• Dr. Naureen Akhtar General Practitioner MBBS,MRCGP,DRCOG

Zinc as Botox Booster?

botox booster

Planning to get Botox? Do you want to extend the duration of Botox effect? You may consider taking a Botox booster.

In a clinical trial conducted by the Department of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, 77 participants received the zinc-phytase supplement, zinc only and lactulose placebo. In the study, researchers used a combination of Zinc citrate and phytase, an enzyme, to increase of the duration and effectiveness of Botulinum toxin injections.
Zinc is believed to be necessary for Botox to work as a neurotoxin. The enzyme phytase can help reduce the time it requires to metabolize the zinc in the body. When combined, the two may ‘boost’ Botox’s effect.

The researchers reported that this Botox booster made clinically significant improvements in some patients, especially those with blepharospasm that did not responded well to other treatments. However, it is still advisable to consult your doctor before using this supplement with Botox.

Results of the study revealed that 84 percent of the participants who received zinc-phytase supplement reported an increase in effect while 92 percent reported an increase in the duration effect. There’s no changes on duration or efficacy reported after receiving either the placebo or zinc supplement.

The researcher even evaluation the effects in the specific subgroups. Researchers discovered that participants 65 years and older reported an improvement in the efficacy of zinc-phytase supplement. The said ‘Botox booster’ increased the treatment efficacy in patients with eyelid spasms (benign essential blepharospasm) which is hard to treat, as well as the treatment duration of patients with hemifacial spasm (muscle spasm on one side of the face.

Zinc and Phytase Enzyme – the Botox Booster: How It Works

Botox is a popular treatment for various muscular disorders, sweating and facial wrinkles, however, the result is not permanent. Its effect eventually wear off. For some patients who depend on it or choose to get it on a regular basis, the longer the effect, the better.

Dr. Charles Soparkar, one of the authors of the study, noticed that some of his patients were not as receptive to Botox as others and he started to investigate. He thought that there may be a link between Zinc and Botox.

Botox booster

Soparkar told that all Botulinum toxins rely on zinc – metalloprotease, which means they need zinc to properly work. Up to 50 percent of the people are zinc deficient and so Dr. Soparkar started recommending zinc supplement combined with phytase enzyme, in the form of Zytaze, the drug. Sopakar prescribes it four to five days prior to the treatment.

Conclusion

The result of this study still need to be confirmed. Further studies will be necessary to find out the optimum dose and combination. However, it is possible to achieve similar effect by increasing the body’s level of zinc through your diet before having Botox therapy. Foods rich in zinc include beef, spinach, flax seed, shrimp, oysters and pumpkin seeds.

Different Types of Non-Surgical Lip Augmentation

Any procedure that enhances the aesthetic appearance of the lips, making them appear youthful, fuller and complete is known as lip augmentation or lip enhancement. There are a number of things you should know regarding this process and it is important that you understand these things before you get this cosmetic treatment.

What is Lip Augmentation?

Lip augmentation is a widely accepted cosmetic treatment for improving the beauty of the lips, making them plumper and fuller. Lip augmentation can be done through surgical or non-surgical process.

Under the non-surgical treatment, collagen and fat injections are two most common treatment process, where the collagen and fat are only absorbed by the lip tissue to provide successful results.

There is also lip plumper to enhance the appearance of lips without invasive procedure.

Different Types of Non-Surgical Lip Augmentation

You don’t need surgery to be beautiful. Most people get lip augmentation to achieve a soft-looking, fuller lips that look so natural and subtle. Some people seek to add definition and volume to a deflated or thin upper lip. Other people want to have a plumper lips, either to restore it or enhance the volume. Skin Hampshire precisely understand how lip fillers work and which one provide the best results for various concerns.

Below are the four types of non-surgical lip augmentation you can choose.

Lip Plumper. This provides a temporary effect, for at least 6 hours. It is applied on the lips to keep it looking attractive, plumper and fuller. Lip plumper works by increasing the blood supply on the lips. When the lips begins to hold higher blood quantity, the enhance level of blood makes the lips look complete or enhanced.

