Wrinkle smoothing treatments are the UK’s most popular anti-ageing non-surgical procedures. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked during consultations. If you’d like any more information, call 02037 335839 to speak to one of the team or arrange a consultation.
Wrinkle Smoothing Treatment FAQs
Obviously only a consultation will be able to establish this. Generally speaking if you have lines around the face which are due to muscle contraction, i.e. in the frown area between your eyebrows, then the treatment will help smooth this. Depending on how deep the line is, the treatment will undoubtedly help and most times smooth it away. However if the line is very deep, sometimes further treatment with an injectable skin filler is required in order to get total smoothing of the skin. It is important to understand that whilst the treatment is well tolerated by most people, patients who are pregnant or have neurologic or muscle disease should not be treated.
At our clinic, we are acutely aware of the ability that facial injections have to ‘freeze’ ones face and erase all expression. Which is why experience has taught us that in fact less is more. This is to say that our aim is not to freeze or immobilise all your facial muscles, because doing so would make you look extremely strange. What we want to do is selectively address the problem areas, whilst allowing other facial muscles to still operate. Basically our philosophy is to soften the lines while maintaining normal movements to a degree.
When injected into a given area, the treatment reversibly blocks the impulses from the nerves to the tiny facial muscles that are related to expression lines. By doing this, the muscles cannot contract or move well enough and therefore tend to relax. When muscles relax, the overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled while the untreated facial muscles continue to contract in a normal fashion, allowing normal facial expression to be unaffected.
Any muscle activity on the body can be targeted. However it is most commonly performed in the upper face. The most common areas requested are the forehead lines, vertical frown lines between the eyebrows, and crows feet or laughter lines radiating away from the eyes. Whilst it does work around the mouth, chin and neck area, the benefits must always outweigh any possible weakness of the mouth muscles. This of course will be discussed with you prior to any treatment. Smile lines are usually best dealt with either by injectable fillers, or laser resurfacing.
The procedure itself is simple and safe. Your facial movements and expressions will be assessed prior to treatment and of course you will be asked which areas are of concern to you. Depending on the areas, we will endeavour to explain to you how effective the treatment will be. Very deep ingrained lines sometimes require an injectable skin filler after a couple of weeks, in order to get the skin completely smooth. We will advise you accordingly.
The treatment is injected with a very tiny needle into the desired area. Depending on the areas treated, between 4-12 injections are necessary. Because the needle is so fine and only a small amount of liquid is used the pain is usually minor, like a sting for a few seconds. Once the injection is complete there is usually no discomfort also you might perceive a slight sensitivity in the area for the next 12-24 hours which settles on its own.
No sedation or local anaesthesia is required and as no recovery is required, you can resume normal activities immediately. You can even drive yourself home or back to the office. Very occasionally some patients experience a slight temporary bruising or redness at the injection site. This can be covered with makeup as necessary.
Typically treatments start to take effect from about the 3rd day after the injections. It may or may not be associated with some very minor tingling which disappears within a day or so. However you must understand that it may take up to 10 days for the full effects of your treatment to be seen.
The full effects of the treatment are not apparent for three to ten days. As mentioned the effects are temporary in that the toxin is slowly metabolised by the body in approximately three to six months. As most patients are quite happy with the effects, a top up injection will be required after this period of time to maintain the skin smoothing effects.
There are very few side effects to this procedure. While allergy to any medicine is possible, it is rare indeed. While a very small amount of brow drooping can occur when injected in this area, this can usually be avoided by not treating the 1 cm area just above the eyebrows. Despite precautions however in exceptionally rare circumstances this can still occur. However due to the non-permanent nature of the treatment this is always temporary. In these unlikely circumstances if a droop were to occur, it usually lasts about 2-3 weeks(much less than the full dose of treatment lasts). Of course as with any injected substance, slight bruising can sometimes occur, however this can usually be covered with make-up.
Yes, it can be combined with other treatments such as injectable fillers to other areas of the face. However we generally like to wait a couple of weeks before deciding whether any injectable skin filler is also required to further improve any lines treated by facial injections. We will be able to discuss this with you at your visit.
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) can be socially as well as professionally disruptive and many times leads to considerable emotional stress and embarrassment. Whilst some patients who suffer with generalised excessive sweating may require regular medication to bring this under control, patients who suffer with localised excessive sweating of the underarms, palms and soles can be successfully treated with facial injections.
When injected locally into the skin of a problem area, the treatment potently blocks the nerve fibres used to stimulate sweat glands, resulting in almost complete cessation of sweat production from that area. As the toxin is injected only within the skin, there is no risk of affecting deeper muscle structures and therefore their function. The procedure is similar to that described above for line removal. The effects of the treatment take three to seven days to be demonstrated, and the sweat free effects last between 3 and 12 months. Repeat injections produce similar results. The treatment is well tolerated and is void of any adverse side effects.