If a youthful, smiling face projects that winning look in next year’s midterm elections, then expect a number of political wannabes, and some reelectionists as well, to view their friendly cosmetic surgeon as their Santa and ask for that gift of skin-deep youth this Christmas. And most certainly, Botox would be among the most sought-after of presents.
But Botox, a trade name for a specific botulinum toxin that acts to paralyze muscles, isn’t as easy to administer as it seems. Only trained physicians are allowed to handle and apply Botox, and only FDA-approved Type A botulinum toxin products can be used.
Jonna Lacanilao, group product manager for Allergan Medical Aesthetics and Neurosciences, explained, “In this way, patients can expect effective, predictable and safe outcomes, which may help boost their inner confidence for their campaign.”
Lacanilao spoke recently at a Makati press conference held by Allergan marking the 10th global anniversary of Botox since it received approval from the US FDA “to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows in patients aged 18 to 65 years.”
Citing doctor-patient confidentiality agreements, Lacanilao wouldn’t reveal the names of famous personalities and political figures who have undergone Botox treatments.
“Trained doctors are under a confidentiality agreement with patients, and Allergan doesn’t have this data. However, we see a trend that undergoing botulinum toxin treatments is now becoming more and more acceptable in the Filipino culture,” noted Lacanilao.
Secret beauty regimen
She added that some individuals preferred to keep their beauty regimen a secret, “while others gladly, and even boastfully share them with their friends. Nowadays, well-adept physicians and patients agree on having a ‘natural, youthful look’ as an endpoint of botulinum toxin treatment.”
Lacanilao added that in celebration of a decade of Botox, Allergan is commemorating its global legacy of making people beautiful through Botox, with support of healthcare practitioners from the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and the Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons (Papras). This endeavor aims to further educate the public on the importance of seeking skilled doctors and insisting on using only FDA-approved botulinum toxin formulations such as Botox to ensure safe and effective outcomes.
Inquirer Science asked the worst-case scenarios of a botched botulinum toxin treatment and how these could be undone. Lacanilao began by clarifying that “setting clear expectations and treatment planning between physicians and patients is key to ensure aesthetic goals are met.”
She further explained: “Botched effects of botulinum toxin injections may be due to improper dosing or injection techniques. Adverse events from a botulinum toxin injection may be minimized by using Philippine FDA-approved products such as Botox and consulting a trained and expert physician. Botulinum Toxin Type A (with the trade name Botox) is one of the most studied botulinum toxins in the market, and Allergan Healthcare Philippines Inc. has more than 20 years of experience worldwide.”
She added that patients experiencing side effects must consult their trained physician for prompt recovery and appropriate correction.
Botox, she revealed, “may also serve as a preventive treatment, to soften dynamic lines, and inevitably delay or prevent deep static lines to form.”
“There are no alternatives to botulinum toxin injections. For total facial rejuvenation or beautification, combination therapy with topical creams, laser and filler treatments are frequently suggested by physicians. All these have different modes of action, and address different concerns. Botulinum toxin injections soften dynamic wrinkles, while topical creams and filler, laser and light sources, depending on their active ingredients and wavelengths, respectively, address fine wrinkles, tighten skin, contour the face, and take care of dyspigmentation on the skin.”
A Botox procedure would normally just take around 10 minutes. The duration of its effect depends on the brand of botulinum toxin used. Clinical trials have shown that Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox) lasts for four months, if done correctly, and with the proper dosing. Patients are advised to go back to their doctors for maintenance if they want to sustain its effects.
Four months? Just enough time between now and the 2013 elections for candidates to make their sweetest pitches, put their best foot forward, and come out in multimedia looking their youthful best.