While patients who currently want the wrinkle smoothing effects of Botox must undergo the traditional injectable treatment, researchers are hoping to make progress in developing topical Botox. This would be a boon for patients who are needle-averse.
The injectable Botox, containing a form of botulinum toxin, works when it is injected into the muscle beneath a wrinkle. After injection, it limits contraction of the muscle and over a period of several days, the wrinkle begins to smooth out. The topical Botox in development contains many of the same components, but instead may be applied to crow’s feet, for example. After sitting on the skin for about half an hour, it is then wiped off.
Early results for this simple procedure have been quite good. According to researchers, nearly 90% of patients tested experienced a “clinically meaningful” reduction in wrinkles. Another study saw 40% of patients experiencing a favorable reduction in wrinkles, illustrating how the drug is still in development.
And it is just that—a drug. Rather than a cream that may be applied at home by patients, the topical Botox gel would need to be administered in a plastic surgeon’s office.
Though the results of this research are strictly preliminary, they may shed a little light on future wrinkle treatments and may alleviate the apprehension of the needle-averse.