Injectable collagen. Liquid collagen is the most popular when it comes to increasing the size of the lips. The treatment could last for about 3 to 4 months. The downside with this procedure is that it is an animal-based method so it is important to undergo pre-treatment skin test to check for any allergic reactions before getting the procedure.

Injectable fat filler. This type of non-surgical procedure for lip augmentation utilize fat injections in the lips to make it look fuller. Injecting your own fat into your lips can increase the volume and make it look more attractive. Because the fat is harvested from your body, it has less side effects. This procedure last for 3 to 4 months too.

Hyaluronic acid filler. This types of non-surgical procedure offers less allergic reaction because the substance is naturally found in the body. Once injection, the filler shapes and supports the tissues of the lips. Hyaluronic acid filler causes less bruising and swelling and the bumps or lumps dissolve quickly.

Skincare Tip: Do’s and Don’ts When Using Moisturizer

using moisturizer

Using moisturizer is something that most women do but it is very important to make sure that you are reaping the most benefit out from it. The following are some expert tips when choosing and wearing moisturizer.

Do use moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Sunscreen is not only important for preserving the skin but wearing moisturizer with SPF saves time. This is a great way to combine skin hydration and SPF application in one swoop.

Do use a moisturizer designed for your skin type. Every skin is different and thus, every person has unique needs in terms of choosing skincare products. Since moisturizer is a staple in both day and night skincare regimen, we obviously wear it round the clock, 365 days a year. Therefore, it is important to wear one made exclusively for your type of skin – oily, dry, combination or normal.

If you have sensitive skin, do avoid moisturizer that contains synthetic fragrance. People with sensitive skin may react negatively to chemical and synthetic substances. Before you buy a moisturizer, check the ingredients on the label and if you see ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ listed, avoid it.

Don’t use a moisturizer with sunscreen at night. Sunscreen is used to protect your skin from being harmed by the harsh environment. Allow your skin to breathe and relax at night with a gentle, light moisturizer to aid your skin while in repair mode.

Do include the neck when applying moisturizer. The neck is an extension of your face and it also needs attention.

Do switch moisturizers every winter and summer. Your skin has the ability to maintain moisture correlated to the weather you are living in. If you are used to a humid place, you may have to use a light moisturizer. This concept also applies to the changing seasons. During summer, use a light moisturizer. During winter, cold air can dry out the skin so take care of it by applying a heavier coat.

Do apply moisturizer uniformly. If you are suffering from clogged pores near your ear and around your hairline, it may be caused by how you apply moisturizer. When you start using moisturizer at the middle of your face, massaging outwards, most of the moisturizers settle at the perimeter of your face. It may clog the pores and excess oil is produced and pimples appear. Be conscious on how you apply your moisturizer.

Don’t rely on moisturizer to hydrate your skin. If your skin feels dehydrated and it feels like you need more, consider the hydrating benefits of alcohol-free serums and toners. You may need them in your daily regiment to boost the effect of your moisturizer. Don’t forget to damp your skin before applying toner to enhance the hydration when moisturizer is applied.

The world of skincare is full of many amazing secrets. Follow these tips on using moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

The Benefits of Botox for Overactive Bladder

Botox for overactive bladder

Botox is not only for wrinkles and facial lines. In 2013, the FDA extended the indication of Botox to include overactive bladder (OAB).

About Overactive Bladder

Botox for overactive bladder

Overactive bladder is not a disease. It’s a collection of symptoms associated to the function of the bladder.

Sudden urge to urinate. A person with OAB experience an urgent, overwhelming, intense need to urinate. It is so sudden that you have trouble reaching the toilet in time.

Urinary frequency. Within 24 hours, you don’t have to pee for more than eight times. If you keep on going to the bathroom, you may have OAB.

Disturbed sleep. Overactive bladder may disturb your sleep, making you wake up two or more times every night to pee. This symptom is called nocturia.

Urine leakage. Leaking urine is a sure sign that there’s something wrong. Leakage can be minimal like a few drops or they can be more serious.

