What are Anti-wrinkle injections?
Anti-wrinkle injections are a biological substance produced by a bacteria which cause a relaxed muscle paralysis. There are two commercial manufacturers of anti-wrinkle injections available in Australia.
How do anti-wrinkle injections work on a cellular level?
Muscles contract after a chemical stimulation released by a nerve at the Neuromuscular junction (the junction between the nerve and the muscle). The chemical that is released is called Acetylcholine (Ach). After injection, the substance diffuses into the NMJ. It then binds to the receptors. The substance attaches to the Ach which then prevents it from being released the next time a nerve stimulation occurs. The blockage caused by the substance is essentially permanent and those vesicles in that nerve ending don't really function again. However the effect of the substance is not permanent and it wears off as a new nerve ending sprouts. This is part of the natural renewal of the NMJ; however you only see the effect of it when you see the re-emergence of muscle activity after it has been paralysed by the substance.
What do anti-wrinkle injections do for the patient?
Anti-wrinkle treatments prevent the formation of wrinkles. If you never fold skin - it never creases! Anti-wrinkle injections are the only treatment that specifically prevents the muscle action that causes dynamic lines, i.e. lines of facial expression. You don't want to remove facial expression completely but reduce it in such a way that you can cause less facial lines while maintaining natural expression.
Who can inject anti-wrinkle treatments?
As both versions of the substance are S4 regulated medications by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), only a medical practitioner or a registered nurse under a medical practitioners supervision can inject these substances.
What are sites of cosmetic use?
The muscles most commonly injected in the face are:
Corrugator (Frown lines)
Orbicularis Oculi (Crow's feet)
Frontalis (Worry lines - horizontal forehead)
Other muscles that are injected include:
Nasalis (Bunny scrunch)
Mentalis (Popply chin)
Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi (Nasolabial folds)
Orbicularis oris (Lip lines)
Depressor labii anguli oris (Mouth frown)
Platysma (Neck bands)
What is Hyperhidrosis?
This is a condition where excessive sweating occurs in the underarm region and/or of the hands and feet and even of the face. Hyperhidrosis increases when a person is under stress. Injection of the substance into the sweaty areas of the armpit lasts between 4-10 months and is an alternative to surgery.
What about migraines?
It has been noticed over many years that some patients who suffer from tension headaches and migraines seem to have fewer headaches after they had the cosmetic use of anti-wrinkle injections. Studies are continuing regarding effectiveness, dose and location of such injections. As a fellow migraine and tension headache sufferer I can highly recommend trying anti-wrinkle injections at least once to discover if you too will benefit.
What won't anti-wrinkle injections do?
Anti-wrinkle injections are not a filler, so deep, ingrained lines will not be removed. In this case a combination with a filler may be very successful. Anti-wrinkle injections do not plump the lips, or give you a face lift. It is a muscle relaxing treatment not a muscle tightening treatment. Anti-wrinkle injection are best used as a preventative treatment. It is a treatment worth considering earlier rather than later.