Category Archives: Did You Know?

Botox May Prevent A Serious Heart Surgery Complication

Saving Lives with Botox

A couple of studies showed that Botox, that cosmetic compound that can reduce wrinkles and enhance lips has another very special use, a life-saving one.

From the SMG Arrhythmia Center at the Summit Medical Group in Short Hills, N.J., Botox injections were given during surgery to temporarily freeze nerve bundles in the heart, preventing the dangerous complication called, atrial fibrillation, or a-fib. Atrial Fibrillation is a common, often deadly, post- operative complication of heart surgery; it is linked to stroke and heart failure.

In the New Jersey study, 60 patients undergoing heart bypass surgery were randomly assigned to either Botox or an inactive placebo. All received implantable cardiac monitors that tracked occurrence of atrial fibrillation. Risk of a-fib dropped immediately after surgery in the Botox group, and fell fivefold to ninefold each year of the three-year follow-up. During follow-up, significantly fewer botox recipients were hospitalized for a-fib or needed treatment for it compared to the placebo group. In heart surgery, Botox appears to interrupt “cardiac neural traffic.”

In another study, at the Cardiomyopathy Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, 130 patients received an injection of either Botox or placebo while undergoing heart bypass surgery. Doctors injected botulinum toxin into fat pads surrounding the heart during cardiac surgery to reduce atrial fibrillation after the surgery. The reduction in a-fib risk was not significant in the botox group, but the episodes were shorter and less severe; may be due to the small size of the study.

The new studies are small but there’s the potential to develop effective and safe strategies to lower a-fib risk post-surgery. Additional studies involving larger numbers of patients are needed. The reports were recently published online in the journal Heart Rhythm.


The Go-To Place for Botox in Tacoma

Over at Botixue in Tacoma, we use the widely accepted and approved indications of Botox. However, it’s great to know that Botox may also be life-saving for heart surgery patients. See us at Botixue soon!

Rosacea and Botox: Red Face No More

Studies Bring Hope of Relief

Studies say that at least one in ten people suffer from Rosacea, a condition which manifest as red areas on the center of the face – forehead, cheeks, chin and nose.

What exactly is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a rather common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in the face. It’s persistent swelling and redness. Many may have swollen red bumps that can look like acne, and sometimes contain pus. It usually affects middle-aged women who have fair skin. More than half can have eye problems – irritation, dryness -and rarely large noses. It has no known cure but treatment consists of controlling the symptoms.

What causes Rosacea?

It is not known, but heredity and the environment may be factors. It is not due, though, to poor hygiene. Some conditions may exacerbate the redness by increasing the blood flow to the areas, such as alcohol, high temperatures, hot drinks and spicy foods, sometimes, emotions. Some treatments can minimize the symptoms – antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, creams – but they don’t work for all. Some claim that Botox can help.

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reports a study in India where botulinium toxin was able to significantly reduce facial redness in less than two weeks, and improvements lasted up to four months. Patients in the study were rosacea-infected, and researchers believed Botox targets compounds in the skin, which in turn stops blood vessels dilating. It may also block immune cells that are involved in the inflammatory response that worsens the condition.

There’s a second study, from the University of California, that found botulinum toxin was able to block immune cells called mast cells and prevent inflammation in rosacea patients. Mast cells play a key role in triggering compounds called cathelicidins, which are released by the immune system found at higher levels in patients with rosacea.

Some experts are glad for these relatively bigger studies that are demonstrating the positive effects of Botox on rosacea, however, anecdotal incidents have already been reported by doctors that the toxin can be used cosmetically to relieve symptoms. Patients may be reluctant to have multiple injections on their affected facial areas, but the long-lasting effects may be more convenient than other treatments.


Bright Future for Botox in Tacoma

While we may still need more studies to support Botox treatment for Rosacea, consider our facial treatments as your most reliable options for wrinkles. Look young again in Tacoma at Botixue.

A New Type of Botox Discovered

Different Types of Botox

Botulinum toxin type A, known commercially as Botox, has had a number of therapeutic applications over the past 20 years. It’s been used for treatment of migraines, overactive bladders, excessive sweating, and cardiac conditions. Botulinum toxin Type A, as we know, is a neurotoxic protein with the ability to remove wrinkles yet cause food poisoning. Derived from Clostridium botulinum and its relatives, this protein is often found in soil and untreated water.

This time a new source of the botulinum neurotoxin was discovered, the first time that an active botulinum toxin has been identified outside of Clostridium botulinum and its cluster. Canadian and American scientists found it in a strain of animal gut bacteria known as Enterococcus faecium.

