Please remember that botulinum toxin products are for professional use only and are only sold to certified injectors, plastic surgeons, and specialized clinics. Independent unprofessional use of the product may harm your health. No self-treatment allowed.
The patients often ask about the difference in effect and quality between Korean botox products and American Botox. In this article, we explain this difference, with a brief review of the Korean and American botox markets.
What is Botox Effect
Botox is the abbreviation for botulinum toxin, the toxic product of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It affects the nervous system and blocks signal transmission by synapses. As a result, the muscles relax.
The small botulinum toxin doses are used as treatment due to their spasmolytic effect. For example, this toxin is effective against migraines, overactive bladder, or muscle spasms. However, botulinum toxin products are extraordinarily popular in aesthetic cosmetology.
Used for underskin injections, neurotoxin paralyzes small facial muscles. As a result, the muscles cannot move actively, and while they stay calm, the skin at the injection zone becomes smoother, and wrinkles disappear. These injections are in demand among patients who want to improve their appearance and look younger.
Botulinum toxin injections can be used not only for the face, but also for the neck, hands, and even knees. With time, the body tissues utilize the toxin, and face muscles renew the activity. The wrinkles appear again and the procedure can be repeated. However, it is necessary to make a break between the procedures to avoid the cumulative effect.
Botox™ is a registered trademark for the first FDA-approved botulinum toxin product on the beauty market. However, without a trademark symbol, this abbreviation can be used for all botulinum toxin products.
How Does Botox Affect the Overall Health of Skin
The long-term effect of regular botox injections on the skin is a frequently asked question to certified injectors. There is a popular myth supported by some TV series that botulinum toxin has a cumulative effect. However, the study shows there are no signs of cumulative effect for botulinum toxin.
Another long-term effect that the patients often discuss is the resistance to botulinum toxin. Some patients can develop immunity to botulinum toxin or metabolize it very quickly. The result of botox injections is underwhelming or short-term. This form of resistance can be fixed with a long break between the injections, no less than 5-6 years.
Other effects are minor because botox does not affect the skin directly. When the body tissues metabolize botulinum toxin, the muscles restore the moveability, and the wrinkles return. This is the only botox effect for overall skin health.
Ways of Using Botox
We discuss botulinum toxin mostly as a skin wrinkles treatment. However, other symptoms and conditions can be treated with it.
The clinical reasons for migraines can be different but botulinum toxin can help in severe episodes. It blocks the nerves and the signals of pain that goes to the brain. While approximately every tenth individual on the Earth suffers from migraines, it is a prospective direction for botulinum toxin treatment. In the USA. Botox™ is FDA-approved for migraine treatment.
Overactive bladder is a condition of uncontrolled urination because of bladder muscle spasms. Due to its antispasmodic effect, botulinum toxin can relax these muscles and return control of the urination process. However, neurotoxin removes the symptoms but it does not treat a reason, so it should not be used solely.
Hyperhidrosis is the excessive sweetness, especially in the underarms, that causes mental and physical discomfort. Botulinum toxin effectively blocks the nerve that stimulates the sweet production if injected directly into underarms for 6-9 months.
Blepharospasm is the involuntary eye muscle contraction that causes eye twitching and crossed eyes. Due to its spasmolytic effect, botulinum toxin is effective against both symptoms. Warning: botox can be used only for patients 12+ years.
Abnormal Muscle Spasms
Non-controllable abnormal increase in muscle contraction can be a symptom of many medical conditions, like cervical dystonia or multiple sclerosis. Botulinum toxin does not treat the main condition, but it decreases spasticity and gives some relief to a patient.
Also, Botox injections were explored for treating depression, male sexual dysfunction, gynecological issues, joint dysfunction, and other conditions, but there is no proven effect of botulinum toxin for these conditions.
American Vs Korean Botox
When the patients start collecting information about botox injections, they often notice the price difference between American and Korean products. American products are more expensive, and the price for comparable products can be up to two times higher. All other parameters can be the same except for the country of production. For many patients, the lower price means lower quality, but this is not true.
Both American and Korean manufacturers use botulinum toxin, the same active substance. There are several types of toxins and new types are occasionally found. So, only A and B types are allowed for commercial use.
The effectiveness of American and Korean botulinum toxins is identical. Practitioners do not report the significant difference that cannot be explained by the individual reaction. Moreover, the clinical trials reported no significant difference between American and Korean botox in the treatment of essential blepharospasm. The effectiveness was 90.3% for Korean and 86.0% for American drugs.
However, the certified injectors should be aware that many Korean products are not FDA-certified. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration certification is a costly time-consuming procedure because of strong requirements for product safety. So, many Korean producers decide not to get into this process and stay aside from the U.S. market.
Moreover, the same producer can sell one product under different brand names for a different market. Thus, Daewoong Pharmaceuticals, one of the three largest botox producers in South Korea, offer the same product as Nabota in Korea and as JEUVEAU® in the United States. The difference is the packaging and the price.
