Athletes may need extra botox

Why sweating can make the drug less effective

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Fit folks may need to get Botox more often than others to keep wrinkles at bay, according to some dermatologists.

“While this hasn't been proven scientifically, I have seen some patients who are athletes have their neurotoxins and fillers wear off faster,” says Zakia Rahman, M.D., clinical associate professor of dermatology at Stanford University. It probably comes down to the increase in insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) that follows exercise. Botulinum toxins (such as the name brand Botox) work by preventing nerves from releasing a specific neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which in turn prevents certain facial muscles from working and wrinkles from forming. Over time, the nerve ending makes new nerve sprouts, helping bring back muscle function, which is why you have to get Botox regularly to keep up the effect. Since IGF1 has been shown to increase these nerve sprouts, that means people who work out a lot grow this nerve junction quicker, which may be why the toxin wears off at a more rapid rate, Rahman explains.
New Botulinum toxins that last twice as long are being developed, but they still have to go through FDA approval, Rahman says.