Anti Wrinkle Injections
By using facial muscles repeatedly throughout a lifetime, the skin is creased in areas of greatest use. This is usually along the forehead, where we frown and laughter lines around the eyes (crows feet). The ageing process causes the slowdown of collagen and elastin production in the skin so that as we get older, these areas of over-use become damaged and the lines become permanent. By reducing the movement of muscles in these areas by placing a series of small injections, the skin stops being creased and is allowed to recover, causing the lines to soften or even fade away. In the areas treated, the muscles are temporarily inactivated (always reversible), during which time the patient can break the subconscious habit of overusing these muscles. Depending on each individual and the dose used, the response to treatment can vary from a relaxation of the muscles to an inability to move the muscles.
For the first couple of years, frequent treatments are required to ‘re-educate’ the facial muscles. Thereafter, treatments would be less frequent until a yearly maintenance treatment is normally all that is required.
Anti wrinkle injections may only be performed after a face to face consultation. Initial appointments are for a medical consultation only. It will then be necessary to return for treatment separately.
Botulinum toxin is a chemical produced by bacterium clostrdium botulinum. Anti wrinkle injections are a protein derivative of the toxin, which when injected into a muscle, causes it to become weakened or inactivated. It stops the muscle from functioning by blocking neuromuscular transmission, i.e. it stops the chemical messages from the nerve to the muscle.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes. The practitioner will ask you to use certain muscles of the face to observe how they work. An extremely fine, short needle is used to inject into the appropriate area. This may cause some slight but brief discomfort. The area may have some slight redness and swelling, which normally resolves in 30 minutes. After treatment, you should not massage the injected area. You should not lie down for four hours after this treatment.
The treatment normally starts to take effect after 4-14 days, but this may vary slightly with some individuals. The effects will normally last between 2 and 6 months, when you will start to notice an ability to move the muscles more freely.
Anti wrinkle injections are used in minute doses, as it is in cosmetic therapy, has a very high margin of safety. Botulinum toxin has been used in hospitals around the UK since 1977 and within the cosmetic industry for over 20 years.
Side effects of this treatment are rare. Most people find that the injection causes only mild swelling, which usually subsides in 30 minutes.
Occasionally a temporary drooping of the eyelid or eyebrow can occur. This may last a few weeks, but will always resolve. Special eye drops can be prescribed during this time to help lift the eye back into the normal position. In extremely rare cases patients have developed an allergy to the treatment, while others have shown resistance, i.e. it causes little or no effect on the treated muscle
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