The injections use a neurotoxic protein which is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large doses, this is the same bacteria that can cause botulism, a rare illness leading to widespread paralysis. Cosmetic procedures use microscopic amounts of heavily diluted protein that is not dangerous and is able to weaken muscles in a controlled manner by carefully injecting small doses known as “units”.
There are two commonly used formulations of this protein; they are both equally effective, however, if one has previously worked for you or you have a preference, this can be accommodated. As each brand is differently formulated, units of one brand are not equivalent in number to units of the other brand. It you have had previous injections, it is useful to know which brand you had and also how many units you needed to achieve your desired effect. Men require more units than women.
Anti-wrinkle injections work by relaxing the muscles in the are of injection by blocking nerve impulses. This means the muscle contraction weakens and as a result this softens the appearance of wrinkles. It usually takes 48-72 hours to begin to see improvement but may take longer in some people. Effects last from 3-4 months. However, with each repeated injection most people find that when the wrinkles return they are less pronounced and also less frequent injections are needed. This is because repeated muscle contractions, which result in wrinkles developing and becoming deeper, have been prevented.
Anti-wrinkle treatments are administered by using a series of accurately planned injections into the muscles with an extremely fine needle. Discomfort is minimal and no anaesthetic is required. Ice is often applied briefly before each injection to reduce any pain and afterwards to minimise bruising. It is important to stop any drugs that may increase the risk of bruising such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and fish oil a week before the injections. The procedure does not take more than a few minutes and the redness around the areas that have been injected settles very quickly.
-brow furrow lines (glabellar lines)
-transverse forehead lines
-nasal creases “bunny lines”
-creases around the mouth “marionette lines”
-drooping of the corners of the mouth
-excessive dental show during smiling “gummy smile”
-masseter injection to reduce the width of the lower face
-neck bands “platysmal bands”
-excesssive sweating (hyperhydrosis)