Behold, The Holy Grail of Wrinkle Creams: A Topical Botox

You think Apple’s new 4G iPhone is hot?

I was at a coffee bar in Redwood City yesterday, minding my own business when I found a tube of medication. Someone had accidently left a tube of topical Botox at the bar. Was this a plant? Is this the real prototype or just a fake? What should DermodoDoc do? I just had to blog on it.

Botulinum toxin is the most common cosmetic treatment with millions of patients injected every year. Brand names like Botox and Dysport are injectable drugs that cause temporary paralysis of the muscles in your face smoothing wrinkles, sometimes dramatically.

Injected botulinum toxin is also a good treatment for excess sweating in your underarms or on your hands, which is called hyperhidrosis. The toxin blocks the signals that turn on sweating thereby preventing you from sweating.

Up to now, the only way to use Botox has been to inject it. That may change. There is a topical botulinum toxin gel being developed. If the toxin could penetrate the skin, then  it could work without having to be injected, which is a good thing since there are people out there who really don’t like needles. Topical botulinum toxin would likely be most effective in places where the skin is thin, such as the underarms. Getting enough medication to penetrate your forehead might be difficult. How effective it will be for treating wrinkles is yet to be seen.

We will have to wait to see when the product is finally released. Until then, I’m waiting for Steve Jobs to call me personally to ask for his Botox back. It must be his, right?

Photo: Izaeus |Argazkiak, flickr

20 thoughts on “Behold, The Holy Grail of Wrinkle Creams: A Topical Botox”

  1. Interesting! Of all people to find a tube of topical botox, you did. Must be sign of something (whatever it may be). Will you test it to see if it actually works? maybe not on the face but some other areas?

  2. Redwood City? are you no longer in So Cal?

  3. 🙂

    This post is a riff on the “Lost and Found iPhone” storyline last week. Someone found the prototype 4G iPhone at a bar in Redwood City and then Gizmodo blogged about it. Apple people like me followed the story like lemmings. Here is the USA Today report of the story:

    I didn’t actually find a tube of Botox, but a topical botulinum toxin gel is a real medication that, like the new iPhone, should be available sometime soon. I’m still in San Diego, CA.

    And Steve Jobs hasn’t called me. Yet.

  4. I don’t understand why people get botox. Though I heard it’s good for migraines and I can see doing it for that. But for wrinkles? Just get a face lift or learn to deal with them.

  5. Actually it is better for wrinkles than for migraines. I don’t think anyone needs Botox. For people who are able to afford treatment and want to lessen their wrinkles, it’s better than surgery in many cases. Wrinkles are not simply too much loose skin; surgery cannot fix dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet nearly as well as botulinum toxin injections.

  6. Topical Botox scares me more than the injectible type for a couple of reasons. I’ve heard stories of people getting their hands on Retin-A and spreading gobs of it all over their face and waking up to peeling and burning (or worse). Imagine the trouble people could get into with topical Botox.

  7. @Dr. Benabio

    See, there’s another thing I can’t understand. Crows feet, on men at least, are sexy! Same with a touch of grey in the hair. Just SO HOT! I can see doing something for massive wrinkles. But not the tiny ones.

    I guess it bothers me in a way because this stuff was developed to help people with uncontrollable muscle spasms. I have nothing against plastic surgery – if I could afford it there’s tons of procedures I’d have done including looking to reduce the appearance of my scars from acne, ingrown hairs, and mole removal. But geez, don’t inject a poison in your face for some crows feet!

  8. Fun read!

    I too am in a watch and wait mode for topical Botox. Botox placement is critical; put Botox in the right spot and get the expected result, put it in the wrong spot and-oops. Crows feet are a great example of a tricky spot. The skin is thin there and the cream may be able to get through it, but you wouldn’t want the muscles in the orbit that move the eyes or work the eyelids paralyzed.

    Cynthia Bailey MD

  9. Hello Dr. Benabio,

    I work for a cosmetic dermatologist in the Bay Area who wanted to attend your “Building Your Practice with Social Media” course this Thursday but will be unable to because of something that came up with her young daughter. I’m sorry to have to get a hold of you this way but I haven’t had much luck getting an office phone number or office email address from SDEF or the web. She was wondering if there’s any way to get the information via email, phone, or even if you could just guide us to a helpful website.

    Thank you for your time in advance.


    @Dr. Benabio

  10. For more than 15 years, specialists have used Botox treatments to control involuntary facial movements such as Benign Essential Blepharospasm (Uncontrollable eyelid twitch, made worse by stress) and Hemifacial Spasm.

  11. The effects of Botox last only three to six months. Botox can be injected into specific muscles to temporarily relax them resulting in an inability to wrinkle the skin overlying the treated muscle. Botox for wrinkles is only helpful for dynamic wrinkles, also known as “wrinkles in motion”. It is not as effective on static wrinkles, “wrinkles at rest,” but prolonged use of Botox help prevent wrinkles in motion from becoming wrinkles at rest.

  12. I have heard that Botox is incredible for excess sweating and we have had customers tell us that it in turns help to eliminate body odor. THis is because the body odor is caused by excess bacteria that grows better in moist conditions.

  13. Like many people I’ve tried various creams that claim to have the botox effect but have yet to find one that delivers even 1/100th of the results. Why look for alternatives when there is already a product that delivers.

  14. There some ways to manage crow’s feet can be a bit too expensive for some. So for those who are tight on their budget but want to lose those lines, natural methods of eliminating them are also available and though it will take some time, positive effects can also be achieved.

  15. I can’t wait for topical Botox! I will be standing in line to get this stuff. Botox works but the needles are icky! I will admit, however, that I get less headaches since I started getting Botox treatments.

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