“Move aside, Botox. Alternative anti-aging treatments are currently in the spotlight,” proclaimed Dr. Shereene Idriss, a renowned dermatologist with an impressive Instagram following, during her appearance on “The Rachael Ray Show.” She discussed the rising popularity of “Botox alternatives,” specifically highlighting ultherapy and microneedling. The effectiveness of these treatments and their comparison to Botox were subjects of inquiry by Healthline, which sought insights from experts in the field.
Dr. Bradley Glodny, a dermatologist in New York City known for his comprehensive care in both general and cosmetic dermatology, explained that there are few alternatives to Botox that can truly replicate the effects of botulinum toxin on dynamic lines such as those on the forehead, mid-brow, and around the eyes. Glodny emphasized that achieving the remarkable effects of Botox requires diminishing or halting muscle contractions beneath the skin, which is akin to the mechanism of Botox treatments. Therefore, aside from competitors like Dysport, Jeuveau, Xeomin, and Daxxify, no other products on the market can achieve the same outcomes as Botox.
Nonetheless, Glodny acknowledged that treatments like ultherapy can still yield desired results in terms of skin laxity and firmness. He stated, “While ultherapy cannot replicate Botox’s effects, it can provide beneficial anti-aging outcomes. In certain areas, such as around the eyes, ultherapy can yield results reminiscent of Botox. There are instances where combining both Botox and ultherapy can maximize the overall results.”
Dr. Rahi, an integrative aesthetics doctor based in Beverly Hills who specializes in microneedling, affirmed its efficacy in addressing various skin concerns. She cautioned, however, that having realistic expectations is crucial. The outcomes of microneedling may vary depending on individual factors and the specific condition being treated.
To elaborate, ultherapy employs ultrasound technology to break down collagen deep within the skin, promoting its subsequent regeneration by the body. As a result, the skin becomes tighter and more youthful. While ultherapy can produce results similar to Botox, it is fundamentally distinct. Glodny further noted that ultherapy and Botox can be used synergistically to optimize outcomes.
Microneedling, on the other hand, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that involves creating microscopic punctures in the skin using a specialized device with fine needles. These controlled micro-injuries stimulate the body’s natural healing response, leading to the production of collagen and elastin, vital components of healthy skin. Glodny emphasized that microneedling primarily addresses surface-level concerns such as hyperpigmentation, pore size, and minor textural changes. It cannot deliver the same results as Botox in areas like the forehead, mid-brow, or crow’s feet, as stated by Glodny.
Regarding collagen’s role in microneedling, Dr. Rahi explained that collagen provides structural support, while elastin allows the skin to stretch and regain its shape. As individuals age, the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid decreases, leading to the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores. Microneedling addresses these signs of aging by stimulating the regeneration of these essential skin components.
Moving on to the procedural aspects, ultherapy is known to cause discomfort unless patients receive oral analgesics or other pain-relieving techniques prior to treatment. The cost can range from $2,000 to $5,000, but the recovery time is minimal since the technology is non-ablative. Results can last for several years due to the stimulation of the body’s collagen production, according to Glodny.