Botox for Overactive Bladder

Botox has been approved to address OAB symptoms such as leakage, frequency and urgency in adults when medications such as anticholinergic doesn’t work well or can’t be taken.

Botox for overactive bladder is a unique approach that target the root cause of OAB – the bladder muscle itself. If you are diagnosed with OAB, Botox can greatly help your OAB symptoms.

Botox for overactive bladder targets the bladder muscle and nerves by blocking the signals that cause OAB. Specific body chemicals travel from your nerves to your muscle cells to trigger contraction of your bladder so you can urinate. But with OAB, your bladder muscles contract uncontrollably so you frequently feel like you need to urinate.

Botox can help calm the nerves that cause OAB, helping you reduce leakage episodes, lessen the frequency of your urination and resolve the intense need to empty the bladder right away.

Based on clinical trials, patients noticed that at week 12, their daily leakage episodes reduced by 50 percent or more after the Botox for overactive bladder treatment. About 1 in 4 patients reported they were no leakage episodes anymore. In this trial, the Botox treatment offered improvement of symptoms for up to 6 months.

The Positive Impact of Botox for Overactive Bladder

By significantly lessening leakage, Botox treatment can provide positive impact on your life.

First, there is no need for overplanning every single detail of your activity beforehand. Having an overactive bladder often cause avoidance and limiting behaviour because of worrying on the bathroom location or limiting how much liquid to drink.

Second, a person may feel worried or embarrassed that the symptoms such as leakage might be noticed by other people. Thanks to Botox, you’ll feel confident to go out without worries.

Lastly, having an OAB makes you frustrated or preoccupied with how your condition affects your daily decisions like what to wear, where to go and how you feel on your general wellbeing.

Have Flawless Butt and Thighs with Dermal Filler for Cellulites

dermal filler for cellulites

Feeling frustrated with dimpled thighs? Can’t wear short skirts or two-piece swimwear due to cellulites? You are not alone because more than 90 percent of women have cellulite.

The challenge to eliminate cellulite has become a billion dollar industry. In fact, the market for products that claim to get rid of cellulite has skyrocketed by over 100 percent worldwide and there’s no sign of dipping.

Majority of cellulite products are ‘somehow’ ineffective. Recent studies on the skin structure confirms that cellulite isn’t a result of inflammation or toxic buildup, which is often claimed by markets. Cellulite, rather, is due to genes, hormones and body anatomy. It is the result of natural fat deposit pushed against connective tissue, causing a noticeable bumpy appearance. Although it is due to various factors, only fat reduction and dermal fillers for cellulites can lessen its appearance. Radiesse and Sculptra are the safe and effective fillers for moderate to severe cellulites on the thighs and butt.

Radiesse Dermal Filler for Cellulites

Radiesse is an injectable treatment that provides better benefits over other dermal fillers. It is clinically proven to offer longer-lasting results. It works by stimulating the skin’s natural collagen production, so the skin repairs itself on its own. This results in a gradual improvement of the appearance.

Radiesse is formulated from calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a natural substance present in healthy skin. Further, there is no required recovery period or downtime and the risk of allergic reaction is very low.

This dermal filler for cellulites is injected into the cellulite dimples, which causes the skin to look smoother and fuller. Results can be noticed immediately and may last up to two years. While Radiesse treatments cannot make the cellulite permanently disappear, it can significantly lessen its appearance with result that last far longer than the facial treatment. This makes dermal filler for cellulite treatment ideal during summer season, when people tend to wear short shorts and bikinis.

Sculptra Dermal Filler for Cellulites

For bigger cellulite dents, experts prefer to inject a person’s own fat. However, the problem with this technique is that you get 50-50 survival. Another option is to use Sculptra. Sculptra is a type of dermal filler that is more predictable compared to fat, although this product hasn’t been studied yet for lifting cellulite dents. However, many doctors still use this product for cellulite treatment.

