Botox without Needles?
For over 100 years, doctors have been administering medications with needles. I can’t think of any single factor that patients of all ages hate about seeing the doctor that is worse than the fear of needles. Besides scaring patients, many health care workers are injured or infected from accidental needle sticks. There is nothing fun about needles!
There are hundreds of scientists and researchers constantly working on alternate medication delivery systems to get medications in the body without using needles. We have made good progress with numerous medications. Patients with chronic pain are able to get pain medication from patches applied to the skin and numerous other medications can be administered in this manner. I predict that in the future, we will even be able to provide general anesthesia without needles or tubes in ones throat.
A topical, non injectable form of Botox (botulinum toxin A) is impressing researchers and is in phase II clinical trials. Revance Therapeutics is a private company in Mountain View, California that has developed a gel that is mixed with the Botox or Dysport that allows large macromolecules to cross the skin and provide local and targeted treatment of the muscle that causes “crow’s feet” wrinkles. The company calls this technology TransMTS (macromolecule transport technology) and this technology is based on a single, straight-chain peptide that allows the skin to accept the medication instead of preventing absorption. To get a bit more technical, adding a peptide as a separate component to the neurotoxin allows the medication to cross the skin. The peptide is said to form an ionic bond with the toxin and the peptide also has a protein transduction domain (PTD) which allows the medication to penetrate the skin. The protein carrier featuring (PTD) holds on to the cell membrane and allows larger molecules to pass. Currently, there have been over 600 crow’s feet regions treated with this technology with impressive clinical results and without complications. Studies are also in place to use this topical application to the under arms for control of sweating.
No mention has been made of how long the treatment takes or how long it lasts and there will certainly be variables that effect results in given patients. In any event this new technology is very exciting and representative of what the future holds for painless application of medicines. This would be a very welcome addition in the cosmetic facial surgery arena.
To find out more about Dr. Niamtu and cosmetic facial surgery in Richmond, Virginia visit www.lovethatface.com
Joe Niamtu, III DMD
Cosmetic Facial Surgery