What are anti-wrinkle injections?
Anti-wrinkle injections work by temporarily freezing the muscle so that wrinkles cannot be produced by muscle contraction. The commonest areas to be treated are the frown lines, forehead and crow’s feet lines. A number of companies that produce these anti-wrinkle injections, go by the trade names of BotoxTM , VistabelTM or DysportTM.
How are anti-wrinkle injections administered?
The anti-wrinkle injections are administered with a very fine needle at multiple sites according to the area to be treated. A numbing cream can be used to lessen the mild discomfort. The effect of the anti-wrinkle injections are not immediate and can take up to one week for maximum effects.
The average duration of the effect is between 3 to 5 months before a repeat treatment is required. This varies from person to person. Occasionally the effects may last longer than 5 months and very rarely patients may be resistant to treatment seeing no effect at all.
Which areas of the face can be treated?
The vertical frown lines between the eyebrows is one of the commonest areas to be treated with anti-wrinkle injections. In some situations these lines are quite deep and Botox TM may not completely eliminate the lines although the lines are considerably reduced and softened.
The horizontal forehead lines are also an area that can be treated. It is usually preferable to retain some movement of the forehead since eliminating all the lines can result in a ‘frozen’ look.
The crow’s feet lines are the lines radiating out from the corner of the eye. Botox TM usually has a dramatic effect in reducing the appearance of these lines. In some cases, however, these lines extend down the cheek and injection should be avoided here since this can cause an alteration in the smile.
What are the side effects and risks?
The occasional bruise is the commonest side effect of anti-wrinkle injections, but this will resolve between 1 to 2 weeks.
Transient drooping of the eyelid is a potential complication but can usually be avoided with careful injection techniques. This occurs in less than 1% of cases. If drooping of the eyelid does occur it is mild and usually resolves within 2 to 3 weeks.
Allergic reactions are very rare indeed.
Many women have received Botox TM injections for medical conditions even during pregnancy but when Botox TM is used for cosmetic reasons it should be avoided during pregnancy.