Introduction To Anti-wrinkle Injections (Wrinkle Relaxers)
As we age we begin to notice the formation of lines and wrinkles that occur with facial expression and movement, these are called dynamic lines. With the continued and repeated use of facial muscles combined with volume loss, loss of subcutaneous fat, changes to facial bones, and loss and damage to collagen and elastin within the skin these dynamic lines eventually form static lines which are present at rest.
Dynamic lines which occur with movement can be successfully treated with anti-wrinkle injections which effectively and safely results in ‘wrinkle relaxation’ in the area of concern. Wrinkle relaxing injections target the specific muscle group and work to temporarily reduce movement in the area resulting in less visible wrinkles.
Wrinkle relaxer injections are a highly purified toxin which is derived from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. They work by blocking the transmitting messages between nerve and muscle cells meaning muscle cells are unable to contract. With the resultant reduction in muscle contraction the appearance of existing wrinkles the lessened and the formation of new ones is prevented.
Injections of wrinkle relaxers are useful wherever there are dynamic lines or areas of overactive muscle. Areas that are treated include:
- Frown lines
- Forehead lines
- Crow’s feet / periorbital lines
- Bunny lines on the nose
- Dimpling of the chin
- Upper lip lines and corners of the mouth
- Widened or square jaw
- Platysmal or neck bands
- Gummy smile
Wrinkle injections can also be used in conjunction with dermal fillers in areas such as the lips, chin creases and marionette lines to prolong the effects.
The safety and effectiveness of wrinkle injections has been well established and supported by medical evidence with use spanning back to the 1970s. It has been used to treat a number of medical conditions since this time and use continues to grow. Some conditions include:
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) – Dr Kate also treats this condition
- Cervical dystonia
- Blepharospasm – uncontrollable blinking
- Strabismus – malaligned eyes
- Chronic migraine
- Overactive bladder
- Cerebral palsy
Anti-wrinkle injections have been used in cosmetic treatments since 1988. These medications can only be prescribed by a doctor.
frequently asked questions
+ WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT INVOLVE?
At Youth Lab a full consultation is required for every new patient. This will include clinical photography so your progress can be monitored, a skin assessment and a full facial assessment looking at your areas of concern and your expectations. You and the doctor will then tailor a treatment plan together for your individual needs.
The procedure generally lasts 10-15 minutes and involves the injection of small volumes of fluid into the target muscles using a very fine needle. The procedure is usually painless with some patient’s reporting a stinging sensation and discomfort which is easily reduced by applying an ice pack or numbing cream to the area before injecting.
Results become evident after a few days with the maximal effect at 2 weeks. A follow-up appointment is recommended to ensure you are satisfied with your results and to assess the need for any dose adjustments. This will ensure ongoing treatments are perfected with the right dose for your individual needs. No treatment will be performed prior to the 2 week follow-up.
+ HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT LAST?
Generally most people find the benefits of anti-wrinkle injections will last up to 3-4 months. After this time the muscles gradually return to their pre-injection state with the wrinkles returning, although many people state they still appear softer.
Repeated injections are recommended to maintain muscle relaxation and to prevent the formation of new wrinkles, which is why anti-wrinkle injections is the ideal ‘preventative’ treatment. With repeated treatments the effect is often longer lasting as the muscles weaken with time, this means longer intervals between treatments.
+ WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY TREATMENT?
Following treatment with anti-wrinkle injections normal activities can be resumed. You will be provided with full aftercare instructions. There are some general precautions that should be taken to reduce the risks of side effects and to obtain the best possible results
- Ice can be applied to reduce discomfort, swelling and bruising
- Do not rub or massage the affected area for 24 hours
- Do not lie down, or do strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours
See the full aftercare instructions here.
+ ARE WRINKLE RELAXERS SAFE?
Yes. These medications have been extensively researched for over 20 years with well established safety data.
With any medical procedure there are always risks involved and your doctor will discuss all risks and contraindications prior to performing any procedure.
Side effects are uncommon. Some possible after effects include:
- Mild headache or pain
Some more uncommon side effects include:
- Temporary dropping of the eyelids (ptosis) may occur. This occurs in less than 1% of patients and is temporary, generally lasts only 4 weeks.
- Dropping of the eyebrows or a heavy forehead
- Double vision in rare cases with treatment to the eyes
- Difficulty swallowing, whistling, speaking and asymmetrical smile – with certain mouth treatments
Wrinkle relaxing injections cannot be given in people with underlying neurological conditions such as Myasthena gravis and in pregnant or breastfeeding women.