Anti-wrinkle injections, also known as wrinkle relaxers, involve injection of a small amount of wrinkle relaxer into a muscle that needs weakening. After a slight initial sting, it’s a painless procedure for most patients, and any slight marks left from the injection will disappear after a few minutes. Our experienced injectors will ensure that you receive just the right amount of relaxer to leave a natural-looking appearance.
Using a tiny needles, a small amount of wrinkle relaxer is injected into the muscle that needs to be weakened. There is a slight sting for a few seconds, then it is painless for most patients. There will be tiny pink injection points, which will disappear after 5 minutes, and there should be no ongoing pain, numbness or redness.
No! Only tiny amounts are injected into very specific areas. The vast majority of facial muscles will not be affected at all. This should be seen as a tool to soften, reshape and lift, rather than a ‘freezing agent’.
Wrinkle relaxers are actually absorbed into the neuromuscular junction and usually take 2-4 days to start working. The maximum effect may not be seen for up to two weeks. At this time we will review your treatment to make sure it is perfect, with natural looking results.
Numerous factors are involved in facial aging (see “The Aging Face”). Wrinkle relaxers decrease the repetitive muscular movement that causes lines, and in younger skin can result in the prevention of wrinkles forming. If there has been dermal atrophy (loss of deeper skin support) or significant sun damage then even complete relaxation of the muscle will not completely remove the wrinkle. For these lines a dermal filler may be added two weeks post-treatment, or resurfacing (chemical peel or laser) can be considered to smooth out the damage to the skin.
The muscle weakening and reduction of crow’s feet, forehead and frown lines usually lasts 3 – 4 months, after which another treatment is required. After several treatments the effects of wrinkle relaxers may last longer in some areas. It is important to retreat the area within 2 weeks of the muscular action returning (not the lines, as these are a sign of damage) if you would like to use this treatment as a preventative.
The only side effects are local and temporary. Risks, which will be discussed prior to treatment, include a small bruise from the injection or, very rarely, slight drooping of the brow or upper eyelid. Fortunately, if this occurs it will usually correct itself in 2-4 weeks.
Patients may return to normal activity immediately after the procedure. However it is advisable to avoid intense exercise for the remainder of the day, remain upright for the following 4-6 hours, and not to massage the injected area or use active cosmeceuticals that evening. There may be some slight swelling and redness.