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As part of the natural ageing process, the skin becomes more lined and wrinkled over time. One of the main causes of these lines and wrinkles are the facial muscles which create facial expressions (laughter, frowns etc..). Over the years, the continual action of these muscles on the skin cause the expression lines to become more and more pronounced.
Tiny amounts of Botulinum Toxin are injected into carefully selected facial muscles and temporarily stop these muscles from working. The skin will not wrinkle so much when you laugh, smile or frown and the expression lines and wrinkles will gradually disappear. It will not prevent muscle movement entirely, but just enough to prevent lines forming.
Which facial areas can be treated?
The ideal areas to treat are those wrinkles caused by muscles that have no significant function. For example lines around the mouth are difficult to treat as the muscles are used for eating, talking etc.. The most common areas for treatment are around the upper part of the face:
– Crow’s feet around the eyes.
– Horizontal forehead frown lines and wrinkles.
– The deep lines between the eyes (Glabella Lines).
How is the treatment carried out?
A thorough consultation is undertaken with the Doctor and the patient will be required to read, understand and sign a consent form. The patient may decide to proceed with treatment immediately, or may delay until a later date.
The area will be cleaned with an antiseptic wipe. Although the pain is minimal (similar to an insect bite), patients may also opt to have an anaesthetic cream applied.
Tiny amounts of botulinum toxin are injected into the selected areas using micro needles and disposable syringes.
The treatment itself should take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
The treatment can take from five to seven days to work. If there has been no response after two weeks, the treatment may need be repeated – this may be done free of charge.
How long does it last?
Injections are initially required ever three to four months. There is a cumulative effect so that successive treatments are more effective and last longer so that treatments are eventually required a couple of times a year.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects are rare and, if they occur, very rarely last long. This is, after all, a procedure that was carried out over 3 million times worldwide in 2004!
The immediate reaction to the injections will be a slight reddening of the skin that can be relieved with an ice pack. Occasionally there will be mild bruising but this will soon disappear. The patient may also get a temporary headache, especially if treatment was to the forehead. As with any injection, there is a small risk of infection.
Occasionally there may be a temporary drooping of eyebrow or eyelid. This will disappear as the toxin wears out over 2 to 10 weeks.
The treatment is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.