The risk with using Sculptra is that it can cause lumpiness when overinjected. If the patient tries to lose weight, the cellulites will still be visible and be left with lumps where Sculptra was injected. To prevent this from happening, it is of utmost importance to seek a doctor with significant skills and experience in administering dermal fillers and other cosmetic injectables.

Botox for Chronic Refractory Low Back Pain

Botox for chronic refractory low back pain

Low back pain is one of the leading causes of physician’s visit in the UK, next to respiratory tract infection. It is a major health issue that challenges many physician, particularly since the withdrawal on a number of Cox 2 inhibitors from the market because of intolerable side effects.

Studies continue to prove the benefits of Botox treatment for muscle pain issues. Recently, it has been shown to provide a continuous reduction in refractory low back pain in more than 50 percent of patients.

Analgesic Functions of Botox

Numerous studies of human subjects had revealed that treating neck muscles with Botox can significantly decrease neck pain. Based on the data, here are the analgesic effects of Botox:

1. Reduce muscle spasm by blocking the release of acetylcholine from pre-synaptic vesicles.
2. Decrease release of pain neurotransmitter such as bradykinin and substance P from the dorsal root ganglia
3. Decrease release of sympathetic neurons or interrupt the action of sympathetic nervous system in maintaining chronic pain
4. Reduce muscle spindle discharge, which results to reduced central sensitization.

Studies on Botox for Chronic Refractory Low Back Pain

The following studies discuss the experience using Botox for chronic refractory low back pain. The two studies indicate pain relief in about 50 percent of patients who undergone treatment with this protocol.

A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted between 1998 and 2000 among 31 adult patients diagnosed with chronic, unilateral low back pain. Prior to the treatment, each patient was assessed for level of pain and the effect of activities of daily living on their pain using Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire (OLBPQ).

Result of the study indicate that at two months, 60 percent of the patients in the Botox group experience significant reduction of pain intensity compared to 18.8 percent in the placebo (saline) group. Activities of daily living also improved – 66 percent for the Botox group and 18.8 percent for the placebo. No side effects were reported.

The second study started in 2002. Seventy-five patients were assessed for chronic low back pain. After one month, 39 of the 75 patients had a significant response. Of the 39 who responded, 33 completed the 1 year follow up.

Conclusion

Treatment with Botox for chronic refractory low back pain has been shown to relieve in about half of the subjects. The side effects reported, which is flu-like symptom for 2 to 5 days, are mild and transient. The success of the two studies may be entirely due to effective methodology, covering the entire low back area and the use of adequate dose for each site to ensure maximal effect.

Currently, Botox for chronic refractory low back pain is off-label and is not approved by FDA. Because of the high cost of Botox, the approach should only be reserved for patients with refractory pain and must only be done by physicians with substantial experience and skin in using Botox for pain syndromes.

Botox for Knee Pain – An Effective Treatment for Injured Athletes

botox for knee pain

British researchers have discovered a new way to use Botox. People diagnosed with Lateral Patellofemoral Overload Syndrome (LPOS), a condition that affects the muscles of the knee and thigh. It commonly affects cyclists, runners and other athletes. Also called patellofemoral pain sydrome, it is often categorized as an overuse injury. But the more appropriate term is ‘overload’ since the condition can also affect inactive individuals.

Hills, steps and uneven terrain tend to aggravate patellofemoral pain. When LPOS develops, even prolonged sitting can already be painful due to the increase in pressure between the femur and patella during knee flexing.

Symptoms of LPOS include a sharp localized pain and inflammation, which prevents runners, cyclists and athlete from continuing as it takes several day to recover. Experts estimate that one in eight active men and one in five active women have the symptoms of LPOS in varying degree.

Current treatment methods include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, steroid injections and if all else fails, surgery. Still, despite all these treatment options, most patients reported reduced activity levels and persistent pain.

Knee pain can wreck even the most dedicated cyclist, making pedalling too painful especially on rough terrains or steep slopes. Although there are many holistic ways to alleviate knee pain, from getting a correct bike fit to stretching, medical treatment is still necessary.

