We can now substantially reduce some very prominent facial wrinkles without surgery by injecting a small amount of dilute solution of a neurotoxin into certain facial muscles. When injected those muscles are temporarily weakened and consequently, the wrinkles in the overlying facial skin flatten out and can reduce substantially.
Reducing Facial Wrinkles Without Surgery!
Currently, there are three neurotoxins approved for cosmetic use in the United States, Dysport and Xeomin. With slight variations, for clinical use all are about the same in price, onset of action and duration. Currently, we prefer Dysport.
What Exactly Is a Neurotoxin And How Does It Work?
Many of the wrinkles that develop on our faces as we age are the result of the repeated contraction of certain muscles of expression. This is particularly true for the wrinkles around the outer edges of our eyes, or “crow’s feet”, the horizontal lines across our foreheads and vertical “frown lines” that are often noticeable between our eyebrows. It is the contraction of the muscles of expression over many years that etches wrinkles into skin that overlays them. Years of squinting, smiling, frowning, and worrying, create creases or wrinkles in the skin over the muscles performing these actions.
When Dysport, or Xeomin are injected into skeletal muscle, it temporarily prevents that particular muscle from contracting. Until this neurotoxin is metabolized, muscles exposed to it are effectively paralyzed. Injecting Dysport into a muscle of expression prevents it from contracting and thereby, flattens out the creases or wrinkles in the skin above. Wrinkles in the area of the injected muscle usually reduce or disappear entirely.
Frequently asked questions
A neurotoxin can only be used to paralyze those muscles that aren’t critical to the normal functioning of our eyes and mouth. This limits treatment to wrinkles at the outer edge of the eyes (crow’s feet), certain forehead wrinkles and those vertical lines between our eyebrows (frown lines). Some wrinkles around the mouth can also be treated.
The effects of neurotoxin injections such as Dysport last from three to six months. When paralysis wears off, the effected muscle can again contract and the wrinkles in the overlying skin return. In order to maintain the desired cosmetic result, the injection process must be repeated as the effects of the previous injections wear off. After about three or four sessions, the injected muscle may remain weakened longer with the consequent wrinkle improvement also lasting longer.
A Dysport injection session is a very simple process done right in our office. There is neither pre injection preparation nor any post injection care. It takes about five minutes to inject the muscles of expression that cause the wrinkles in the affected areas. Aside for mild soreness and occasional bruising at the injection sites, there are usually no after effects.
You can return to your normal routine after the injections without any restrictions in your activities. Approximately, three to seven days after the injection session, the injected muscles abruptly stop working and within three weeks the wrinkles above them substantially improve. When the effects eventually wear off, the injections must be repeated in order to maintain the desirable cosmetic results.
All of the neurotoxins are extremely safe when used in the matter described above. There are no systemic effects from the local injection of this material into the facial muscles of expression. Occasionally, you may experience mild to moderate pain at the injection sites, and/or bruising lasting for a day following the injections. Very rarely, an adjacent muscle to one that is injected is also weakened. This unwanted weakness is only temporary and wears off in about three weeks.
These neurotoxins will not interact with any common medications you may be taking, nor are there any contraindications to this treatment other than allergy to the injection material itself. Some people subject to chronic headaches find that the intensity and frequency of these reduced after neurotoxin injections to the forehead area.
The cost for Dysport depends on the area(s) injected (crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead wrinkles) and generally ranges from $250-$600. Wrinkles should improve substantially in these areas for about three to six months, after which another session is necessary to keep the wrinkles from returning.
Dysport injections are very safe and yield exceedingly desirable and dramatic cosmetic results for the money spent. The procedure is done quickly in the doctor’s office, without any recovery time whatsoever. For those busy people on a limited budget with unsightly wrinkling about the eyes and forehead, Dysport can be the procedure of choice.