Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
Treatment for Lines & Wrinkles
Dynamic wrinkles on the
face arise from contraction of the underlying muscles every time you smile,
laugh or frown. These lines can be softened with injections of botulinum toxin.
Botulinum toxin is not a new drug. It has been used over 10 years to treat
muscular problems including eye deviation, eyelid spasm and facial spasms.
acts by blocking the impulses from the nerves to the muscles of expression. It relaxes the muscles so it treats facial lines
caused primarily by the action of the muscles on the skin. The ideal areas
to treat are those wrinkles caused by muscles that have no significant
function. Examples include the deep crease between the eyebrows, crow’s'
feet wrinkles and forehead lines. Recent research has shown some benefit in
treating lines around the mouth and on the neck.
Injection into frown
lines has proved to be very successful. Good results may be obtained after a single injection and may last four to six months.
The effect of the injection may take up to 14 days to work. Some patients
with very powerful muscles may not see a complete relaxation of the targeted
area, but subsequent injections will further weaken them. In rare cases
some patients may need a repeat injection within four weeks if there has
been little response.
Most patients find the injections only cause mild pain, comparable to the sensation of an insect bite. No sedation or local anaesthetic is required. Some patients experience minor bruising.
Temporary bruising is the
most common side effect. In rare cases there can be drooping of an eyelid or asymmetry of facial expression. The risk of
side effect depends on the muscles injected. Because the effects of botox
are reversible, side effects are temporary as well, lasting only
Long term effects are unknown, but at present the consensus of opinion is that the drug is fully eliminated over a few months, and there is unlikely to be a problem.
AB Hons (Harvard
Appointments available at:
Hospital, Hill House Consulting Rooms,
Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital,
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