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Anti Wrinkle injections | A beginner's guide

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Anti-wrinkle injections are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the UK today. In fact, it’s the most popular non-surgical procedure nationwide, with around four in ten clients choosing anti-wrinkle injections over other treatments. If you’re curious about anti-wrinkle injections but not entirely sure if it’s right for you, we’re here to help.

We’ve created this guide to anti-wrinkle injections for beginners to understand exactly what it is and what’s involved, as well as how it could work for you.


What are anti-wrinkle injections exactly?

Anti-wrinkle injections use a substance called onabotulinumtoxinA, or botulinum toxin. It is also used under other trade names such as Dysport, Xeomin and Neuobloc, but all perform the same function.

Botulinum toxin is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum type A. The bacteria C. botulinum is known to be the cause of a lethal type of food poisoning. If food is eaten which has been contaminated with the toxin, the person could develop botulism, a potentially fatal illness that causes widespread paralysis of the muscles.

When you hear all that about Botulinum type A it may sound like a rather scary substance. And it is - in its unrefined form, botulinum toxin is one of the deadliest poisons out there. But fear not, because this is a world away from the botulinum toxin that is used in anti-wrinkle injections. We use a purified version and inject it in precise locations, in very tiny amounts, for a variety of purposes


How do anti-wrinkle injections work?

The toxin used in anti-wrinkle injections takes the dangerous traits of this substance and uses minute doses to exploit its positive effects. Whereas an uncontrolled intake of botulinum toxin can cause widespread paralysis, the tiny doses used in anti-wrinkle injections treatments are targeted directly to specific muscles, causing localised relaxation and paralysis.

The most potent and long-lasting strain of botulinum toxin is type A, and this is what is used in onabotulinumtoxinA or anti-wrinkle injections. You may come across type B being used in treatments as well, but there are also six further strains which are not widely used. The effects are usually noticeable within 24 – 72 hours, with maximum results seen at around 10 days following treatment. The result will last for around three months, before new nerve terminals sprout and enable communication with the muscle again.


What are anti-wrinkle injections used for?

Most people know of anti-wrinkle injections purely for its cosmetic applications. However, it is also used in a wide variety of medical treatments, including:

  • Migraines: Chronic migraine can be relieved through anti-wrinkle injections treatment

  • Spasms: Involuntary muscle contractions such as focal dystonias or hemifacial spasms have been shown to be relived greatly by anti-wrinkle injections

  • Sweating: Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be treated with anti-wrinkle injections

  • Salivating: Excessive saliva production has been successfully averted through anti-wrinkle injections

  • Incontinence: Overactive bladder sufferers have found relief through anti-wrinkle injections treatment, often when other medications have failed

There are many other applications for anti-wrinkle injections in the medical world, and new treatments are being discovered all the time. However, for most people interested in anti-wrinkle injections for beginners, they’ll be considering it for a more cosmetic purpose.

Anti-wrinkle injections have been shown to be most effective in cosmetic treatments when they're used on what is known as ‘motion wrinkles’, that is, wrinkles that appear when certain facial expressions are made. Creases that are present all the time can be visibly reduced but are unlikely to be completely eradicated through anti-wrinkle injections.

Some of the most significant results are achieved when anti-wrinkle injections are used on motion wrinkles in the upper part of the face, for instance:

  • Crow’s feet – the lines around the eyes

  • Eleven lines – the two vertical lines that appear between the eyebrows

  • Worry lines – horizontal wrinkles on the forehead

  • Bunny lines – creases on the bridge of the nose

As well as treating these common upper facial issues, anti-wrinkle injections can also treat some wrinkles on the lower part of the face and neck. For example:

  • Marionette lines – vertical lines on the chin

  • Chin dimples

  • Nasolabial folds – also known as smile lines or laugh lines, these run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth

  • Contouring – large masseter muscles can make the jaw appear overly square

  • Platismal lines – lines on the neck running vertically

  • Gummy smiles – anti-wrinkle injections can bring the top lip down to cover more gum

As research and development of Botulinum type A and functions increases, more and more uses are being found for this incredible substance. Expect to see a wider variety of treatments, both medical and cosmetic, emerging over the years as the industry continues to develop its understanding of Botulinum type A.


The administration of anti-wrinkle injections for beginners

If you’ve never had this type of treatment before, you may be feeling understandably nervous about undergoing injections in your face. However, please be assured that having anti-wrinkle injections only takes a few minutes and is performed with the minimum of discomfort.

When you come to us for an anti-wrinkle injections treatment, we’ll ask you to avoid alcohol for at least a week before your procedure. We may also ask you to avoid anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, as this can increase the risk of bruising.

There is no anaesthetic used during your anti-wrinkle injections treatment; indeed, none is needed, as most people report only minor discomfort. The needles used are not like the needles used to give vaccinations; they are incredibly thin, which means they hurt less going in and are less likely to bruise.

Your practitioner will inject anti-wrinkle injections into specific muscles based on the results you want. This will have been thoroughly discussed at consultation and will ensure that only the required area is treated.

Aftercare is fairly minimal. We ask you not to lie down for three or four hours, and not to rub the treated area for at least 12 hours. This prevents the botulinum toxin from migrating to any other areas. You’ll start seeing results in around two days, with the maximum result achieved 10 days following treatment.

Our anti-wrinkle injections appointments usually last around 20 minutes, so you can even get it done in your lunch break. There is no down time, no noticeable effects immediately after treatment and no reason you can’t carry on with your day as usual.


Ready to take the next step?

Hopefully our guide to anti-wrinkle injections for beginners has put your mind at rest on some of the issues and myths surrounding this treatment. We’ve seen first hand the amazing results that can be achieved when anti-wrinkle injections are administered by experts and are here to answer all your questions if you’d like to find out more. Call us today for an informal chat or book a consultation to meet our experienced practitioners one to one.

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