WHAT ARE NEUROMODULATORS?
Neuromodulators are medications that relax and inhibit the normal functioning of the muscles. Originally used to treat medical conditions such as cervical dystonia (painful, involuntary contractions of the neck muscles) and blepharospasm (abnormal eyelid twitching), these chemicals were found to have aesthetic benefits as well. By relaxing the muscles in areas of the face where the skin is especially prone to wrinkling, such as the brow, eyes, and mouth, the appearance of deep wrinkles can be reduced. Additionally, as these muscles are relaxed and their normal movement inhibited, the formation of future wrinkles can be slowed and even prevented if treatments are repeated at regular intervals.
Neuromodulators are especially effective for individuals who are interested in:
- Wrinkle reduction and prevention: Neuromodulators target dynamic wrinkle formation by inhibiting the nerve impulses within the targeted muscle, reducing the contraction of the adjacent facial musclesand leading to smoother, revitalized skin. They also have the additional benefit of slowing down the aging process and preventing additional wrinkle formation by actually preventing the facial expressions that create dynamic wrinkles!
- Brow lift: Deep lines and wrinkles around the eyes, including parallel furrows between the eyebrows and crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes, are some of the most common areas of facial wrinkling. Neuromodulators are especially effective in treating and preventing the formation of these wrinkles by minimizing the repeated movement of the brow muscles, giving the brows a temporary “lift”.
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating): Neuromodulators can be highly effective for treating hyperhidrosis, an embarrassing condition involving excessive sweating in the face, underarms, hands, and feet. Neuromodulators disrupt the chemical signals that activate the sweat glands. Just one treatment can provide months of relief, and additional treatments can be repeated as necessary. Because hyperhidrosis is a medical condition, some insurance plans may cover the use of neuromodulators for this purpose.
The use of neuromodulators has become increasingly popular in the last decade, and hundreds of practitioners offer them as part of their aesthetic options. However, the improper administration of neuromodulators can lead to visible ripples, shiny skin, and an unnatural “frozen” appearance. It is crucial, therefore, that treatments involving neuromodulators be performed by experts with the appropriate medical training. Gentle Touch Aesthetics and Wellness in Los Gatos, CA is different than the typical med spas in just that respect. Our physicians personally oversee every neuromodulator treatment. Their medical experience and expertise will ensure that you are perfectly satisfied with your youthfully smooth skin and rejuvenated appearance!
Gentle Touch Aesthetics and Wellness is pleased to offer the three most popular forms of neuromodulators as potential treatment options. Each offers unique benefits, and Drs. Sarkis and Chen and their team of aesthetic medical providers will work with you to determine which one will work best for you, taking into consideration your unique aesthetic goals and your medical history and background.
- BOTOX®: Botox® is the most well-known neuromodulator, and for the past seven years the most popular non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatment in America, with approximately 6.3 million injections performed in 2013 alone! Botox contains Botulinum Toxin Type A, and has been shown to safely minimize the appearance of wrinkles by 80%.
- DYSPORT®: Although also composed of Botulinum Toxin Type A, Dysport® utilizes smaller molecules, which allows it to diffuse more easily through the targeted areas. Dysport® has also been shown to have slightly quicker results that other major neuromodulator brands, showing results in 2-5 days (as opposed to 5-7 days). In addition, after a few treatments in a given site, Dysport® seems to have greater staying power, thereby reducing the number of required treatments over a given period.
- XEOMIN®: The newest of the three major neuromodulators, Xeomin® (or incobotulinumtoxin A) blocks nerve activity in the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity. Unlike other brands, Xeomin® doesn’t contain any additional additives (i.e. preservatives), which translates to several important benefits. First, it is less likely to cause adverse allergic reactions. Second, patients are less likely to develop antibodies and become resistant to Xeomin®, reducing the chances of rejection and ensuring the effectiveness of additional treatments.
Injection treatments involving Botox®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® are simple, 10- to 20-minute procedures that will be performed in our office. They do not require any anesthetia or post-procedure downtime. Results wil be visible approximately 7-10 days after the initial treatment, and the skin-smoothing effects typically last 3-7 months (results can be extended with periodic maintenance injections). For patients seeking maximum facial rejuvenation, neuromodulators are often accompanied by the use of dermal fillers or other aesthetic treatments.