What are anti-wrinkle injections and how do they work?
Anti-wrinkle injection’s, are composed of a natural, purified protein. When injected into specific facial muscles, these muscles are relaxed to reduce dynamic lines and create a younger, softer, and natural-looking appearance.Anti-wrinkle injections treat wrinkles caused by the contraction of facial muscles. They stop the muscle from contracting and forming wrinkles over time.It does not work immediately, you may notice some decreased movement in 2-4 days and it reaches maximum effect in 10-14 days. Usually lasts 3-4 months.
The most common facial areas treated with anti-wrinkle injections are:
Frown lines (between the eyebrows)
Crow’s feet (outer sides of eye region)
Forehead lines (horizontal lines)
Bunny lines (sides of the nose)
Lip lines (vertical lines around lips)
Mouth corners (to minimise down pulling of mouth corners)
Chin dimpling (to decrease dimpling effect of chin and soften the chin crease)
Gummy smile (to decrease the visibility of gums when smiling)
Bruxism (teeth grinding/jaw slimming)
Axillary Hyperhidrosis (underarm sweating)
Platysmal bands ( vertical neck bands )
What does the procedure involve?
Firstly you face is assessed and marked with a pencil. Then a number of small injections are placed in the marked areas. The procedure takes 10 to 15 minutes depending on how many areas are treated. The needles used are extremely fine, and well tolerated. I usually use ice to minimise discomfort and the possibility of bruising. You can also choose to have topical anaesthetic applied prior to the procedure, but you will need to attend 30 minutes before your appointment.
You can return to normal activities immediately. It is advised not to exercise, lie down, or touch the treated areas for 4 hours.
How long do they last?
The usual duration of is usually 3-4 months, sometimes longer. It depends on the dose and also how many treatments you have had. Generally after 3-4 regular treatments the duration is slightly longer, as the muscles treated are weaker and wrinkle lines are not as deep. If you decide to cease treatment, your muscles will return to normal and your wrinkles will return to their previous state.
What else are anti-wrinkle injections used for?
In Australia, they are used for a variety of medical and cosmetic conditions. They are used for children with Cerebral Palsy to help reduce spasticity and allow normal movement, Cervical Dystonia (neck muscle spasms), to reduce Spasms of the eyelid, Axillary Hyperhydrosis (underarm sweating), Muscle spasticity in adults, Migraines and cosmetic treatment for frown lines. New uses have been discovered and are under trials.
What are the possible side effects of anti-wrinkle injections?
The most common side effect is minor bruising, especially around the eyes. This can last 3-5 days and can be covered with makeup. Eyelid Ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid) is very rare. It can result from a very small amount diffusing to the upper eyelid. If it occurs it is only temporary and resolves in 1-4 weeks. Brow Ptosis (Slight drooping of outer eyebrow) can occur when the forehead is treated. This can be avoided or minimised by keeping the dose low and not injecting certain areas.
You may need to come back for a few more units to make minor corrections or have a higher dose in a particular area, if the desired effect is not achieved.
I believe it is always better to start with less on your first treatment.