Using injections of botulinum toxin, wrinkle can be softened, sweating can be prevented and muscles can be slimmed (typically the face, calves and neck).
Botulinum toxin works by interrupting the communication between nerves and their target destination (generally muscles or sweat glands). There is also some evidence to suggest that it may interrupt communication with oil glands as well.
- Botulinum toxin is administered using injections with a fine needle. There is generally a slight stinging sensation that subsides immediately after injection.
- After injection, it is not uncommon to notice a small ‘lump’ at the injection site. This resolves in a few minutes.
- The effect of the treatment with botulinum toxin will begin 3-5 days after your treatment, with the strongest effect seen between day 14 and 30. The effects will then gradually reduce over a period of 1-6 months.
- The degree of maximum effect (or how much of a result you achieve) is dependent on how much botulinum toxin has been injected.
The longevity of the effect (or how long your results last) is dependent on how much botulinum toxin was injected, which areas were injected, and personal biological factors (such as your metabolism) which cannot be controlled. Administering higher quantities of botulinum toxin will increase the longevity (and also the degree of maximum effect), up to a limit (where further increases will not increase longevity).
Injections with botulinum toxin are temporary and irreversible (meaning the effect cannot be reversed).
The risks of botulinum toxin injection include:
- Local swelling;
- Temporary headache;
- Variable degree of maximum effect;
- Variable longevity;
- Over or under treatment;
- Drooping of the eyebrow or eyelid (specific to treatments of the forehead and eye area);
- Smile/mouth weakness (specific to treatments of the mouth area and facial/jawline slimming).
Generally, the risks associated with botulinum toxin are mild and resolve on their own.
The results you experience may change over time. With age, there are a number of changes to your metabolism, and to your facial tissues (skin, muscle, fat, bone, collagen). This means that you may not achieve the same degree of result or the same longevity as you age.
Certain formulations (brands) of botulinum toxin have a risk of causing antibody production leading to immunity. This will cause the affected person to see no results when being treated with botulinum toxin. If this occurs, current recommendations are to avoid undergoing treatments with botulinum toxin for 12 months, and then to only use formulations that have not been shown to cause immunity/anti wrinkle resistance through anti body production.
Want to know if anti wrinkle injections are right for you? Find out more about anti wrinkle injections here.