Ever since I was in high school, my mother insisted I lather my face with anti-wrinkle moisturizing cream every night before bed and every morning to start my day. And bless her heart for instilling that habit in me, because you’re never too young to take care of your skin.
Despite taking preventive measures, the signs of aging will eventually appear. While some women choose to fight crow’s feet with Botox injections, there may come the day when women can fight wrinkles without the cost of Botox or the pain of needles.
Dr. Michael Kane, a plastic surgeon at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City has been working on a gel that works like Botox but can simply be applied to the surface of the face.
The gel is not yet approved or commercialized but has made it through the first two clinical trial phases of the Food and Drug Administration.
“Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to four months. Side effects can include pain at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids,” according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Similarly, the gel’s effects have been shown to last up to four months and contain the same ingredient used in Botox injections, the botulinum toxin.
In Dr. Kane’s initial study, almost 90 percent of patients who received the gel got what researchers called a “clinically meaningful” reduction in crow’s feet wrinkles.
In a second study involving 180 adults with crow’s feet, researchers found 40 percent of participants responded favorably to the gel.
While the gel won’t be able to match the effectiveness of Botox, the gel weakens and paralyzes muscles in the same manner. And while Botox injections can be painful, may leave bruises and are expensive, this gel would be pain-free. The difference is that Botox injections can precisely target certain muscles that need weakening.
The researchers noted that this gel is a drug, rather than a skin cream, and would only be applied by doctors at their offices.