These are by far the most commonly asked questions I get about anti-wrinkle injections!
Hopefully, they will answer some of yours too...
Will it work for me?
When you come in for your consultation, we will assess your suitability for the treatment based on medical history, medications, allergies and an examination of your facial movements. Wrinkles that appear on the movement of the muscles (dynamic lines) tend to be reduced more than wrinkles that are present when the muscle is still (static lines), which may require a combination of treatments including dermal fillers to improve. We will help you to be realistic about what can be achieved with the anti-wrinkle treatments.
Who can't have anti-wrinkle injections?
You may not be suitable for this treatment if you:
Are allergic to botulinum toxin
Are pregnant or breastfeeding
Have nerve or muscle disease
Have infection in the skin at the injection site
Are generally unwell.
When should I start?
There is no right time, as everyone will develop fine lines on their face at different times, but is dependent on genetic and lifestyle factors. Generally speaking, if you have no lines visible when your face is at rest, there is little need to have this treatment, even as a preventative measure. When you start to notice the first signs of lines appearing, facial line injections can be useful to prevent these lines from becoming deeper. It is also helpful to have a good skincare routine with products to target early signs of fine lines and wrinkles, such as retinol, which will also help the injectable treatments look even better if you do decide to have them.
What areas can you treat?
These injections can be administered in a number of different places on the face, to address dynamic wrinkles in the forehead, frown, eye area, nose (bunny lines), dimpling in the chin, downturned mouth, jawline (masseter muscle - also useful for teeth grinding) and neck. It can also be used to treat excessive sweating in the underarms, although here we are not using it for its anti-wrinkle purposes!
Will I become addicted to these treatments?
People often worry that once they start having wrinkle treatments, they won't be able to stop! Or that they will start on a slippery slope to having more and more aesthetic treatments. Think of the treatment as pressing pause on your skin creasing and wrinkling. If you have treatments for five years and then stop, you won't suddenly look five years older. Not every treatment is right for every person, and that is the purpose of the consultation. I am here to guide you, and assess what will be right for your concerns and I'm not afraid to tell you if I think a treatment is a bad idea! From experience, most people love the outcome of the anti-wrinkle treatments and want to book in again!!
Are there any long term effects?
There is no evidence to suggest that there are any long-term effects from anti-wrinkle injections other than muscle atrophy (weakness). There is no evidence that anti-wrinkle injections cause cancer.
Can I have this treatment when I am pregnant?
There are no studies performed looking at the effects of botulinum toxin treatment on pregnant women and the outcome for the unborn baby.
So, there just isn't the data to tell us that it is 100% safe to treat you when you are pregnant.
We recommend waiting until after the birth before having these treatment.
Will I end up with a frozen look?
This is not the aim unless you specifically want this look.
The first time we treat you we are cautious and use smaller doses to allow you to keep some expression.
This allows us to see how you respond to the treatment and we can make adjustments at your follow-up appointment if appropriate.
Will it hurt?
Generally speaking, this procedure is very well tolerated.
The needle used is very small, and only small amounts of product are injected at a time.
Most people describe it as a 'pin prick' or similar to having acupuncture. If you are very concerned about pain, then at your consultation we can discuss anaesthetic options.
Having spent years working in anaesthetics, I am very familiar with helping with pain relief!
When will I see results?
Most people find that it starts to have some muscle relaxing effect by day 5 after the injection with the peak being between 2-4 weeks.
After this, it will gradually fade over the next few weeks, until you have your next treatment, usually around 3 or 4 months.
So, it won't have the same anti-wrinkle effect all the time, and it won't suddenly stop working!
How long will it last?
Most people return for their next treatment between three and four months after the first treatment.
However, everyone is different and the range we have seen is anywhere from two to six months.
If you are new to anti-wrinkle injections, it is not uncommon to find it appears to wear off before 3 months... this is fine. Your muscles are strong and will become weaker/quieter over time. Then your treatments will seem to last longer.
Can men get this too?
Yes absolutely! There are a number of men already coming into the clinic for these treatments, and they do so for the same reasons as anyone else.
We often have to use slightly higher doses on men because (generally speaking) they have a higher metabolism and larger/stronger muscles.
This means more product is required to achieve the desired effect.
But, not everyone and this will be discussed with you following your consultation and examination.
How do I prepare for the treatment?
Following this pre-treatment advice will help you achieve the best results following your treatment.
2 weeks before your treatment:
Using a consistent simple skincare routine including a gentle cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen every day can help prepare your skin for the treatment.
1 week before your treatment:
If safe to do so, and with the advice of your doctor, stop taking ibuprofen or aspirin 3 days before your treatment as this can also increase the risk of bruising.
Please also stop taking any herbal supplements.
3 days before your treatment:
Stop using topical agents which may increase the sensitivity of skin: retinoids, topical antibiotics, exfoliants, acids that may be drying or irritating to the skin (such as alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) beta hydroxyl acids (BHA), exfoliating masks, salicylic acids, hydroquinone, and benzoyl peroxide acne products).
If you are prone to bruising you can take arnica tablets.
Avoid waxing, bleaching, using depilatory creams or tweezing hairs in the area to be treated as this can increase the risk of infection.
2 days before your treatment:
If you are prone to cold sores, you may have been given anti-viral medication. Please take this starting 2 days before your treatment.
Please continue to take it on the day of your treatment and for up to 5 days afterwards.
The day before your treatment:
Please avoid alcohol as this can increase the chance of bleeding or bruising.
On the day of the treatment:
Please arrive wearing no makeup (mascara is fine!).
If you are unwell on the day, please get in touch with us to cancel or rearrange your appointment
Ensure that you inform your practitioner if there have been any changes to your medical history or medications since your consultation
What should I avoid after the treatment?
After treatment, most people can resume their normal daily activities.
Immediately after treatment, there may be some redness, minor swelling at the injection sites and pin-prick marks, which should settle in time.
If you develop any bruising, which may be apparent at the time of treatment or may even develop over the following days, it is usually minor and can be covered with make-up. Occasionally, more significant bruising can occur.
Rarely, you may develop a headache after treatment which can last a few days. Simple analgesia can be taken for this if needed.
Many practitioners advise the following:
Do not apply make-up for 12 hours after treatment to reduce the risk of infection.
Try to avoid touching or rubbing the treated area until the following day as you may affect the results of treatment.
Avoid extremes of hot or cold and vigorous exercise on the day of treatment.
Contact your practitioner if you experience any unwanted side effects.
Remember... this is a medical treatment using prescription medication and injections.
You will be medically, aesthetically and psychologically assessed before treatment.
If you are not suitable, we will explain why and suggest suitable alternatives.
It is so important for you to adhere to the pre-and post-treatment advice to reduce the risk of complications and so you get the best results.