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Daniel Careaga, MD
Paul Durand, MD
Karl William Schwarz, MD

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Are Neurotoxins Toxic?

Posted November 30, 2020 in BOTOX® Cosmetic

3 Minute Read: 

A young women getting a BOTOX® Cosmetic injection with her plastic surgeon.BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® are universally known as “miracle cures” for unwanted wrinkles and lines around the eyes and brow (among other facial areas). However, most people don’t know that these injectable anti-aging treatments are made from botulinum toxin.

After hearing this, some people may wonder if these injectables are safe. After all, is it wise to inject a “toxin” into your face?

Fortunately, there is much more to this substance than the name implies, and for the individual wanting to smooth their facial creases, it is entirely safe.

How Is Botulinum Toxin Turned Into an Anti-wrinkle Neuromodulator?

There are several serotypes of botulinum toxin, and, unfortunately, some of these can have negative consequences if consumed. Botulinum toxin is produced by a type of anaerobic, gram-positive bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is found in soil, water, plants, and the intestines of some animals. 

Fortunately, only serotypes A and B are used for clinical purposes—and these strains have long been proven safe for injection.

Is Botulinum Toxin Safe?

Even though some botulinum toxin strains can cause a severe, life-threatening illness (botulism) when consumed accidentally, botulinum toxin injections are quite safe. 

The purified, minuscule doses of toxin are meticulously calculated in a lab, and medical professionals are trained to administer localized injections. This toxin isn’t even detectable in the bloodstream after procedures, making any potential danger nearly impossible.

How Is Botulinum Toxin Used?

BOTOX® and Dysport® are both injectable neurotoxins approved by the FDA. They work by temporarily blocking nerve impulses to targeted muscles.

How Do These Injectables Help Cosmetically?

Cosmetic injections like BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® are commonly used to target the forehead, between the eyebrows, areas around the eyes, and muscles around the nose and mouth. Neurotoxins relax facial muscles to reduce or eliminate wrinkles, including crow’s feet and frown lines.

Injections are almost painless. Slight redness and swelling may occur, but irritation , and skin looks smoother within two to three days. Clients can resume daily activities immediately after receiving injections, and the effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® injections last for three to six months.

What Are the Differences Between BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®?

Dysport® is more dilute than BOTOX® Cosmetic, so more units are required per treatment area. The Dysport® formula also has a smaller molecular structure, so it starts working faster and spreads across a larger area than BOTOX® Cosmetic. Dysport® is good for large treatment areas, while BOTOX® Cosmetic is usually better for small areas or thick muscles.

How Can These Injectables Help With Medical Concerns?

Neurotoxin injections are also used in clinical settings to treat various health issues. Dysport® and BOTOX® injections have been proven to reduce chronic migraines and relieve neck pain and abnormal head positioning due to muscle spasms in the neck.

BOTOX® injections are administered for a broader range of health conditions, including bladder dysfunction, lazy eye, twitching in muscles around the eyes, and muscle contractures caused by neurological conditions. Dysport® is also a potential therapy for these conditions, but BOTOX® is often used more because it was available first.

Interested in Learning More?

Contact the specialists at Careaga Plastic Surgery to find out more about injectable procedures or schedule an appointment. Call us at (305) 960-7511 or fill out our online contact form.


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