What Are Neuromodulators Like Botox And How Do They Work?

BOTOX®, Dysport®, Daxxify®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin® block acetylcholine, the nerve transmitter that causes muscles to contract. Injecting a neuromodulator into a muscle reduces or stops these movements, thereby relaxing the muscle. In 2002, the FDA approved BOTOX for cosmetic purposes.

These neuromodulators are approved to reduce crow’s feet around the eyes, soften frown lines between the eyebrows, and relax lines in the forehead. Unapproved off-label uses of these neuromodulators include relaxing lines around the lips, nose, and mouth, on the neck and jaw, and for treatment of acne scarring.

Find Out The Different Applications Of These Neuromodulators

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a registered brand-name neuromodulator that is produced from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Small controlled amounts of the neuromodulator have been shown to have significant positive effects on conditions like uncontrolled blinking, extreme sweating, migraine headaches, and lazy eye.

Acne Scarring Correction

If you have pockmarks or facial scarring left from acne breakouts of your teenage years, there are a range of laser resurfacing treatments available to improve your appearance. However, one of the least invasive alternatives is the use of injectables like BOTOX®, Dysport®, Daxxify®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin®. Pockmarks may be caused by muscle movement in the face that stretches the scar and makes it more noticeable. This regimen works best with skin rejuvenation modalities like Morpheus.

By injecting a neuromodulator into the area in tiny increments where muscle contractions pull on the acne scar, the tension and stress on the scar reduces, making it less visible. This treatment has been shown to minimize both the bumpiness and the width of scars, and may be a great option in combination with other treatments to increase collagen production and diminish or eliminate the scarring.

Gummy Smile

Does your smile show too much gum? This is what is referred to as a gummy smile (excessive gingival display); if it makes you feel uncomfortable and uneasy about smiling, there is something you can do about it.  According to dentists and cosmetic surgeons, the ideal smile has the upper lip drape over the top of the upper teeth with little to no gum showing. Some people with aggressively gummy smiles show more gums, and their lips may thin during a smile.

A gummy smile can be of skeletal, dentoalveolar, or soft tissue origin. While the first two causes may need to be treated with dental surgery, one relatively simple solution is the use of a neuromodulator like BOTOX®, Dysport®, Daxxify®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin®. Injections into the hyperactive muscles relax the lip so that it does not raise as much when you smile. It is a simple procedure but, as with other uses of BOTOX®, it lasts for only three to four months.

Jaw Reduction (AKA Masseter BOTOX or Jawtox)

One of the strongest muscles in the face is the masseter muscle of the jaw, which is used for chewing. For people who chew or grind their teeth excessively, this muscle can grow in size. This may make the jaw look larger and more square-shaped. By injecting a neuromodulator directly into the masseter muscle on each side of the jaw, the muscle will relax and, over time, reduce in size. 

This will slim the face and create a V-like appearance in the jawline. As with any reduction of muscle, it will take two to three weeks to see the effect of the treatment. The application of BOTOX®, Dysport®, Daxxify®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin® can last from four to six months before needing to be repeated. The beautiful thing about Jawtox or Masseter BOTOX is that not only does it give a V-like appearance of the jawline, it also reduces clenching and tooth grinding. 

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Saggy Neck (Nefertiti Lift)

Whether it’s aging or genetics that makes you feel subconscious about your “heavy neck” and lack of jaw definition, there are different corrective options available. One is a procedure known as the Nefertiti Lift. Nefertiti was a queen of Egypt in the 14th century and was well known for her distinct and elegant jawline and smooth neck. The Nefertiti Lift uses either BOTOX®, Dysport®, Daxxify®, Jeuveau®, or Xeomin® injections. 

The injections are made along the lower jaw and down the patient’s neck, and target the platysma muscle. When this muscle contracts, it pulls down on the tissues of the lower face, reducing jaw definition and producing the look of sagging skin on the neck. By relaxing the platysma muscle,  the downward pull is lessened, which can create the appearance of a snatched, lifted, and tighter jaw and neckline.

The result is a closer appearance to the elegant jaw and neck of Queen Nefertiti. The Nefertiti Snatched Jaw is most effective with patients who do not have excess fat along the jawline or loose and folding skin on the neck. As with other botulinum treatments, the patients should expect to repeat it three or four times per year to maintain the effect.

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Arranging A Consultation

The most important step in preparing for neuromodulator treatment is deciding on the right doctor to perform it. The Spiegel Center team members are award-winning, highly qualified, and experienced medical professionals who would be happy to tell you more about the use of neuromodulators and their benefits. Contact our office in Newton, Massachusetts, today to schedule your consultation.

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