Anti Wrinkle Treatment – How does it work?
Wrinkles or expression lines are the end result of a number of events that act together as we age, these lines become more prominent. A complex set of changes take place at a cellular level – the degradation of collagen from excessive ultraviolet exposure, changes in hormonal levels and the damaging effects of free radicals.
These degenerative changes in the presence of underlying muscle contractions cause the skin to crinkle. This repetitive crinkling of the skin gives rise to the presence of wrinkles. Initially, these are temporary (dynamic wrinkles) and only appear when the muscle is contracting, such as when we frown (the cranky look),or when we raise the eyebrows (surprise lines across the forehead), or smile lines giving rise to “crows feet.”
Relaxing the group of muscles responsible for creating dynamic lines, movement is inhibited. As movement in those muscles cease, the overlying skin tends to stretch, creating an “ironing-out” effect. Treatment may not always eradicate the lines, as this is dependant on the condition of the skin and the depth of the lines at the time of the treatment.
Facial expression is not affected, in other words, a “frozen” look is not the end result with careful pre-treatment assessment and injection placement. Untreated muscles are not affected.
Treatment is relatively simple and relatively painless. A muscle relaxant substance, a highly purified protein derived from a bacterial toxin (similar to penicillin being derived from a fungal mould) is administered by injection into the respective muscles. A frozen ice pack is applied to the treatment area for a few minutes to ease any discomfort.
The desired clinical effect can be seen from 3 to 7 days post treatment. In some individuals the full effect may be delayed for up to 2 weeks.
The clinical affect usually lasts from 3 to 4 months although most patients will notice the benefits begin to lessen from about 2.5 months. With regular use i.e. treatment every three months, most patients notice the clinical effects lasting for extended periods of time.
Treatment is simple and quick and is often described as a “lunchtime” procedure.
This purified protein has an excellent safety profile. It is not recommended for individuals who suffer from neuro-muscular conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or Myasthenia Gravis.
It is also not administered to women who are pregnant or breast feeding.
Caution must be exercised in patients taking heart medications for rhythm abnormalities such as Quinuidine and some antibiotics such as Gentamycin, Tobramycin, Clindamycin, and Linomycin.
Transient side effects such as bruising and redness at the injection site may occur. First time users may experience a sensation of headache for a day for two. Transient muscle twitches have been reported. Asymmetry of outcome can be corrected by additional treatment. The rare occurrence of droopy eyelids can be overcome by the careful placement and the avoidance of massaging the treated area.
The recommended treatment interval is 3 monthly.