This has implications in several fields, from emergence of new pathogens to the development of new protein to be used in therapeutics. The discovery came out of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and Harvard University and the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Originally, the study was about investigating why there is antibiotic resistance in Enterococcus faecium. The species can be both friendly and harmful. It can coexist with other bacteria in human and animal gut and can also be pathogenic, causing diseases such as neonatal meningitis or endocarditis. If disease-causing, the bacterium is very difficult to eradicate as it has capabilities to mutate, causing multidrug antibiotic resistance. It has its own genome sequencing or DNA sequencing that can make science better understand how it develops and maintains.

In this study, the researchers were able to sequence the genome of the E. faecium bacteria that came from cow feces, and when run through computer programs in the lab, they found the gene for botulinum toxin in the bacterial strain. It must have been likely transferred from C. botulinum bacteria in the environment into the E. faecium bacteria in the cow’s gut, showing that the toxin can be transferred between very different species. More studies are needed to expand the usage of this strain of botulinum toxin, now confirmed to be a powerful and versatile protein therapeutic, and there might be more versions of the toxin in nature.

Seeing More Applications of Botox in the Future

The Botox strain is indeed a powerful and versatile species, with still more undiscovered therapeutic benefits. The future looks bright for Botox and our staff at Botixue in Tacoma are just as excited about future developments.

New Study: Facial Surgical Scars No More

Botox Treatment After Facial Surgery?

If you are to undergo a reconstructive surgery of the face, it is not unusual to worry about possible facial scarring. If it happens, what are you to do? Comes now a welcome solution out of a clinical trial published in the issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The study claims that with botox or botulinum toxin A (BTX-A), the compound known as an anti-wrinkle treatment, can help improve the appearance of facial surgical scars.

According to ASPS statistics, Botox treatment is the most common cosmetic procedure in the US with about 7 million such procedures performed in 2016 alone. This new study may very well add to BTX-A’s many clinical applications beyond its cosmetic use in treating facial lines and wrinkles. This study shows that early post-surgical botulinum toxin injections can produce better, narrower, and flatter facial surgical scars.

The study is quite small. Over a four-month duration, 16 patients underwent facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Patients averaged 12 years of age for surgery of some type of disfiguring facial birthmark, such as a melanocytic nevus or port wine stain. In each patient, half of the facial scar was randomly assigned to treatment with BTX-A or inactive saline (placebo) solution, injected immediately at the end of surgery.

What role did BTX-A play in the process of scar formation?

Botox induced temporary muscular paralysis that decrease movement and stress around a healing wound, it was speculated. In the absence of tension, facial scars did not widen, and prevented hypertrophy and hyperpigmentation. Previous studies also have suggested that BTX-A might inhibit fibroblast and mediators involved in scar formation. While it’s good news, this study has its limitation and needs further conclusive research.

The Go-To Place for Botox in Tacoma

Over at Botixue in Tacoma, we use the widely accepted and approved indications of Botox. However, it’s great that another beneficial indication is in the works.

Botox-Treated Scalp Trend

Botox Injections to the Scalp?

Don’t women want to work out in the gym and still have their alluring, blown-out hair style on? Or don’t women want to keep their salon-treated blow dry hair for longer at the office without worrying that they have to blow dry again and again? According to Us Weekly, there’s this beauty trend that will keep your style longer. What is just needed are Botox injections to the scalp.

It’s called ‘Blotox’, a procedure that requires about 200 Botox injections carefully placed under the hair follicles. It will prevent nerve endings from connecting to the eccrine glands, the glands responsible for sweat. Hence, if you will not sweat, you will not ruin your blow dry.

While Botox has been FDA-approved for treating crow’s feet, forehead and frown lines, dermatologists and beauty experts have been using it off-label for years in various application places. When performed by board certified specialists, these off-label applications can be safe and effective procedures. And as with all Botox treatments, the results wear off in about six months. Keeping your scalp free of sweat for some indeterminate amount of time, you’ve got to maintain the treatments.

This can be a busy body’s or a working woman’s dream come true. In spite of the grueling hours at the gym or an 8-hour office job and a date afterwards, people will have to worry less about sweat. With Botox-treated scalp, even kinky or curly hair that’s been blow-dried will remain straight longer.

Injecting the needle 200 times into your scalp may sound painful, or at least daunting, but the effort will only leave a tingling sensation in a 20 minute or so procedure.
Of course there are other less expensive and less daunting alternatives to Blotox – such as shampooing less frequently or using dry shampoos. But if you’re for Blotox, you are saving more time and effort, if not money, looking great all the time.