As we age, the repeated use of our underlying facial muscles and a decrease in the skin’s natural elasticity results in permanent creases or wrinkles. This can cause the face to appear older and may not reflect the inner youthful spirit. If you are unhappy with these facial wrinkles, creases or folds, then Wrinkle reducing injections may be for you. Such safe, highly effective and long lasting treatments aim to give you a softer more youthful appearance, so that you can look the age you feel.
Wrinkle reducing injections are diluted forms of Botulinum toxin. When given as small painless injections into the facial muscles it will block the signal from the nerve to the muscles causing it to relax. This relaxation of the underlying muscle will result in a softening and sometimes even a total elimination of facial lines.
Treatment is most effective in the upper third of the face, to treat lines around the eyes (crow’s feet), horizontal forehead lines and the vertical frown lines above the bridge of the nose.
This treatment is also used as an extremely efficient treatment in the under arm area and will stop excessive perspiration (hyperhydrosis).
You should not undergo treatment if you are pregnant or breast feeding or if you suffer from a neuro-muscular disease such as myasthenia gravis or multiple sclerosis. Patients taking asprin or blood thinning medication will be more prone to bruising at the injection site.
Successful therapy is signalled by muscle weakness that begins between two and ten days after injection. The main effect will be visible after seven days. This muscle weakness will last for up to 4 months for most people. To achieve the best result we inject to a level which does not cause complete freezing of the muscles but just relaxes them, giving a more youthful look to the overlying skin.
Yes, Botulinum toxin has a preventative effect when used repeatedly and will reduce the onset of wrinkles forming in the long term. This is partly due to the re-education of the facial muscles not to make expressions which result in wrinkling of the skin.
Re-injection is suggested every 3-4 months to keep the muscles relaxed and allow any wrinkles to completely smooth out. Once the area is smooth, patients are instructed to return for therapy only when they notice a return of muscle activity, which may not occur for as long as one year later.
Tension headaches and migraine for some patients have disappeared. This occurs in patients using the muscles of the forehead and brow during periods of stress and tension. When these muscles are relaxed this treatment, the headaches can improve.
The smallest needles are used and the injections are virtually painless. Anaesthetic cream can be used prior to injection if desired. It is advised not to use asprin, as this can increase the chance of bruising.
This is a remarkably safe treatment for wrinkles. Complications have been minor and only temporary. Small bruises may occur at the injection site and a brief pain or headache may follow. You may not notice any change in muscle activity until the tenth day after injection. The results are not immediate.
As with any sort of injection, there can be some bruising and minor swelling, although this is not severe and resolves within a few days. Very rarely the toxin reaches the upper eyelid muscle and this can result in a slight drooping. This is the most significant complication and occurs in less than 1% of all injections. This likelihood of this complication is reduced by proper placement and accurate dosage, as well as the patient keeping upright for 3-4 hours after injection. Special eye drops are available to reduce the drooping, if it occurs.
Do not massage the area of the injection. Do not lie down – keep upright for about 3-4 hours. Using the muscles intentionally will help to localise the toxin to the selected muscle.
Filling agents such as Restylane® may help to eliminate deeper expression lines.
Read more about dermal fillers
Lines will gradually return to their pre-treatment appearance. However, with repeated treatments over approximately 18 months, a change in the activity of these muscles can reduces lines more permanently.