If you are in the United States, make sure the product you use has FDA certification to avoid possible legal consequences. Other countries also follow local regulations choosing between American and Korean botox. If you use famous brands’ products, they are equally safe and effective.
Botox in Korean Beauty Industry
South Korea is one of the leading countries in the global beauty market because of the combination of the newest technologies, Korean traditional recipes, and effective marketing. Skincare products obtain at least the third part of the Korean beauty market by sales volume. An important part of skin care is anti-age procedures, including botox injections.
Botox trends in Korea
Accent on the Skin
After the Covid pandemic the beauty industry switched to natural beauty, smooth and shiny skin is a must. So, with or without treatment, a face should look young. Of course, it stimulates the use of botox injections.
Also, modern Korean culture is known for K-pop: Korean popular music, usually by boys’ bands. Many music stars use anti-age procedures, as well as their fans. So, the use of botulinum toxin among males is equal to the use among female patients.
Is Korean Botox Safe?
There are three main Korean suppliers of botulinum toxin products: Medytox, Hugel, and Daewoong Pharmaceuticals. The authentic products of these three suppliers are maximally safe.
Moreover, Korean botox products are known for their high quality and extra purity. If you use the Korean botulinum toxin from a reliable producer, you do not expect extraordinary side effects. However, be aware of no-name products or fake products. Buy Korean botox online from reliable e-shops.
Features of Korean Botox Products
As we mentioned above, clinical trials show that Korean botox products are identical to American ones. However, three main features differentiate Korean botox products on the market.
South Korea appears at the epicenter of the Asian technological boom. As the result, the country adopted numerous modern technologies in many industries. The Korean beauty industry is proud of its modern technological background, so they claim its products are of the highest quality.
Due to the lower production costs and lower salaries in South Korea, the production price of Korean botox products is lower. On the market, it can make half of the identical American botox products.
Long Lasting Effect
Korean manufacturers declare their products have a long-lasting effect. Really, during the recent decade, the effect of standard botox injections increased by 1\3 – for example, from 4 months to 6 at the same face zone and with the same product. However, critical trials see no difference between the effect duration for Korean and American botox products.
Three Most Famous Manufacturers and Brands of Korean Botox
Only three brand names occupy 90% of the Korean botox market.
Meditoxin® and other products of Medytox occupy 40% of the Korean botox market.
Top-second Korean botox brand Botulax successfully competes on the global market.
Nabota is a sister brand for FDA-approved JEUVEAU®, the same product under different brand names. One of the market leaders in both countries.
Botox in American Beauty Industry
The American beauty market is the most influential in the world, with revenues surpassing 100 billion dollars in 2022, and approximately one-fifth of it is a skincare segment. However, the major part of the market is occupied by large transnational corporations. Many products on the American market originate from Europe and other countries because all producers want to be present in Northern America.
The Botox market in the United States is worth 4.4 billion. Over 7.4 million Americans received botox treatment in 2022. There are plenty of products on the botox market in the USA, but the absolute leader is Botox™, the oldest and the most popular brand.
Botox Trends in the USA
American patients want to plan the expenses for beauty procedures in their budgets. So, they ask their injectors for a long-term treatment plan, including botox treatment for all zones, repetitive injections, and other beauty procedures.
Healthcare in the United States is toughly regulated by the government. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic, many small and middle businesses appeared at the edge of bankruptcy. Federal and local governments review regulations to make them more flexible, especially for the beauty business.
Is American Botox Safe?
All botox products that are officially available on the American market, including the original Botox™, are FDA-certified, despite the country of origin. It means these products are extremely safe because FDA certification requires clinical trials and high production standards. So, by using authentic products by Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin, you are safe.
Features of American Botox Products
As we mentioned above, all injection drugs in the United States are tested and approved by specialized FDA-controlled labs. Any doubt about its quality, and the drug cannot get a certification.
In the United States, a patient can easily claim a lawsuit against the producer if the product does not meet its description. So, the effective length for American products is usually 4-6 months, which is the maximum possible for now.
Four Most Famous Manufacturers and Brands of American Botox
There are four FDA-approved brands on the American market: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau. The oldest, Botox, is a purely American product, while Dysport and Xeomin have European origin, and Jeuveau is a Korean product.
Botox injections can be used for some medical conditions’ treatment, but most people use them to smooth facial wrinkles and improve appearance. Small doses of Botox have only minor side effects and can be considered a safe treatment.
However, the misuse of Botox can result in severe consequences. So, Botox and other botulinum toxin products should be used by licensed injectors only. Self-treatment is forbidden. Also, in the U.S. territory, it is allowed to use only FDA-certified products
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Yoon JS, Kim JC, Lee SY. Double-blind, randomized, comparative study of Meditoxin versus Botox in the treatment of essential blepharospasm. Korean J Ophthalmol. 2009 Sep;23(3):137-41. doi: 10.3341/kjo.2009.23.3.137. Epub 2009 Sep 8.