Anti wrinkle injections FAQ’s
There are many brand names, which are not allowed to be named on australian web sites. The most well known one starts with the letter “B” and rhymes with “clock”. There is another one (which I tend to use, as I believe it is better and newer technology), that starts with the letter “D”
They are made of a naturally occurring purified protein from a naturally occurring bacteria.
No, there is no bacteria in them at all, just a purified protein made by the bacteria. (Similar to how penicillin is purified, after being produced from a mould).
When injected into muscle, it relaxes them for a period of 3-6 months.
They work on the junction or the join between the nerve and the muscle. The brain still sends signals to the nerve. The nerve still works perfectly along its length, and the muscle still is able to function, however, the signal from the nerve to the muscle is disrupted.
Think of how a light bulb works., THere is a switch, an electrical cord, and a light bulb. Think of the switch as your brain, the electrical cord as your nerve. Think of the nerve-muscle junction as the cord contacting the light bulb, and the light bulb as your muscle. When you turn the switch on and off, the light bulb goes on and off. If, however you very slightly unscrew the bulb, then the light bulb will
not respond to the switch. SImilar, after AWI, the brain still works, the nerve still works, the muscle does not work as the nerve-muscle junction has been disrupted
They are typically used to reduce wrinkles in the upper half of the face.
Most importantly, lets first consider – What can AWI not do?
They will NOT
- Make you look like Angelina Jolie,
- Bring back old boyfriends, or
- Make you look 20 years younger
However, when used properly, they can visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and creases. They are also excellent at treating JAW PAIN, and can help in some cases of MIGRAINE, TENSION HEADACHE. Some people have found that the treatment of their frown lines has helped somewhat with DEPRESSION and ANXIETY, though this research is still in its infancy.
Firstly, consider if you actually would like to! Wrinkles are there due to excess contraction of skin, by the underlying muscle, and are used in facial expression. The only true way of having no wrinkles would be having almost no facial expressions! Thankfully, there is now a big trend away from the stereotyped fake beauty look 20 years ago of an almost totally frozen face. I personally was not ever a fan of these faces . Nowadays, we are heading towards a more subtle look, where we have balanced the massive reduction in wrinkles with some level of facial expressions remaining. There is very much an art to understanding patients desires, and balancing them with what is possible
If there are no lines present when a persons face is at rest, and there are wrinkles when using facial expressions such as smiling, frowning, or being surprised, then the wrinkles can be almost totally eliminated
If there are fine lines at rest (typically after 5 years or so), then, usually, there are much larger wrinkles with facial movement. In this situation, we can limit the wrinkles, to where they were at rest
If there is a wrinkle etched in the skin (typically happening decades after it appeared) then this wrinkle will still be there after AWI, but its appearance with facial movement (ie frowning, laughing, or the surprised look on a forehead) will be significantly reduced
If there is excess skin then we are needing to accept our appearance, or heading towards a facelift
So I should really be thinking of ‘wrinkle reduction’ rather than ‘wrinkle elimination”
Exactly! This will allow you to have a more subtle, youthful refreshed looking face.
There are no predefined age limits.
Typically, women notice fine lines in their late twenties, men typically notice fine lines in their late thirties.
We know that wrinkles will basically get worse and worse if we leave them as is. Every time we contract a muscle, the skin folds over itself in the same position as it always has
The faint fine lines will turn into slight creases, which turn into crinkles, then wrinkles at rest, then they become etched into the skin. Eventually, we tend to have excess droopy, baggy skin
There is a growing trend towards treating both men and women younger, but doing it more subtly than was done in the past. This allows us to slow the progression of wrinkles, and hence facial ageing.
There was an excellent study in a plastic surgery journal, comparing two identical female twins, one who had AWI twice, and the other who had them routinely. After 14 years, the twin having the regular AWI had significantly less facial wrinkles.
The forehead, the frown lines (the “11s”) and the crows feet.
When the forehead is raised, numerous wavy lines form, which typically start very shallow, and progressively worsen over the ensuring decades
What can be done to soften and erase the lines?
