Anti-Wrinkle Treatments Explained

What are anti-wrinkle injections and how do they work?

Anti-wrinkle or wrinkle relaxing injections involve using the medicine Botulinum Toxin Type A, commonly known by the brand name Botox®,  Bocouture® or Azzalure®. Botulinum toxin can temporarily relax muscle function and therefore their most common aesthetic application is to soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles, such as those on the upper face (the wrinkles between the eyebrows, at the corner of the eyes and forehead lines). Botulinum toxin is naturally produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. Similarly to many other medications, such as Penicillin, in its purified medicinal form Botulinum Toxin is very safe for suitable clients (with no contraindications).

Botulinum Toxin Type A is a prescription only medicine which is administered by injections and works by temporarily blocking 'messengers', which carry signals from nerve cells to muscles. When these 'messengers' are blocked the muscles do not receive a signal to contact and 'relax' instead until the 'messengers' recover. Recovery takes around 8-12 weeks. In this way, Botulinum toxin has beneficial effect on reducing dynamic fine lines and wrinkles, which are ‘activity lines’ caused by repetitive use of particular facial muscles, such as those used when frowning.

Dynamic wrinkles can become static over time. Static wrinkles are deeper wrinkles, which are visible regardless of muscle activity. The main causes of static wrinkles are sun exposure and age-related degenerative process in the dermal skin layer. Therefore, Botulinum toxin does not have much of an effect on static wrinkles, although, they can appear ‘softer’ and less pronounced after treatment.

Other aesthetic uses of Botulinum Toxin  include reducing the function or size of particular muscles in order to enhance face contours, such as to improve down tuned mouth corners, improving gummy smile, slimming of the jaws and neck lift. Another known effect of Botulinum toxin is temporary block of the sweat glands stimulation, thereby it can be used to reduce sweating in the underarms, palms of hands and soles of the feet. Beyond its use in aesthetics, Botulinum toxin is used therapeutically in the management of several neurologic and bladder disorders.

Please see the video for an explanation of what to expect from your Botox Treatment:

What results can I expect and how long do they last?

Depending on the intended treatment, injections with Botulinum Toxin (aka Botox) can improve facial lines and wrinkles caused by repetitive use of facial muscles, slim and contour jawline, lift the neck and other facial areas or reduce excessive sweating. The treatment is aimed at aesthetic rejuvenation whilst still maintaining a degree of natural look and expressiveness in your face. Everyone has unique needs and so the individual anticipated results will be discussed at your consultation.

The treatment results are seen within two weeks and maximum effect may be mainatined for 5-8 weeks after injections. There is gardual recovery of the 'messengers' that the medication had blocked and therefore a gradual return of muscle activity. Treatment has been shown to be effective up to 4 months after injections and with repeated treatments may last up to 6 months. The treatment can be repeated after 3 month to sustain its effect.

Are the injections painful?

The wrinkle relaxing injections are administered into targeted muscles with a fine needle. Usually they are well tolerated and no anaesthesia is needed.

Are there any side effects?

As with any treatment, the injections of Botulinum toxin has a degree of risk. Adverse effects are uncommon, however the injections may cause side effects in some people. Side effects generally occur within the first few days of injection and are usually temporary. Treatment suitability and all possible side effects will be discussed at your consultation. Side effects include:
  • Injections side reactions: bruising, swelling, redness, pinprick marks
  • Asymmetry of expressions 
  • Drooping of the eyelid or brow 
  • A sensation of tightness or heaviness or headache

• The drug is contraindicated in pregnancy, allergy to any of the ingredients, if you have infection at or near the treatment area, if you are taking certain medicines, if you have difficulty in swallowing, if you have neuromuscular junction disorder such as Lambert-Eaton syndrome.

• Too frequent or excessive use of Botulinum Toxin Type A may increase the risk of antibodies production, which may mean that future treatments with the drug may not work. The minimum treatment frequency should be no less than 3 months, although sometimes a small, additional treatment dose may be offered at your review appointment if there is marked asymmetry.

What are the different brands available?

There are different types of Botulinum toxin, of which type A is the most commonly used in aesthetics. There are also several brands using Botulinum Toxin Type A, of which the first commercially available was BOTOX® manufactured by Allergan. Hence, Botox is the name most people know when it comes to wrinkle relaxing injections. Botox is also the name used by many practitioners to advertise wrinkle relaxing injections, although some actually use different brands.

The currently licensed brands of Botulinum Toxin Type A in the UK include: Azzalure®, Bocouture®, Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®. The overall effectiveness of the different brands should be the same as the pharmacological mode of action of Botulinum toxin type A is the same in all available brands. However, there are some slight differences in the presence of other complexing proteins and in the reconstitution of the drug. This may lead to some slight variations in the experience of the treatment effects and therefore to preferential choice by some clients and practitioners. The brands also have different cost.

At Aesthetic by Silvie I offer three of the established brands in the industry: Azzalure®, Bocouture® and Botox®. The choice of brand would be discussed at your consultation and would depend on your individual treatment requirements and preference.

What wrinkle relaxing injection treatments are available at Aesthetic by Silvie?

Wrinkle Botulinum toxin treatments:
• Forehead lines
• Frown (glabellar lines)
• Crow’s feet (eye corner lines)
• Brow lift (chemical brow lift)
• Bunny lines (nose wrinkles)
• Peri-oral lines
• Gummy smile
• Chin dimpling
• Down turned mouth corners

Jawline slimming with Botulinum toxin

Nefertiti (neck) lift with Botulinum toxin

Sweat reduction injections with Botulinum toxin
• For underarms, soles of feet and palms of hands