While millions of Americans continue to enjoy their Botox fix to get rid of wrinkles and freshen up their looks, a number of Botox alternatives may soon become available and offer more options.
Clinical trials of treatments such as PurTox, Reloxin and Belotero are underway which means there may be more affordable and even more effective treatments available for the mainstream market.
Belotero has already received approval for use in Europe and has reached Phase III of clinical trials in the United States. This injectable also helps to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, smooths out the skin and promises few side effects. Results are expected to last between 4 to 9 months, which means patients can enjoy fewer touch up treatments over the course of the year.
Tina Alster, M.D., Director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington and clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center explains that having more options for wrinkle removal and several alternatives to Botox helps both the patient and the surgeon.
She states that; "competition allows us to raise the bar and also enables practitioners to fine-tune the treatment plan for different individals...the more products you have available, the better, because you're treating a wide variety of body sites, skin types and skin conditions. It's not just that we're plumping wrinkles." (Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times)
Belotero works in a similar way as Botox, relaxing and paralyzing the facial muscles so that wrinkles become less noticeable, and as long as the patient keeps up with treatments, prevents the formation of future wrinkles.
If the injectable proves satisfactory in the Phase III trials, it may be marketed with the status of FDA approval and will be monitored extensively as consumers begin to use it. If any adverse effects are reported during this period, the drug would be pulled from the market. So far, adverse effects of Belotero have been infections of the injection site. However, this may be prevented with the right equipment and protocol.