When injected into the forehead, the muscle (called the frontalis) is relaxed, and weakened, so that it cannot function as well as it used to. That is wonderful if you are wanting to reduce the active wrinkle caused by that muscle contracting!
It depends on whether you would prefer a subtle reduction in wrinkles, or a more dramatic lessening of the ageing lines.
The more movement in the forehead, the more the wrinkles, and the less movement, the less wrinkles.
Typically, for new patients, I tend to suggest a subtle reduction, then reassess how everything looks in a fortnight. Then, if the patient is happy, stay as is. If the patient would like a further treatment, then I add some more in (at no extra cost).
When frowning, two muscles pull the middle part of the eyebrows downwards and together. This gives us a stern, angry face, or can give us the appearance of being deep in thought. The muscle is called the glabella. When we frown, we usually have two vertical lines, that look like the number 11. Hence, they are often referred to as the ’11s’ or the ‘elevenses’. In some people, there is only a “1” and in others, there are three lines, which, are unsurprisingly, referred to as the “111’s”
What can be done to soften and erase the lines?
We can inject some AWI into them
What happens when we inject AWI into the frown lines?
THe muscle that contracts (glabella) is unable to contract as well as it used to. We still get some movement, but very little wrinkles caused by frowning
In addition, because facial muscles convey our expressions, we can change the way that others may view us by minimising this glabella muscle that makes us look “angry”
Many women like the way that others see them when this part of the face is treated. Instead of others feeling they are looking stern, angry, or upset, they are viewed as more calm, pleasant and attractive.
From a personal viewpoint as a dentist, I spend a considerable amount of time deep in concentration in my work, and subconsciously used frown for most of the day. This can give off the appearance of me being stern, unhappy, rushed tired and upset, when I am simply doing my job to the best of my ability! After my own AWI, my face is much more relaxed, and in particular, since my frown muscle is not able to convey a big frown, i am not viewed by others as being stern, angry or upset.
The crows feet are circular wrinkles that extend out laterally from the eyes, and are caused by the contraction of some small muscles (that we can treat) called the obicularis occuli, and some larger muscles (that we cannot treat) called the zygomaticus major and minor (they move the lip towards the cheekbone)
What can we do to soften and erase the lines?
We can place some AWI into the small muscles around the outer surface of the eye (the lateral aspect of the obicularis occuli muscle)
What happens when we place some AWI into them?
After a week or two, the muscle is relaxed, and no longer works as well as it used to. The wrinkles caused by the muscle contraction will be significantly diminised, and in many cases, erased.
Typically, nothing is seen for a few days, and the full effect is shown after one to two weeks.
The longevity of injections depends on the site, and a good guide is approximately six months from start to finish.
However, most women do not want their crows feet to return to their original level of wrinkles, and want to feel and look fresher. Because of this, they are usually redone soon after some muscle movement has started, which is typically 4 months.
1) Dermal fillers – can be done in the area directly under the wrinkles (such as the horizontal forehead lines), or in an area away from the wrinkles (ie a mid cheek filler can plump up the cheek, and significantly enhance the nasolabial fold and the crows feet.
2) Chemical peels.
3) Various laser treatments.
4) Surgical options to reposition muscles, tendons, skin.
5 ) facelifts.
Therapeutic guidelines of Australia are very strict in controlling this, and it is illegal for any practitioners to publish this information. As a guideline, a full face treatment of forehead lines, frown lines (11’s) and crows feet costs about the same as a decent cup of coffee and cake each day.
Yes, absolutely. We understand that the cost can feel daunting, and it can be particularly difficult to save. We can find a payment plan you feel comfortable with so that the cost can be spread out evenly each week or fortnightly pay periods.
Whether you could benefit really depends on what your expectations are, compared to what I can do for you. This is why a complimentary cosmetic consultation is so important. If your expectations are sky high, and I am unable to help you, then I will be honest and refer you elsewhere if needed. If I can exceed your expectations, then I am happy to advise on a personalised treatment plan, that may involve AWI, dermal fillers and chemical peels.