Perhaps one of the most popular treatments these days in the beauty industry is Cosmetic Injection treatments. Many would be surprised to know however, that these types of injections have been used for many years to treat various conditions.
Ironically, this treatment became known in the mainstream and general public as it was initially used to treat muscle spasms. As a result, a significant improvement in wrinkles was observed and therefore the application for anti-ageing medicine was born and has rapidly become a boom industry worldwide.
Anti Wrinkle injections have been used successfully for many years to treat wrinkles and facial creases. Typically these injections consist of a purified form of botulinum toxin type A, which is a chemical toxin that is produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.
This treatment can be used to weaken or paralyse some of the facial muscles that pull on the skin that cause wrinkles, allowing the skin to flatten out rapidly. After approximately 2 to 7 treatments the lines and wrinkles that are normally caused by certain facial expressions begin to disappear. Anti Wrinkle Injections target specific individual muscles, however the ability to form most facial expressions should not be affected.
Not only do anti-wrinkle injections provide dramatic improvements in fine lines and wrinkles, they are also used to treat:
- Twitching or spasm of the eyelids
- Neck Spasms
- Facial or other localised muscle spasms;
- Excessive Sweating
- Fine, Flat Lips
- Muscle spasticity due to cerebral palsy;
- Strabismus (a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned); and
- Certain cases of incontinence due to overactive bladder.
How do Cosmetic Injections work?
Botulinum toxin can be injected in extremely small concentrations and works by preventing signals from the nerve endings reaching the muscles, essentially leaving the muscles without the signal to contract. As a result, these muscles become paralysed.
In general for muscles to contract, nerves must release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine which is a naturally occurring chemical then attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscles to contract. Injected botulinum toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine, which in turn prevents contraction of the muscle cells.
Anti-Wrinkle injections serve to blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes wrinkles in particular to relax and soften giving a smoother and more youthful appearance.
These types of Cosmetic Injections can also be directed into the skin to block the action of nerves which control your sweat glands. They can be used in this way to safely treat excessive localised sweating (hyperhidrosis), in particular severe underarm sweating which is becoming a more common concern of both men and women.
As with any medical procedure, it is important to remember that these treatments can carry risks as well as benefits and you should always discuss these options with your medical professional. A second opinion is also always recommend for those who may be considering Cosmetic Injections for the first time.
Are Cosmetic Injections safe?
Cosmetic Injections are generally safe when administered by a medical professional who has had sufficient experience in this area of medicine. As with all treatments, there are side effects associated with its use that must be considered as well as many risks including puncturing of tissue, bruising and infection. In most cases these are mild and temporary. Pain and tenderness can also be associated with the Cosmetic Injections at the injection site, as well as some patients reporting a dull headache post treatment.
Which areas can be treated?
Cosmetic Injections can be injected into certain muscles of the face to soften facial lines, including:
- Lines across the bridge of the nose (‘bunny lines’)
- ‘Crow’s feet’ wrinkles extending from the outside corners of the eyes
- Smokers lines
- Frown lines between the eyebrows
- Forehead lines
- Sagging neck skin
- Under arms (for excessive sweating)
Considerations prior to Cosmetic Injection treatment:
Before you opt for any cosmetic treatment, there are some important factors to consider which include:
- Choosing an appropriately qualified and experienced professional. Ask them about their training and experience in performing the procedure. Before and After photos? Patients you may call?
- Inform yourself thoroughly of the possible risks, side effects and complications of the procedure.
- Have realistic expectations regarding your treatment and results.
How long do Cosmetic Injections last? Are they permanent?
Cosmetic Injections can significantly improve the appearance of wrinkles and this effect can usually last for 3 to 6 months. Repeated injections are required to maintain this effect. With continued use, the effects may last longer.
As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and will need to be treated again. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe as time goes by because the muscles are being trained to relax.
A small number of patients develop neutralising antibodies to these Cosmetic Injections after repeated therapy, which can result in the treatment no longer being effective.
How are Cosmetic Injections performed?
A very fine needle is used to inject the botulinum toxin type A into selected facial muscles. Discomfort is minimal and brief. Most people describe it as an insect sting for a few seconds. The wrinkle-smoothing effects of the injection may last for up to six months.
Cosmetic Injection procedures usually only take a few minutes to complete and no anaesthesia is required. The solution is injected with a fine needle into specific areas and it generally takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should also be discontinued two weeks prior to treatment as well in order to reduce bruising.
What are the Side Effects of Cosmetic Injections?
There are many side effects that are associated with Cosmetic Injection procedures. If they occur, they are usually temporary and confined to the injection site. These side effects can include:
- Localised Pain
- Swelling at the injection site
- Skin tightness
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or a feeling of pins and needles
Victorian Cosmetic Dermal Clinics specialise in a vast range of cosmetic procedures including Cosmetic Injections which are performed by only the most experienced and dedicated specialists. For all booking enquires, please contact us today with any questions you may have prior to treatment.