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Needle-Free Wrinkle Treatment Works Like Botox

Study Shows Topical Gel May Help Reduce Wrinkles Around the Eyes

Wrinkle Relief Without Needles continued...

After four weeks, the doctor and the patient rated the results. Nearly 41% of those treated with the gel and carrier showed a good response. In the comparison groups combined the good response rate was just over 1%.

No serious side effects were reported, Kane says. Side effects were typically mild, such as redness of the skin.

He calls the results ''a noticeable improvement.''

Kane is a consultant for Revance Therapeutics. He also reports consultant work for Allergan, Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., and Merz, all of whom make wrinkle treatments.

On its company web site, Revance says it believes the new procedure could appeal to those ''who have considered treatment but are uncomfortable with the pain and bruising associated with injectables."

Besides Allergan's Botox, other cosmetic injectables include Dysport and Xeomin.

No head-to-head comparison has been made between the new Revance topical gel and injectables, according to Niquette Hunt, a Revance Therapeutics spokeswoman.

As it is not an approved drug, she says, "We have no comment on pricing."

How Does It Compare to Injected Botox?

The new option, if approved, is expected to appeal to patients wary of injections, says Marcel Daniels, MD, a plastic surgeon in Long Beach, Calif., who reviewed the study results for WebMD.  He was not involved in the study.

"There is a fair amount of the American public who is needle-phobic," he tells WebMD.

However, he awaits a head-to-head comparison of the injected toxin products and the gel form, to see if the results are comparable.

That head-to-head comparison will be crucial, says Daniels. "I think what this very preliminary study shows is, there seems to be some benefit to it," he says of the new gel.

The studies reported by Kane only looked at crow's feet, Daniels says. Crow's feet skin is very thin, he says. So it is not clear whether the gel would work as well in other areas, such as on frown lines on the thicker skin between the brows. That is a popular site for injectables, Daniels says.

Prospective patients will also want to know if it costs about the same as the injectables, he says.

He cautions, too, that the product, if approved, should only be applied by health care professionals who have a working knowledge of anatomy, so they can apply it in precisely the right area.

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