Resistance to anti-wrinkle treatments is real and here’s what you need to know

It’s been over 20 years since anti-wrinkle injections joined the arsenal of beauty weapons to keep age at bay. Australians are spending a staggering $1 billion on cosmetic treatments each year and botulinum toxin A is still the most popular anti ageing procedure.

Recent research by Merz Aesthetics has uncovered that certain individuals are actually developing resistance to their regular treatment and if you’re one of the 13.9% developing anti-bodies against botulinum toxin,  and of course if you want to pre-empt the possibility of developing resistance, you will want to know there are options.

Dr. Niamh Corduff is an Australian Plastic Surgeon based in Geelong, wand a member of the council of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. She was the ASAPS president from 2008-2010. Dr Corduff as a high interest in the science of botulinum toxin for cosmetic and medical use.

She shared with us her expert take on the very real topic of resistance and what it means for her patients.

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“Anti wrinkle injections have become rapidly more popular over the last 20 years and it is a rapidly growing market.  The issue of resistance was initially recognised in the first batch of anti-wrinkle treatments used for medical indications and it was reformulated to reduce the amount of unnecessary protein in the vial which did reduce the amount of resistance.

All the formulations in Australia are excellent and work the same in relaxing the target muscle (after all, they all come from the same strain of bacteria) but there is a difference when it comes to avoiding the development of resistance as some formulations are less likely to stimulate the immune system than others.  We are only now becoming aware of this problem in aesthetics as more and more patients are having treatments and in much larger doses, as they are treating more than just the frown.”

The message here is ask. You have a choice and a right to know what product and brand your doctor or practitioner is using.

Of course, the other important element is how to extend the life of every treatment so that you can reduce the frequency of injections and keep the dose consistent. Dr Corduff offers these tips:

“Initially after the injection taking things quietly till the next day is what we generally recommend.  Theoretically increased blood flow by getting hot and bothered may spread some of the toxin.  Also avoid massaging the area so it stays where we have put it.  Otherwise good skin care is important when managing wrinkles and certainly the anti-wrinkle effect will be much better with good skin.”

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