New research from Canada has provided solid support for one of the many medical uses for Botox: increasing pliability and “elastic recoil,” which mimics the look and feel of younger facial skin.
The study details
Researchers from the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto wanted to increase understanding of the effects of onabotulinum toxin A, popularly known as Botox, on the skin. They studied the effects of using Botox for faint wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes among 48 women, 43 of whom finished the study. The results of the study appeared earlier this year in the medical journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
Use of Botox resulted in “biomechanical changes” to the skin, including increased pliability and elastic recoil. The researchers were unsure exactly how the Botox injections changed the skin. After four months with no injections, the women’s improved skin reverted to its condition prior to treatment.
The researchers noted that the Botox injections caused changes to the patients’ skin that appeared to be the opposite of those typically associated with the aging process, inflammation and exposure to UV radiation.
More medical uses for Botox?
We’ve long known that Botox can essentially erase wrinkles, but the new Canadian study indicates more medical uses for Botox. Lead study author Dr. James Bonaparte, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa and a reconstructive surgeon, noted that “for some strange reason,” more elastin and collagen are present in the skin due to the Botox injections. The study’s abstract adds that understanding the effects of Botox may help doctors understand why repeated treatments result in “progressive reductions” in wrinkles.
Dr. Catherine P. Winslow of the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington also notes that further research is needed to increase understanding of biochemical effects of Botox on the skin. She said that new research, along with additional studies on collagen and elasticity of skin following Botox injections, will assist facial plastic surgeons with long-term strategies for anti-aging. It also will enable surgeons to better educate patients on the use of nonsurgical therapies for skin care, she said.