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Top 5 things about wrinkle injections

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Top 5 things about wrinkle injections
  • Published

    March 23, 2014

  • Written by

    Dr Garth Dicker

  1. Wrinkle injections can very effectively relax muscles to remove wrinkles and lines and is the most popular cosmetic procedure performed world wide.
  2. Wrinkle injections are most commonly used between the eyes (frown lines) around the eyes (crows feet) and across the forehead (worry lines) to give a less tired, worried and stressed appearance.
  3. Wrinkle injections are not painful and will usually begin working in 3-5 days.
  4. Wrinkle injections are Schedule 4 medications and legally must be prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  5. Wrinkle injections are a safe and effective non surgical method of facial rejuvenation that takes only a few minutes and lasts for many months.

Is it popular?

It is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world today. In the USA alone over 1 million treatments are done each year. When patients are asked about satisfaction with cosmetic procedures it outranks all other procedures. Reduction of wrinkles and lines give the face a fresher, younger and rejuvenated appearance looking less tired, angry and stressed. Whilst getting older is inevitable looking older has become optional.

What is the product?

The product is a natural purified protein. The product is restricted to use by medical practitioners and as such the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) restricts the promotional use of the product name in Australia (Section 42DL (1) (f) of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989). Hence you will see words like wrinkle relaxant, frown relaxant and anti- wrinkle injections being used by doctors rather than using the well known product name.

How does it work?

The protein in the product inhibits the transmission of impulses from nerve to muscle which stops the muscle from contracting and forming wrinkles. By relaxing wrinkle causing muscles it leaves your facial expression free of unwanted lines.

Who does the treatment?

The product is a Schedule 4 medication which means it should only be provided on a written prescription by a medical practitioner. (Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006 SR No. 57/2006 Part 2 Division 6 – Administration). Any person receiving wrinkle injections must legally be seen by a medical practitioner before any treatment is undertaken.

At Collins Cosmetic Clinic all wrinkle injections are only performed by fully registered medical practitioners experienced in the use of this product.

Where is it commonly used?

It is most commonly used for the lines around the eyes (crows feet), between the eyes (frown lines) and across the forehead (worry lines). It can also be used to produce a brow lift by shaping or elevating the position of the brow or to improve the lines from the corner of the mouth to the chin pulling down (marionette or sad lines).

Is it safe?

The product has been used safely in medical treatments for over 30 years including in children at high doses for the treatment of spasticity in cerebral palsy and for spasms of the eyelid and neck muscles spasms. The doses used for cosmetic purposes are very low and despite millions of patient treatments each year there have been no reported cases of significant allergic reactions or any long term side effects to cosmetic doses of this product.

What does treatment involve?

The treatment involves using a small number of extremely fine needles to inject a very small volume of product. The discomfort experienced is minimal and a cold pack can be used to reduce discomfort if necessary.

The procedure takes only a few minutes and then usually requires 2-3 days to relax away lines reaching maximum effect in 1-2 weeks.

How long do wrinkle injections last?

The duration of effectiveness is dependent on the amount of product used, the area treated and an individuals metabolism. Generally on the first few sessions it lasts around 3-4 months but after regular treatments it can last longer due to retraining of the muscles treated.

If at any time you cease treatments your muscles return to normal and wrinkles return to how they were previously – they do not become worse.

Can I resume normal activity?

Normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise or massaging the area for 4 hours after treatment.

What are the side effects of wrinkle injections?

There are very few side effects and if they do occur they are usually minor and related to the injection site. As with any injection occasionally a small bruise may occur and if it does it can be covered with makeup if necessary.

There may be some slight local redness and swelling (like a mosquito bite) at the injection site but this usually settles very quickly (within a few minutes to an hour).

Rarely a small percentage of people can experience a heavy brow or eyelid. This is temporary and will resolve completely and naturally but if necessary eye drops can be prescribed to reduce this side effect.

Overall the product has an extremely good safety profile with no reported long term side effects.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the number of units of the product used. The number of units required depends on the area(s) being treated, the strength of muscles, the degree of wrinkling and the effect of previous treatments.

As a guide women require 20-30 units for frown lines, 5-20 units for forehead lines and 15-30 units for crows feet. Males usually have much stronger facial muscles and as such require larger doses than females.

The price of treatment per unit reduces as the number of units used per session increases. The average patient spends in the order of $300 – $500 per treatment. There is no Medicare rebate and the Government will charge additional GST of 10% on wrinkle injections.

Can it be combined with other treatments?

In some situations a better and more prolonged result can be obtained by combining a product that relaxes a muscle with the use of a product that fills up the area underneath a wrinkle.

Does it have uses other than wrinkles?

The same product that we use as a wrinkle relaxant also has some other uses such as controlling excessive sweating. For example a reduction in armpit sweating by up to 90% can be achieved for an average of 8-10 months.

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