Sept. 21, 2011 -- Wrinkle relief for those whose fear of needles outweighs their vanity may be on the horizon.
A topical gel containing botulinum toxin type A -- the same toxin as that used in injected Botox -- helped reduce moderate to severe crow's feet wrinkling around the eyes, according to two preliminary studies.
"The gel contains botulinum toxin type A and a peptide carrier, which is what helps the botulinum toxin gel penetrate the skin," says researcher Michael Kane, MD, a New York City plastic surgeon.
In two studies including 270 patients with mild to severe crow's feet, ''we found good effectiveness," he says. At the four-week mark, 89% of the patients in one study had some improvement in wrinkles around the eyes, he says.
He is due to present the results at Plastic Surgery 11, the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Denver on Saturday.
The research was a phase II study. Phase III research is needed before seeking FDA approval. The research was funded by Revance Therapeutics, which makes the gel.
Wrinkle Relief Without Needles
Kane applied the topical gel around the eye area to reduce the crow's feet wrinkles. It is meant to reduce wrinkles by penetrating the skin and relaxing the underlying muscles.
"There is an applicator used to apply the gel to the area," Kane says. "The gel sits on the area for 30 minutes. Then it is wiped off and the patient walks out."
In one study, he assigned 90 patients to get either the new gel treatment or a placebo gel treatment.
After four weeks, both the patient and the doctor rated the results. They used a five-point scale.
Nearly 89% of the patients who got the active gel had at least a one-point or more improvement, compared to nearly 28% who got the inactive placebo. About 45% of those treated with the active gel had at least a two-point improvement or more on the five-point scale, Kane says. None in the comparison group had a two-point or more improvement.
In a second study, 180 patients were assigned to one of four groups:
- Treatment with the botulinum toxin gel in the carrier system that helps it penetrate
- The carrier alone
- The gel alone
- Placebo gel