Botox for Knee Pain

That is where Botox for knee pain comes in. Based on a recent study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 45 patients with classified LPOS who failed to recover from conventional therapy were administered with Dysport, a type of Botulinum toxin injection, along with physiotherapy. The researchers noted that the patients had overused tensor fascia muscle in the hips rather than the gluteal muscles at the buttocks.

Researchers found out the reason why physiotherapy was not effective in the past – when the patients were performing exercises intended to ease the pain by strengthening the glutes, the tensor fascia lata muscle was still compensating, which concludes that the exercises have minimal effect.

Subjects first done physiotherapy alone but failed. Next, researchers used Dysport in the hip muscle to relax the tensor fascia lata to push the glute muscles to work harder. The Dysport treatment was followed up with physiotherapy to further strengthen the butt muscles.

Most athletes who participated in the study had exhausted all treatment options and Botox for knee pain was their last resort. Of the patients treated, almost 70 percent remained free of pain for five years after the experiment.
Although the research is an exciting new development for riders suffering from knee pain, it is worth to note that getting proper bike fit, appropriate muscle balance and sufficient recovery time can help your knee pain in control before considering Botox for knee pain.

The Benefits of Botox on Groin Area

Botox on groin

Most people knew Botox as a drug that can eliminate wrinkles and facial lines to bring back youthful appearance. However, Botox can also help those suffering from excessive sweating, a condition known as hyperhidrosis.

Today, more and more people are getting Botox to control excessive sweating. Common areas include armpits, the palm of the hands, sole of the feet and even the scalp. And now, people are also getting Botox injections in their groin area too.

The groin area – the trough running from the hips where the genitals is situated, has folds that trap the belly skin and leg skin. This is the area where people, especially those obese, tend to trap a lot of moisture. The maker of Botox, Allergan, claims the toxin injection can block the nerve signals that stimulate sweat glands.

Excessive sweating in the groin area can cause problems, particularly if you are obese or overweight. People who are obese or overweight often have an overhang on the lower abdomen. For thin individuals, it is not an issue of concern since they would have less overhang of lower belly that can trap moisture or sweat.

Botox on Groin Area

Botox injections done for hyperhidrosis of the armpits is usually done between 4 to 6 months since that is how long Botox lasts. As for Botox on groin area, the coverage is about the same as the armpits. Discomfort that can experienced is minimal. In fact, it is more painful in the face than in groin area as the nerve density in the groin is less than on the face.

The injections of Botox on groin aren’t really big but they spread in multiple tiny injections. The reason for doing this is to fully cover the groin area. If you only inject one or two areas, it will be hard to disperse the medication.

As for the risks, the injections of Botox on groin area is very superficial. There should not be any risk as long as the person performing the procedure knows what he/she is doing. Also, the muscles in the groin area are huge, major muscles so the small amount of Botox administered in this area isn’t going to cause any harm.

One of the biggest benefits of Botox on groin area is that it can reduce the risk of developing fungal or yeast infections. Of course, Botox won’t prevent these infections because what it does is only reduce the wetness or moisture in that area. However, by reducing the moisture of the area and keeping the area drier, there is less chance yeast or fungi develop in the groin area.

9 Most Useful Summer Skincare Tips to Avoid Premature Aging and Skin Damage

premature aging

The heat of summer can be a harmful time for your skin. Too much sun exposure, which causes skin pigmentation, sunburn and skin dehydration, followed by skin-drying office air conditioning can be damaging to your delicate skin cells. Here are some summer skincare tips to keep your skin healthy and prevent premature aging.

Up your sunscreen. Use a fragrance-free and oil-free SPF all over your face and body. Never rely on your daily moisturizer, foundation or even BB cream for sun protection. Use a reliable sunscreen as high as SPF30 during cloudless sunny days.

Moisturize – always. There are times when we’re so busy, we miss out on our eye cream and moisturizer. Even if it’s summer, when the skin produce more sebum, your skin still needs moisture. However, switch to oil-free serums or creams.

