been swept out of the affected muscle, processed by the liver, and on its way out of the kidneys. Therefore, anyone who says Botox stays in the body for years and affects people’s health later down the line is likely ill-informed.
Botox, like any other injectable, must be placed by a professional. The stiff, unyielding appearance of Botox recipients perpetrated by the media is often the result of poor placement or overapplication of the substance. Botox can be applied quite subtly to smooth the skin and give a long-term appearance of youthfulness. Always consult an experienced professional when seeking to have Botox applied.
On the surface, there may seem to be little difference between Xeomin and Botox. Both are brand name versions of the botulinum toxin type A. Both are used for cosmetic purposes. Both substances begin as powder, to be dissolved into a solution, and must be reinjected at four to six month intervals. Therefore, what’s the true difference? Well, the difference lies in how these two substances are formulated and who they are best suited for.
Unlike Botox, Xeomin contains the “naked” form of botulinum toxin. Remember how we mentioned botulinum toxin is a type of protein? Well, Botox is formulated with non-toxin accessory proteins. These accessory proteins help stabilize the neurotoxin in shifting temperatures, pHs, and protect against degradation. Xeomin, on the other hand, does not contain any accessory proteins. The company which manufactures the drug takes special care to remove these proteins during the creation process. Instead, Xeomin is formulated using a composition which is inherently stable.
This lack of additives helps prevent the formation of antibody resistance. Sometimes, the body responds to the injection of botulinum toxin by creating antibodies which decrease the effectiveness of the substance. This can happen when someone has been receiving injections of Botox for a long period of time. As a work around, Xeomin offers botulinum toxin type A without proteins which may trigger the production of these antibodies. Thus, Xeomin is a wonderful option for those who have found Botox is no longer working optimally or who wish to avoid developing a negative antibody response to neuromodulators at all.
JAG Medical Cosmetics offers both Botox and Xeomin for the purpose of treating: wrinkles between the eyes and forehead, lines around the mouth, crow’s feet, gummy smiles, lip flips, nasal lines, neck lines, and more. Of course we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our services and availability of offerings. Feel free to reach out! If today’s article has you interested in what neuromodulators can do for you, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation. We’ll speak about the options available, your concerns, and make a plan for how to proceed. We look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for reading and be sure to check back in for more articles about the wonder of aesthetics!