Botox reigns supreme as one of the most popular anti-aging treatments out there, but what happens when it stops working? This phenomenon is known as Botox resistance and it can be frustrating for those who have come to rely on the treatment to maintain their youthful appearance. While Botox is highly effective for the majority of people treatment does stop working as effectively for some over time. In this post, we’ll explore the reasons why Botox resistance occurs and what can be done to address it.
First, it’s important to understand how Botox works. Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin that is injected into the muscles that cause wrinkles. It works by blocking the signals between the nerves and the muscles, which prevents the muscles from contracting. This causes wrinkles to relax and soften. Botox typically works for several months before your body eventually metabolizes it and the effects wear off.
WHAT IS BOTOX RESISTANCE?
Botox resistance occurs when the body becomes immune to its effects, which can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons this occurs is that the body can begin producing antibodies that neutralize Botox before it has a chance to work. When this happens Botox is unable to bind to the nerve endings in the muscles allowing the muscles, and the wrinkles, to remain active. This is more likely to happen in people who receive frequent or high doses of Botox, as their immune systems may become sensitized to the toxin.
Additionally, some people metabolize Botox more quickly than others and some may simply have a genetic predisposition to Botox resistance. This is rare, but it can happen in individuals who have naturally high levels of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that Botox blocks.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ADDRESS BOTOX RESISTANCE?
The first step is to try to determine the cause of the resistance. If it is due to the development of antibodies, the best course of action may be to simply try a different type of toxin. There are currently several types of neurotoxins available in the United States: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and the newest and longest-lasting addition, Daxxify. Switching to a different type of toxin may be all you need to overcome resistance.
Another option for addressing Botox resistance is to simply take a break from it which can possibly help overcome resistance in time. You could also try combining Botox with other anti-aging treatments. For example, combining it with dermal fillers or laser treatments may provide better results than using Botox alone.
Finally, if Botox resistance is due to faster metabolization or a genetic predisposition, there may not be much that can be done to address it. In this case, alternative anti-aging treatments can be considered.
Fortunately, Botox resistance is relatively uncommon and most people will continue to see the benefits of the treatment for many years. However, if you do experience resistance, we invite you to talk to one of our experienced nurse injectors, Darcy or Brigid, to learn more about your options.
Botox resistance can be frustrating for those who rely on the treatment to maintain their youthful appearance. Fortunately, there are options available to address it. If you feel you are experiencing Botox resistance, call us to set up a consultation at the Polyclinic Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Center in Seattle. We’d love to help you figure out the best solution! 206.860.5582.