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Neuromodulator’s stop muscles from contracting. They had other uses long before they were put into service fighting wrinkles. In the early 2000’s, neuromodulators were approved by the FDA for cosmetic use for moderate to severe frown lines, and lines between the eyebrows. Neuromodulators are now established in correcting the forehead, glabellar (the 11’s), and crow’s feet around the eyes.
If you’re not familiar with how neuromodulators do their magic, here’s a quick primer.
Neuromodulators are made from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that causes botulism. A few decades back, doctors discovered that when delivered in very small amounts this toxin could temporarily paralyze a muscle. It does this by blocking the signals from the muscle’s nerves to the brain. Because the brain does not receive the message, it doesn’t contract the muscle. The botulinum toxin type A has even proven effective at treating migraine headaches and excessive underarm sweating.
But it was not until it was tried on facial wrinkles that the toxin became famous. When we perform common behaviors such as frowning or squinting, certain muscles contract and form wrinkles on the surface above. Over time those wrinkles can become more permanent due to these repeated contractions. Neuromodulators stop the muscles from contracting, so the wrinkles on the surface don’t form or are far less apparent.
How long do neuromodulators take to start working?
Five to seven days after injection to fully take effect.
How long do neuromodulators last?
Neuromodulators work their wrinkle-eliminating magic for three to six months. Different people absorb the now-inactive toxin at different rates, explaining the spread in the length of effectiveness. Once the body completely absorbs the toxin, wrinkles will start to form again.
What different neuromodulators are currently available?
How to Choose the right provider?
Neuromodulator injection is currently the top nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the United States. That means there are a lot of clinics out there. It’s up to you to choose the right one. When selecting a provider for neuromodulator treatment, give your decision the same level of care and scrutiny that you would for a surgical procedure. Neuromodulator injection is still a medical procedure that requires specific training, knowledge and skill to ensure safe treatment and natural-looking results.
The best way to start is to limit your provider search to board-certified plastic surgeon. These physicians are experts in facial anatomy, and their training is not limited to a weekend course, as is the case for many other types of physicians or non-physician injectors.
It is important to feel comfortable with your provider. Read online reviews to get a take on a doctor’s bedside manner. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, schedule a consultation to see if the doctor’s philosophy aligns with yours. Remember, It’s your face, your budget, and your decision. If you feel pressured by a provider, walk away — and fast. Finding a physician who listens to your concerns and desires is key. Your doctor should be your collaborator in helping you achieve your goals, not dictate your goals.