Wrinkles and facial lines may be induced by sun damage, ageing, and the constant action of strong facial muscles. Fine lines involve only the surface layers of the skin and respond well to retinoic acid and vitamin C creams. Our nurse aestheticians can give you information on medical grade skin care, these consultations are free of charge and very informative.
Deeper lines which are present all the time (static lines), such as the line that runs from the nose down the side of the mouth (nasolabial lines) are best treated with dermal fillers, or by the use of laser or chemical peels to resurface the skin.
Expression (or dynamic) lines occur when we smile, laugh or frown and the delicate muscles underlying the skin contract, producing “laugh lines” or “crow’s feet”, frown lines and horizontal forehead lines. Dynamic lines often contribute to a cross, unfriendly expression.
It is these dynamic wrinkles that may be erased or dramatically reduced with the use of muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants have been used safely and effectively in the medical industry for over 20 years now. Initially they were used to treat eye problems of a muscular nature as well as muscle contractions in the neck and for cerebral palsy, where children have difficulty walking because of muscle contraction.
The muscle relaxants work by blocking the release of a chemical (acetylcholine) at the neuro-muscular junction (where a nervous impulse crosses from the nerve to the muscle for it to contract). This effectively prevents the muscle from working, so it remains relaxed.
Muscle relaxants have been used extensively to prevent facial lines since about 1998. Today an enormous percentage of the population in developed countries, over 30 years of age regularly have muscle relaxant treatments to keep them looking good.
Recent research has shown muscle relaxant treatments to have two further uses. Hyperhidrosis, a disorder of excessive sweating, appears to respond very well to this treatment. Migraine sufferers often find complete resolution of their headaches when treated with this therapy. Research is still under way.
NB. Unfortunately government regulations prohibit the use of brand names of muscle relaxants and dermal fillers in any advertisement or on our website.
Unfortunately, in recent years the Australian government has prohibited any company advertising the name of the muscle relaxant used as this is classified a “drug” under the guidelines of the TGA (Therapeutic Drug Administration). Therefore we are unable to name the product we use (and have used for the past 15 years) in our Practice. Rest assured though that we have always used the original product manufactured by Allergan ( you can look up their website for information at www.allergan.com ) and we refuse to use imitations.
What Can I Expect From Treatment?
A small amount of the diluted product is injected with a very fine needle into various locations in the face. Because the needle used is so fine and only a small amount of fluid is used, discomfort is minimised. A small area of redness may occur after injection, but is easily covered You may return to work or your usual activities immediately. You will not see the effects immediately, it often is between two to five days that you will start to see the effect. Maximal effect is not achieved until almost two weeks. Botox starts working gradually and wears off gradually.
More Scientific Information:
Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce a class of chemical compounds .The Botulinum Type A is processed and purified to produce a sterile product suitable for specific therapeutic uses. Once the diluted product is injected it produces a temporary paralysis of muscle by preventing transmission of nerve impulses to muscle. The duration of this muscle paralysis varies, but generally lasts between three and six months.
Muscle relaxant treatments have been used to treat certain medical conditions since 1980 (crossed eyes, eyelid spasm and motor disorders of the facial nerve). It has been used for the treatment of facial wrinkles and neck bands caused by specific muscle groups, since 1987.
Muscle relaxant injections are customised for every patient, depending on his / her particular needs. Muscle relaxant treatments cannot stop the process of ageing. It can, however, temporarily diminish the look of wrinkles caused by muscle groups. Recent evidence strongly suggest that the effects of treatment become permanent, with regular usage over a three year period. Muscle relaxant treatments may be performed as an isolated procedure, in combination with dermal filler treatments, or as an adjunct to a surgical procedure, particularly Browlift.
Are There Any Problems Associated ?
Bruising is the most common problem associated with this treatment, but is usually only mild and will resolve in a few days to a week. Transient weakness of eyelid opening, drooping eyelids or asymmetry of facial expression may occur, but these effects are rare, and can be treated with eye drops.
Muscle relaxant treatments are temporary, they are always completely reversible.
Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
& Using Muscle Relaxants to Minimise This Problem
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common phenomena suffered by many men and women. Few know just how easy this is to treat. The same product that we use to relax muscles for cosmetic reasons (to reduce or eliminate facial lines) can be injected very superficially under the skin in a procedure that takes about half an hour. The results last on average 7 months!
Areas That Can Be Treated
The most common areas treated for hyperhidrosis are the underarms. However, any area of the body that suffers with excessive sweating can be treated. We personally have had a great response at not just underarms, but also scalp sweating.
Other areas that can be treated are the hands and feet.
Treating Hyperhidrosis of the Scalp – a personal story
Dianne is a young at heart and outgoing 70year old who came to see me after she heard that Botox could help with excessive sweating. For 20 years she had suffered with excessive sweating of the scalp. It had become increasingly worse in the last few years in fact so bad that she no longer wanted to leave the house. The sweat constantly ran down her face so that she started wearing a towel around her neck. It ran down her face washing her makeup off and stinging her eyes.
I discussed the use of Botox for excessive sweating or, hyperhidrosis and its successful use in treating underarms, palms of hands, soles of feet and less frequently the scalp. Dianne was very keen to proceed and thought that any improvement at all would make her feel decidedly better.
The scalp is a very large area, so to keep costs minimal, but gain maximal benefit, we decided to treat an area across the front of the scalp above the hairline. The aim was to prevent sweat running down her face, which bothered her the most. We used a total of 100 units of Botox.
I was extremely pleased after contacting Dianne to find out that the treatment had worked after only a few days and had worked extremely well. In her words “you’ve changed my life”. Dianne was so happy with the result that she has returned to treat the sides of her hairline and the temple area, and has written her version of the story to share with everyone (see attached).
It’s not a permanent solution and will need treatment again at some stage but has given Dianne back a much improved quality of life.
Facial Rejuvenation Specialist