Dr. Murad Alam, professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician, says, "Patients often leave getting their Botox to the last minute. If people get their botulinum toxin right before a social engagement or important work event, they may worry it won't start working in time. Speeding up the effects could be important to people."
would make Botox work faster. However, this conventional wisdom was questioned by some doctors and the practice fell out of favor.
As there have been no randomized clinical trials to address this disagreement, the current study was designed in the hope of finding an answer. Also, patients knowing that the benefit of facial exercise post Botox is now backed by scientific research would be an added advantage.
Benefits of Facial Exercise after Botox Treatment
- As part of the study, 22 adult women with forehead wrinkles were given Botox
- Half the women were instructed to exercise the treated facial muscles over four hours following the injections; the remaining did not exercise their facial muscles. The exercises included movements such as raising the forehead and scowling (i.e., knitting the brows) in sets of three repeated 40 times separated by 10 minutes.
- Six months later, once the treatments' effects had gone away, the volunteers were again treated. This time, the experiment was reversed, i.e. women who were asked to exercise on the previous occasion now avoided facial exercise, while the others did the above exercises
- Both the participants and treating doctors rated that forehead wrinkles were reduced better and faster (two to three days) when the Botox injections were followed by facial exercise compared to delayed effect (three to four days) without facial exercise
- At two weeks, there was no difference in Botox effect between women who exercised and those who did not
- There was also no difference in how long the effect of Botox lasted before wearing off between the two groups
- Majority of the women (68%) felt that facial exercise relaxed the muscles and reduced wrinkles faster
- More than half the women (59%) found these facial exercises very simple and easy to perform
Thus, the results suggest that facial exercise after botulinum toxin injections can reduce wrinkles and quicken Botox effect at least one day faster.
What is Botox?
BOTOX® is the commercial brand name of the toxin released by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum
. This toxin can cause paralysis of muscles, a condition known as botulism
, which occurs following consumption of food contaminated with the bacterium. However, scientists have found a way to use the toxin's paralyzing effect to advantage.
When diluted, small amounts of toxin are injected into certain muscles, this can relax the muscles and iron out wrinkles and creases on the face. Botox is popularly used to reduce forehead frown lines and crows' feet wrinkles, to give persons a wrinkle-free youthful appearance that lasts for several months. However, the effects of Botox injections take around three to four days to become evident.
The study has thus given scientific validation to the claim that facial exercise post Botox treatment reduces wrinkles faster.
To conclude with the remarks of Dr Alam, "Botox binds to receptors on nerve cells to relax muscles, and it is possible that exercise speeds this binding process," Alam said. "For patients who need quick results, the exercise may be worth the effort. Patients appreciate having more control over their care." Reference :
- Botulinum Toxin Injections - (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/8312-botulinum-toxin-injections)