Injectable treatments have been used for many years to treat muscular problems including eye deviation, eyelid spasm and facial spasm associated with conditions such as Parkinson's disease. There is a very long history of safe, effective use of these treatments and they have been used for cosmetic purposes, and more specifically for the treatment of wrinkles and lines on the face, for the last twenty years.
The Ageing Face
The main factors responsible for the ageing process are hereditary, smoking and exposure to ultra violet radiation. The skin changes associated with the ageing process are skin sagging, fine wrinkling, and deepening 'animation' lines caused by repeated muscle movement.
This pattern of facial movement is predetermined during childhood and carried on subconsciously throughout adulthood.
Which areas can be treated?
Wrinkle injections lead to a temporary relaxation of the target muscle. This produces a reduction in wrinkling of the skin surface above the target muscle.
Examples include: the deep crease between the eyebrows (glabella lines), crow's-feet, wrinkles around the eyes and horizontal forehead lines. Used in the lower face it can reduce lipstick bleed lines and lessen 'sad' lines which are the lines which lead down from the corners of the mouth.
Injection into frown lines can be very successful. Good results may be obtained after a single injection and smoothing effects can last for three to six months. The effect of the injection may take between 5 and 7 days to work. Some patients with very powerful muscles may not see a complete relaxation of the targeted area, but subsequent injections will further weaken them.
Injectable techniques can also be used to paralyse the muscles that control sweating and consequently they are an effective treatment for hyper-hydrosis (excessive sweating).
What does it feel like?
The treatment involves a small number of painless injections into the muscle groups that cause the wrinkling. Immediately after the injections there may be some mild swelling that usually subsides within 24-48 hours.
Can these treatments be used with Dermal Fillers or laser treatment?
The treatments are complementary and it has been reported that the effects of injectable treatments and lasers last longer when carried out in conjunction with each other. This is because the continuous movement of the muscles is eliminated, slowing the body's breakdown of the injected product.
Note: It is not possible to carry out both treatments at the same time in the same area; it would be preferable to carry out the muscle-relaxing treatment first, followed by the Dermal Filler or laser at least a week later.
How many treatments are required?
Repeat treatments are usually needed every 3-6 months. Most clients who have been having treatment for longer than 12 months, are only requiring further treatments twice a year. Please note it takes 5 -7 days for the treatment to work. Vigorous use of the muscles for 1 hour after treatment helps speed up the onset of effect.
Possible side effects
Side effects of this treatment are infrequent. Mild bruising may occur around the injection site and if you are prone to cold sores at the injection site, treatment may bring out another eruption. A number of very rare side-effects have been reported including:
• temporary drooping of the eyebrow or eyelid (ptosis).
• A mild, transient headache
• Non-response. This is more likely in the case of multiple treatments as the body's immune system builds antibodies to the toxin, so no further benefit is seen.
• Extremely rare side effects may be a more generalised weakness and fatigue, or short-lived blurred vision, however we have no reported instances of these effects.
Finally, any injection carries a small risk of infection. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, the treatment is not recommended.
Who would carry out the treatment?
Treatments are carried out by our expert medical practitioner, Dr. Helen Fernandez, who has delivered every injectable treatment Mapperley Park Clinic has ever delivered since we first started offering them in 1995. Dr. Fernandez was one of the first UK Doctors ever to train in the Cosmetic use of BOTOX in 2002.
Photography Acknowledgements: Allergan