As a normal part of the aging process, many people start to notice changes in their skin. One of the most obvious changes that patients dislike is the development of wrinkles.
They are often referred to as “frown lines” or sometimes more kindly as “laughter lines”. Sometimes these lines can give the face a tired or cross looking appearance.
If used in the correct patient, wrinkle relaxing injections and cosmetic facial fillers have a role in facial rejuvenation, providing a fresher and more youthful facial appearance.
Wrinkle Relaxing Injections
What are the causes of wrinkles?
Sun damage, smoking, gravity and the contraction of facial muscles can be blamed for the development of wrinkles. Some of these causes can be addressed with reducing sun exposure, sunscreens, moisturisers and a good skin care regime. Avoidance of smoking also has a beneficial effect on the appearance of skin.
What types of wrinkles improve with relaxing injections?
The forehead frown lines and crow’s feet are the types of wrinkles caused by facial muscle contraction that can be improved by injections through very fine carefully placed needles.
Are wrinkle relaxing injections painful?
Most patients find the procedure relatively comfortable without the need for local anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic creams can be used according to patient preference.
Does the wrinkle relaxing injection work immediately?
No. It takes up to 72 hours to take effect. The effect lasts for about 3 to 4 months. It does however vary between patients.
What are the potential complications of wrinkle relaxing injections?
Bruising, swelling or mild discomfort may occur immediately or shortly after the injection. Very occasionally the injection may give rise to weakness of a facial muscle responsible for facial expression.
In 1% of patients this may cause a slight droop of the upper eyelid. This effect wears off over several weeks and can be improved with eye drops.
When is it not safe to have this anti-wrinkle treatment?
Pregnancy and breast feeding are contraindications to treatment. The treatment is also contraindicated in patients with neuromuscular disorders, bleeding disorders or active infection and inflammation in the region of the injection sites.
The timing of wrinkle relaxing injections.
It is advisable to discuss with your surgeon the timing of having a series of injections. Bear in mind there is a lag time before the effect of the injection works as well as the possibility of slight bruising or swelling immediately after the injection. Most patients find the effects beneficial and last for several months.
Cosmetic Facial Fillers
There are different types of facial filler available that can also be used to treat facial wrinkles in suitable patients. One of the main differences is whether the filler is permanent or temporary.
Temporary Fillers (biocompatible) can be collagen or hyaluronic acid (sugar) based. They last for a variable length of time depending on the product used but usually several months. Some fillers are combined with a local anaesthetic to minimise discomfort on injection.
The advantage of temporary filler is that if the effect is not as desired, it will resorb. Most patients however find the increase in volume provided by the filler is desirable.
Temporary fillers are administered as an outpatient procedure.