Wrinkle Relaxing Injections
Lines and wrinkles develop on areas of the face over time and can give an aged appearance to our skin. Wrinkle relaxing injections are an approved and effective method of safely and temporarily smoothing wrinkles and furrows in the skin, to gently erase these obvious signs of ageing and to restore a more refreshed, relaxed appearance.
It is easy to confuse which areas of the face are treated with Botox and which are treated with Dermal Fillers – the first image on this page should help understand which type of injection should be used for which types of wrinkles
Wrinkle relaxing injections use the very simple process of rebalancing facial expression muscles. By using wrinkle relaxing injections of botulinum toxin type A, carefully placed to achieve a balanced natural look, excellent results can be produced.
What is Botox?
Botox® is the trade name given to the purified protein Botulinum Toxin type A. It is a prescription-only medication made synthetically and was originally used to treat nerve disorders. The cosmetic effects were, like many discoveries in medicine, discovered quite by chance. Patients who had been treated for blepharospasm (an involuntary spasm of the muscle surrounding the eye) noticed how much less wrinkled and more awake they appeared after Botulinum toxin treatment for their disorder.
Botulinum toxin has now become licensed to treat patients for cosmetic procedures, principally the reduction in facial lines, especially frown lines between the eyes, “crow’s feet” at the edges of the eyes, and forehead lines.
The use of Wrinkle relaxing injections and dermal fillers is on the increase. Many people, who now use these treatments in their routine grooming and maintenance regime, were initially hesitant to try them.
The reason lies in being able to see the difference they can make. No amount of detox, dieting or exercise will remove frown lines ingrained from years of concentrating.
The purpose of facial rejuvenation is to reflect what is felt inside and, with the resultant positive feedback, the improvement in appearance reinforces that feeling. You will feel better about the way you look and the effect of this on your day-to-day life can be enormous.
How do wrinkle relaxing injections work?
As we get older, the amount of collagen in our skin decreases and, with repeated action of underlying muscles, wrinkles form. Wrinkle relaxing injections work by temporarily stopping transmission of the nerve impulses to these muscles by blocking the release of the chemical neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This causes the injected muscle to relax which, in turn, stops the formation of new wrinkles, reduces current wrinkles and smoothes out older lines in the overlying skin.
The effect is temporary as, within a few months, the nerve recovers.
When administered by a skilled professional the botulinum toxin is injected into a specific muscle or muscle group so there is very little risk of spread. The surrounding muscles function as normal, allowing normal facial expression, just with fewer wrinkles.
When Wrinkle relaxing injections are administered into the muscle around the eyes, for example, those muscles cannot “scrunch up” as easily so the wrinkles in that area (crow’s feet) become much less obvious.
Is it safe?
It is a natural response to assume there must be some risk with injecting a product derived from a toxin. In fact, the botulinum toxin is given in such minute amounts that the risk is negligible. It has been used world-wide for over 25 years for aesthetic enhancement and, in the appropriate hands, has an excellent safety profile.
What will I look like when it wears off?
Gradually, the treated muscle recovers over a number of months and you will then look as you did before treatment.
Any possible side effects?
The most common side effect is slight bruising at the injection site. This can be more obvious if the patient is taking aspirin or other anticoagulant (“blood thinning”) medications. The effect is temporary, however, and the bruises fade within a week.
Some people describe a “numb” feeling over the treated area even though the sensory nerves are actually unaffected. This sensation disappears after a week or two.
Very occasionally, there can be slight spread to other muscle groups which can result in temporary ptosis (eyelid droop). The risk of this is diminished with practitioner expertise. This is why opting for a skilled medical practitioner to perform the procedure is very important.
Lastly, infrequently, some patients may experience slight pain at the injection site which can last a week or two. This too resolves with time.
How is it done?
Firstly, you will have a medical consultation with myself (Dr. Grewal), covering areas you may have concerns over, and looking at the way that your facial muscles work to create different expressions. We would then cover the likely effect of the wrinkle relaxing injections, and the type of effect we would be aiming for. This is a good opportunity to ask questions and discuss different aspects of treatment. We would run through a medical consent form, and again you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
The Wrinkle relaxing injections are given with you sitting back or lying down. The areas to be treated are first cleaned with a cleanser and specific points marked with white eye pencil. The botulinum toxin is then injected into the target muscles. The needle used for the treatment is extremely fine and minor discomfort is usually all that is felt.
All in all, the consultation will take about 1 hour for your first visit, less for later treatments. After, you will be given an advice sheet to take home.
How long does it last?
The effects can be seen sometimes as early as two hours after treatment. The usual range of onset is from 2 to 14 days after treatment. The effects can last up to 6-8 months.
When the treatment wears off, your expression will return to where it was before. Eventually, expression lines which were relaxed by the treatment will return. Repeating the treatment helps keep these lines minimised and under control. There is no limit to the number of times you can have botulinum toxin injections.
Not just for women
Wrinkle relaxing injections are not just for women. Men also spend time and money on the gym, on grooming and clothes. For an increasing number of men, wrinkle relaxing injections can complement this effort by helping to achieve a less stressed look. Botulinum toxin injections can also achieve a more “awake” look – looking tired is a common reason voiced by men concerned about their appearance. They want to look as good as they feel and facial rejuvenation is increasingly popular among men for this reason.
Having assessed you, I would recommend a treatment plan which focuses on the main areas of concern, but in general it is good practice to apply the injections reasonably uniformly in the facial muscles that contribute to wrinkling. These usually lie in 3 areas:
- The glabellar area (between the eyes)
- The frontal (upper forehead) area
- The areas at the outside edges of the eyes (where ‘crow’s feet’ usually develop)
Some clients do not necessarily require treatment in all 3 areas as 2 areas treated is enough to achieve the desired effect.
3 areas treated: £350
2 areas treated: £300