November 8, 2015

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Written by Dr Kate Jameson

Am I too young for wrinkle relaxers? When should I start having anti-wrinkle treatment? Why should I have cosmetic treatments when I don’t have any wrinkles?

These are common questions I get asked by many of my clients in their 20s and 30s. They know of friends, family and colleagues who may have had treatments and have seen celebrities in magazines and social media displaying their results (Kylie Jenner’s lips are mentioned more times than I can count).

During a consultation many people will then go on to ask if I have ever had anti-wrinkle injections or lip fillers. I am very open and transparent and once they discover that yes, I have had wrinkle relaxing injections, I then hear the standard statements of ‘ Your too young for wrinkle relaxers or dermal fillers’,  ‘You look fine why would you need to change yourself’ and ‘What wrinkles?’

I have always had very prominent frown lines and forehead lines. Even when I was a child I noticed forehead lines which I now put down to having a larger forehead (thanks to my mum) and being very expressive when I speak. Like myself, many people have very hyperactive muscles in their face and will hence notice these lines forming at a much younger age.

Although I have obvious lines when speaking and making facial expressions I have not yet noticed any static lines.  I now attribute this to having regular treatments with wrinkle relaxers. My face is smooth and line free.

Even before I started in the aesthetics industry I knew of the benefits though a personal interest and lots of research, and had my first treatment about 5 years ago.

And guess what…no one notices. Not once has somebody asked if I have had any treatments. The photo BELOW is me 5 days post anti-wrinkle injections, still have my expressive brows and movement of my forehead muscle without looking frozen. Ta da.

I am in the age group where a lot of my friends and peers now notice their once dynamic and expressive facial lines are becoming more static. I get comments all the time along the lines of – “I’ve noticed my makeup collecting in the line between my eyes”, “my eyes look tired”, “I always look like I’m frowning or angry” etc

So this is where prevention comes into play…

Firstly, a quick run down on wrinkle relaxers or neurotoxins. These are injections into the muscle which work to prevent the release of a chemical messenger (Acetylcholine) who’s job it is it to transmit signals between nerve and muscle cells. So if this message is blocked the signal is not transmitted and the muscle cannot contract. The result is that the muscle remains relaxed and at rest until the effect of the neurotoxin wears off.

With these muscles of facial expression relaxed the dynamic lines are softened (or completely erased depending on patient preference), with the effect lasting 3-4 months. If these lines are softened and the muscle is not moving, they are unable to form into the more static lines and hence this acts as a preventative treatment.

This of course doesn’t take into account other causes of lines and wrinkles. The harsh Australian sun and years of tanning (and use of solarium’s) may have caused photo-damage to your skin which contributes to wrinkles in its own right. In addition, smoking, poor diet, rapid weight changes, genetic factors and unfortunately general ageing and gravity all play a role.

Although repeated treatments of wrinkle relaxer injections are needed, generally the intervals between treatments prolongs due to gradual muscle weakening from lack of use and eventually less product will be needed. So it’s a win/win situation; less treatments over time and more money in your pocket.

If we have a low risk, effective and non invasive option to slow down this process of wrinkle formation I say take it. Hello wrinkle relaxers. It’s a nice term isn’t it? My face is just taking a break and relaxing for a while so it can revive and rejuvenate itself.

So when do I start?

Start as early as possible when the wrinkles first start to appear. Usually the mid twenties marks this time but everyone is different.  Prevention is better than cure. Doctor’s orders.

Dr Kate x