Botox is extremely popular in the United States as a fast, relatively painless non-surgical way to reduce wrinkles and bring back a youthful appearance. However, the kicker is the word relatively: Botox must be injected, which means needles. Nobody really likes them, and some people might even forego the treatment out of fear of needles.
But what if Botox could be applied directly to the skin, needle free? That’s what the California company Revance hopes to achieve; they are currently developing a drug that could become true, blue Topical Botox.
Mind you, the product isn’t on the market yet, but it’s still generating waves through cosmetic surgery circles. The medication, known by it’s clinical name RT001, derives from Botulinum Toxin Type A, just like Botox. However, unlike Botox, the medication is applied topically to the skin, and is absorbed by the muscles underneath, then wiped off.
Initial trials are providing positive results. A 2009 trial cites “significantly improved” Lateral Canthal Lines (aka: Crow’s Feet), and follow-up research yielded similar results, through 11 clinical trials and over 550 participants.
There are critics, however, who suggest that, while the medicine works, it doesn’t work as effectively as injected Botox. Even if that proves to be true, the medication could still prove useful in treating relatively difficult areas to inject, such as the Lateral Canthal Lines. Also, it would be useful in treating patients who require multiple injections to treat excessive sweating and, naturally, it’d be ideal for people who fear needles.
RT001 would still need a qualified professional to apply it, so don’t expect to buy topical Botulinum for home use. And since it’s still undergoing trials, it could be a while before you see it anywhere. But once it hits the market, it’s sure to make waves.