(NaturalNews) Forget the clown-like appearance and other physical metamorphoses that the overuse of Botox has created on the mugs of some of Hollywood's famous faces. Now comes news that some women have used the treatments so often they are no longer working at all.
Costly Botox - short for botulism toxin - treatments have been used by millions to smooth out aging skin and hide wrinkles on foreheads and around the eyes (the dreaded "crows feet"). But those who have relied on it too heavily to hold off the natural effects of aging may be wasting their money because, researchers say, they are becoming immune to the injections, Britain's Daily Mail reports.
Scientists say the drug, which is a type of neurotoxin, "is failing to freeze the facial muscles of some patients as well as it did before, or for as long," the paper said.
Too many women, it seems, have no idea of the natural ways you can reduce the physical effects of aging, but I'll get into those in a moment.
When you inject a harmful foreign substance into your body...
According to researchers, not only are Botox treatments failing to provide the desired effects, many women are even developing antibodies to some forms of Botox treatment, resulting in a zero-net gain.
A review of the treatments by German researchers, the results of which were published in the Journal of Neural Transmission, found that one in 200 Botox users had developed antibodies which, over time, make the treatments much less effective (but no less expensive).
Reports the Mail:
Patients who needed larger doses - including those prescribed it for medical reasons to treat spasms or sweating - were more likely to stop responding, the research found.
Other scientists, writing in the British Medical Journal's online forum Open, revealed that repeated injections "can trigger an immune response...which might lead to non-responsiveness to treatment."
Dr. Kuldeep Minocha, of the Absolute Aesthetics Clinic, a specialist in facial injections of Botox, said he has begun to notice that some patients are developing an immunity to his treatments.
"With people who have been using Botox for 10 years or so," he told the Mail, "you can start to see a bit more resistance. The results can wear out a bit quicker because their body seems to get used to it and recognizes it as a foreign body, and it breaks down quicker."
Minocha also said while the those developing resistance to the treatment through the formation of antibodies remain well in the minority, true figures might be much higher because of the very small sample size of Botox recipients tested when their treatment failed.
Oxford University plastic surgery consultant Abhilash Jain told the paper that a great deal of people getting Botox treatments don't know they can become immune to it.
"I inform my patients they may not always get the same result following each injection because there are other factors that contribute to this," he said. "I also tell them about the small risk of antibody formation as part of the counseling process that I do."
Right now it's not known why some patients develop the antibodies and others don't, but it could be in the way the treatment is administered, say scientists. Patients could also be receiving the wrong dose, they say.
"It's similar to the way people become resistant to antibiotics," said Dr. Nick Lowe, a dermatologist consultant and the Cranley Clinic in London. "It may be due to any number of different mechanics by which the toxin works within the cells."
Ditch the Botox
Ultimately, though, subjecting your body to Botox treatments in the first place is unnecessarily dangerous, considering there are a number of natural ways to defy age:
Exercise your face. Daily facial lymphatic massage can significantly reduce the physical signs of aging, say experts, by smoothing wrinkles, reducing facial tension and dark circles under your eyes. "When used in conjunction with essential oils specifically beneficial to the lymphatic system, the skin is effectively detoxified and collagen production is encouraged," writes Natural News' Carolanne Wright.
Improve your diet. Health and dermatology experts know that diet can also affect how you look. According to Dr. Joel Shulman, five foods that can reduce wrinkles and defy age include omega-3 fatty acids, blueberries, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and fish oils.