Facial muscle immobilising injections are a simple and low-impact treatment for reducing signs of aging. Although there are a wide variety of treatments for creating a smoother more youthful look, from over the counter creams to major cosmetic surgery procedures, nothing rivals the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Botulinum Toxin for wrinkle reduction.
What is it?
The injection is a drug prepared from botulin, used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralysing muscles. The result is a smoothing of the skin’s surface.
How is it done?
Small amount is injected into the target areas. The injections are done with a very fine needle. Common areas that can be treated are the forehead, frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet around the eyes, and the marionette lines around the mouth.
Is it painful?
Due to the extremely fine gauge of the needle, most people find it painless. However in certain sensitive areas anaesthetic cream can be applied prior to the treatment, numbing the area, and making the injections more comfortable.
How long does the treatment take?
The delivering of the actual injections takes only 5 to 10 minutes. However as every patient is consulted and counselled prior to the treatment, and a before photo is taken, the entire appointment requires approximately 30 minutes.
What am I going to look like immediately after the procedure?
Slight swelling at the site settles within 10-15 minutes. No changes are expected immediately; the results of the treatment are gradual and become apparent only 24-72 hours after the injections.
What are the side effects?
Minimal swelling, occasionally some bruising, and slight muscle tightening.. Transient eyelid drooping is sometimes seen, and settles within 2-3 weeks. In very rare cases, flu-like symptoms can occur lasting a day or two. Skin infections and cases of allergy have been reported but arequite rare.
How long does the smoothing effect last?
On average skin remains smooth for 3-6 months, and can last up to 9 months.
Does it work for everyone?
About 3% of patients develop resistance to the drug and consequently the duration of the effect is highly reduced.
Do I need a follow up?
Yes, a follow up is recommended, and this is done during a consultation after 2 weeks, at which time the after photos can be taken and compared to those take before the injections.
Are there any contraindications?
You should not have this treatment if you have a disease associated with muscle weakness such as Myasthenia Gravis, Muscular Dystrophy. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, allergies to components of the drug, antibiotic use a week prior to the treatment or if you are taking muscle relaxants all contraindicate treatment.