Lines and wrinkles develop around the face over time and cause us to look older than we feel. Wrinkle relaxing injections are an approved and effective method of safely and temporarily smoothing frowns and furrows, to gently erase tell-tale signs of ageing and to restore a more refreshed, relaxed appearance.
Achieve A Balanced Natural Look
Wrinkle relaxing injections use the very simple process of rebalancing facial expression muscles. Over the years the muscles of fatigue, worry, stress (and concentration) can dominate leading to a tired, careworn appearance which belies what you really feel. By using winkle relaxing injections of botulinum toxin type A, carefully placed to achieve a balanced natural look, excellent results can be produced.
What is Botox?
Botox® is the trade name given to the purified protein Botulinum Toxin type A. It is made synthetically and was originally used to treat neurological disorders. The cosmetic effects were, like many advances in medicine, discovered quite by chance. Patients who had been treated for blepharospasm (an involuntary spasm of the muscle surrounding the eye) noticed how much less wrinkled and more awake they appeared after Botulinum toxin treatment for their disorder. Botulinum toxin has now become licensed to treat patients for cosmetic procedures, principally the reduction in facial lines, especially frown lines, “crow’s feet” and forehead lines. Botulinum toxin can also be used to treat excessive sweating in the armpits, forehead or hands, as it also blocks the nerves that supply sweat glands.
The use of wrinkle relaxing injections and dermal fillers is on the increase. Many people, who now use these treatments in their routine grooming or maintenance regime, were initially reticent to try them. The reason lies in being able to see the difference they can make.
The purpose of wrinkle relaxing injections is not to look younger per se, but to look more refreshed and less stressed, angry and tired. No amount of detox, dieting or exercise will remove frown lines ingrained from years of concentrating. The purpose of facial rejuvenation is to reflect what is felt inside and, with the resultant positive feedback, the improvement in appearance reinforces that feeling. You will feel better about the way you look and the effect of this on your day-to-day life can be enormous.
Are the injections safe?
It is a natural response to assume there must be some risk with injecting a product derived from a toxin. In fact, the botulinum toxin is given in such minute amounts that the risk is negligible. It has been used world-wide for over 25 years for aesthetic enhancement and, in the appropriate hands, has an excellent safety profile. And, for those who like their facts, the lethal dose of Botox is about 36 boxes and I can think of cheaper ways to die. Gradually, the treated muscle recovers over a number of weeks or months and you will then look as you did before treatment, only with softer lines.
How long does it last?
The effects can be seen sometimes as early as two hours after treatment. The usual range of onset is 2-10 days after treatment. The effects can last up to 6 months in younger people with fewer wrinkles. Then again, I have botox every 3-4 months (but I was born in 1963!) The average interval is 4 months, but I will assess that when I see you. When the treatment wears off, your expression will return to where it was before. Eventually, expression lines which were relaxed by the treatment will return.
There is no limit to the number of times you can have injections.
As we get older, the amount of collagen in our skin decreases and, with repeated action of underlying muscles, wrinkles form. Wrinkle relaxing injections work by temporarily stopping transmission of the nerve impulses to these muscles by blocking the release of the chemical neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This causes the injected muscle to relax which, in turn, stops the formation of new wrinkles, reduces current wrinkles and smoothes out older lines in the overlying skin.
The effect is temporary as, within a few months, the nerve recovers.
When administered by a skilled professional the botulinum toxin is injected into a specific muscle or muscle group so there is very little risk of spread. The surrounding muscles function as normal, allowing normal facial expression, just with fewer wrinkles.
When Wrinkle relaxing injections are administered into the muscle around the eyes, for example, those muscles cannot “scrunch up” as easily so the wrinkles in that area (crow’s feet) become much less obvious.
With regard to excessive sweating, Wrinkle relaxing injections also block transmission of nerves that supply sweat glands. When these are targeted, sweating greatly diminishes and the effect can last up to a year.
The most common side effect is slight bruising at the injection site. This can be more obvious if the patient is taking aspirin or other anticoagulant (“blood thinning”) medications. The effect is temporary, however, and the bruises fade within a week.
Many people describe a “numb” feeling over the treated area even though the sensory nerves are actually unaffected. This sensation disappears after a week or two.
Sometimes, there can be slight spread to other muscle groups which can result in temporary ptosis (eyelid droop). The risk of this is diminished with practitioner expertise.
Headache may occur after treatment to the glabellar (frown) lines but this, too, passes.
Puffiness of the eyelids a day or two after treatment has been reported occasionally but this is temporary.
Lastly, infrequently, some patients may experience slight pain at the injection site which can last a week or two. This too resolves with time.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a troublesome problem that results in awkward social situations for those who have been affected. For example, salesmen with sweaty palms are at a distinct disadvantage.
Excessive sweating can also affect underarms, forehead and feet. All these areas can effectively be treated with botulinum toxin.
Wrinkle relaxing injections can be used to block transmission of nerves that supply sweat glands. When these are targeted, sweating greatly diminishes (up to 80%) and the effect can last up to a year.
The technique involves small intra-dermal injections of botulinum toxin into the affected areas. The underarms can be treated with topical anaesthesia prior to the procedure and patients report very little discomfort. Similarly, we stop pain transmission in the feet and/or hands with anaesthetic nerve blocks prior to treatment for excessive sweating in these areas.
First, I will discuss the areas you are concerned about and will explain the likely effect of Wrinkle relaxing injections. I take time to study how you use your expressions, how your face works, when animated, when at rest. At any stage you are encouraged to ask questions. We will go through a medical consent form.
The wrinkle relaxing injections are given with you sitting back or lying down. The areas to be treated are first cleaned with a cleanser and specific points marked with white eye pencil. The botulinum toxin is then injected into the target muscles. The needle used for the treatment is extremely fine and minor discomfort is usually all that is felt. Some people describe a mild stinging sensation which passes quickly.
All in all, the consultation plus treatment if you want to go ahead on the day will take about an hour for your first visit, less for later treatments. After the initial treatment, you will be given a follow up appointment, usually at 3 weeks to assess the effect of the treatment. If you need a small top up, this is given then free of charge.
Wrinkle relaxing injections are not just for women.
Time and money is invested in the gym, on grooming and clothes. For an increasing number of men, wrinkle relaxing injections can complement this effort by helping to achieve a less stressed look. Botulinum toxin injections can also engender a more “awake” look – looking tired is a common reason voiced by men concerned about their appearance. They want to look as good as they feel and facial rejuvenation is their choice.
That said, the look men want is usually quite different from the effect women look for. The muscle groups controlling expression are bigger and care must be taken not to arch eyebrows too much or feminise the brow position.Unless you want to of course. This is where you really need an experienced practitioner.
These injections have become standard over the years, but the actual practice has developed and improved. I have moved on from the basic 1, 2 or 3 area treatment options as this doesn’t always address the individual problem faced by the client. For example, a younger client may need less injections, but will still need them to be injected in a carefully balanced manner in several places. For this reason, the treatment options are:
Gentle - From £250
Medium - From £275
Advanced - From £300
The last of which includes follow up and top up after three weeks and is the preferred package.
Injections for Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating on palms or underarms) - From £450 for each bilateral procedure.
Botox® is the registered trade name of one particular brand of botulinum toxin injection. There are a number of prescription only botulinum toxin products on the market and Dr Nicola Willis is able to prescribe wrinkle relaxing treatments using the different approved commercial brands. We do not endorse any particular brand on this website, and the individual treatment plan will be developed for each patient following their consultation.