A new dermal injectable is about to enter the market as a viable alternative to BOTOX® Cosmetic. Like Botox, it works by “freezing” the facial muscles so that they can't produce wrinkles. But cryotechnology, as its makers call it, is toxin-free.
The new injectable is currently awaiting FDA testing and approval. If it passes, Botox and Dysport may have a worthy competitor. Both injectables work by delivering a solution to facial muscles that paralyze the muscle, releasing wrinkle-causing muscle contractions for up to six months. Botox and Dysport are incredibly effective, but some people are turned off by them because they contain a toxin, Botulinum type A. It's the same kind of toxin that causes food poisoning and wound infection. Of course, Botox and Dysport use tiny amounts of Botulinum that haven't proven to cause any toxin-related symptoms.
Cryotechnology utilizes a completely natural phenomenon to smooth out wrinkles: cold. The cold is inserted into nerves via cryoprobes, which temporarily freezes the nerve. The frozen nerve can no longer send out its signals, which lead the facial muscles to relaxation. Although the cold wears off quickly, the nerve maintains a semi-permanent degree of damage. As long as the signal is interrupted, the wrinkles will remain “frozen.”
Francis Palmer of the University of Southern California's medical school is taking part in a study of cryotechnology. He said that while cryotechnology would be a potential alternative to Botox, it was by no means a replacement.
Researchers are still fine-tuning the technique, which is why a patented name hasn't been released yet. According to Palmer, it will probably be released in Europe before making its way stateside. The research showed results that are very comparable to Botox, with effects lasting between three and four months. But unlike Botox, the cryotechnology procedure involves local anesthesia to numb the pain during the process. Still, the entire procedure only takes about fifteen minutes. The effects of the injection kick in immediately afterward, whereas Botox takes a couple of days for the full results to show.
A recent study concluded that the most common side effects of cryotechnology were headaches and redness at the injection site. Allergic reactions are virtually impossible, as the active ingredient is simply a low temperature.
"Botox and Dysport are very easy, very quick, the patient satisfaction profile is great and there are very few side effects," said Dr. Brian Zelickson, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota. "It's a high bar to leap over, but there are some people that don't like the concept of injecting Botulinum toxin into their bodies. If there were a procedure that could be done, that doesn't inject any chemical into the system and could yield the same results for the same duration, there is a market for that.”
As for now, Botox remains the number one non-surgical procedure in the United States, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). If you'd like to learn more about Botox and its alternative options or wish to schedule an appointment with a skincare specialist in your area, contact us today!