Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Preventive, Cumulative Effects of Botulinum Toxin Type A in Facial Aesthetics

Humphrey, Shannon MD*,†; Jacky, Birgitte PhD; Gallagher, Conor J. PhD§

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001404
Original Article

BACKGROUND Botulinum toxin Type A (BoNTA) is the gold standard for the treatment of dynamic rhytides in the face. Recently, clinical observation suggests that individuals who receive regular injections of BoNTA experience ongoing wrinkle reduction and improvements in overall skin quality not observed in those treated sporadically.

OBJECTIVE To review scientific evidence of qualitative changes in the skin and the possibility of indirect or direct effects on fibroblasts affecting fibroblast activity, including collagen production, after repeated treatment with BoNTA.

MATERIALS AND METHODS We examined the literature for supporting evidence of the effect of repeated treatment cycles on wrinkle reduction and skin quality; histological changes in collagen structure; alterations in biomechanical features of the skin; and potential fibroblastic response.

RESULTS Apparent cumulative improvement on wrinkle reduction and additional skin quality attributes with regular BoNTA treatments suggests an ongoing process of dermal repair. Clinical observation suggests that BoNTA injections stimulate collagen production and lead to a reorganization of the collagen network within the extracellular matrix, which in turn may produce improvements in features associated with more youthful skin. Moreover, evidence suggests that BoNTA may have a direct or indirect effect on fibroblast activity.

CONCLUSION Clinical observation of progressive wrinkle reduction and qualitative improvements in a number of skin attributes that accumulate with more frequent injections of BoNTA suggest an ongoing process of repair leading to prolonged and cumulative effects.

*Carruthers & Humphrey Cosmetic Dermatology, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;

Department of Dermatology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;

Research and External Scientific Innovation, Allergan plc, Irvine, California;

§Medical Affairs, Allergan plc, Irvine, California

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Shannon Humphrey, MD, Carruthers & Humphrey Cosmetic Dermatology, University of British Columbia, 943 W Broadway #820, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4E1, Canada, or e-mail:

Editorial Assistance paid for by Allergan. S. Humphrey is a speaker, consultant and investigator for Allergan, Revance, Galderma, Merz, and Evolus. The remaining authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2017 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
You currently do not have access to this article

To access this article:

Note: If your society membership provides full-access, you may need to login on your society website