Keep your skin cool. This is important, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you are suffering from eczema, rosacea or sensitive skin, keep your skin cool by placing your skincare inside the fridge and avoiding direct sunlight. Steer clear of steam baths and saunas as these can worsen your condition. Heat also causes skin dehydration, making eczema worse and sensitive skin more irritated.

Don’t forget the neck and chest. Your neck and décolletage are often ignored when it comes to skincare. Signs of early aging often appear first in this area without you realizing. As a rule of thumb, always treat your neck and cleavage as an extension of your face and continue application of product from the face to your chest, be it moisturizer, cleanser, toner, mask or exfoliant.

And your hands. Your hands, like your neck and décolletage, are age indicators, so try to apply a rich moisturizer and sunscreen every day and exfoliate a few times a week.

Exfoliate. No matter how much moisturizer you apply to your skin, it will never look radiant without getting rid of dead skin cells. Our skin shed every day, resulting in dull, dry-looking skin, especially when exposed to the sun. Buff away tired cells using rejuvenation treatments to stimulate skin regeneration, leaving skin soft and smooth.

Avoid scrubs with coarse granules. Avoid using body and facial scrubs with coarse granules since they can scratch your delicate skin. Rather, choose an exfoliant with fine silica granules or AHAs that will evenly exfoliate your skin.

Protect your lips. Your lips have no melanin, so they are particularly important to protect. Since they are prone to sun damage, invest on a lip balm that has SPF 15 or higher.

Amp up your antioxidants. Eating antioxidant rich foods can help reduce possible skin damage and premature aging and keep skin healthy. Inflammation is among the major causes of premature aging and skin damage. Eat lots of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acid and Vitamin C.

What Happens To Your Face as You Age – Facial Aging in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

facial aging

As you age, your skin begins to look and feel different. Apart from that, the actual shape of your face also changes. Find out more about facial aging changes in your 20s, 30s and 40s and what you can do to keep your skin healthy and radiant-looking.

Facial Aging Begins in Your 20s

When you head from being a teenager into young adulthood, you start to lose baby fat. Though the changes are subtle, you start to look more like a woman and less like a girl. You may not believe it but facial aging starts at this phase.

This is the time when very early signs of so-called motor wrinkles – the creases and facial lines related to movement – first appear. Also, if you spend most of your time squinting in front of a computer screen, you may also start to see ‘crow’s feet’ or the tiny lines around the eyes.

Young women should also watch for melasma – a brown hyperpigmentation that appears on the forehead and cheeks, caused by a combination of hormones, sun exposure and pregnancy.

What to Do?

To maintain your youthful glow, avoid the sun if possible and always use sunscreen when you’re outside. How you look in your 40s and beyond will reflect on what you do in your 20s. Applying sunscreen is key.

Start using moisturizers on a regular basis. Dermatologists recommend using retinol-based skin care products.

Facial Aging in Your 30s

This is the decade when you’ll notice your skin is less radiant and appears ‘tired’. You will start to notice deep crow’s feet including past sun damage that may aggravate the appearance of small brown spots. Be prepared for the dreaded 11’s – the parallel lines that emerge between your brows.

Both the 11’s and the nasolabial lines around your mouth will appear during this decade.

What to Do?

Experts suggest to increase usage of retinol products to three to four times a week. Also, this is the time you have to use moisturizers and sunscreens. Chemical peels can eliminate minor imperfections and maintain that ‘youthful glow’. To add, this is the decade to go after those wrinkles with Botox and dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane.

Keep in mind that the best way to make the most of the results and ensure safety is to look for a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

Facial Aging in Your 40s

When you reach 40, the facial lines and wrinkles become deeper. Lines around your upper lip – called the purse string muscle – start to appear. Since this area is prominent, it is highly prone to sun damage. If you skipped sunscreen on this area, you will see the aging lines here first.

Be prepared to see more lines and creases on your forehead, eyes plus a more noticeable smile lines.

What to Do?

Consider Botox and dermal fillers at this point if you haven’t tried it on your 30s. You also have to use stronger moisturizers and a night cream. Experts believe that when you sleep, your skin undergoes a natural healing process so skincare products intended for night use are absorbed better and may provide better results.