Anti-wrinkle injections are the go-to treatment at any modern cosmetic clinic. They have a wide range of uses, from subtle anti-ageing treatments to dramatic changes in the appearance and shape of your face. This article will explore anti-wrinkle injections, what they are used for, how they work and why you should consider them if you want to look younger.
Botulinum toxin (BoNT) is a neurotoxin protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and was first recognised by Justinus Kerner back in 1817 when he wrote an account of its effect on food. His notes on foodborne botulism correctly described the paralysis of skeletal muscles and other nerve functions such as sweating. Later in 1895, Clostridium botulinum was discovered in Belgium after an investigation by Evan Ermengem. Some 75 years later, the process of using it to commercial produce the toxin in controlled amounts lead to its use today in cosmetic medicine.
You can inject a toxin into almost anywhere! The most common places are where your muscles are overactive – the cause of wrinkles. Think of your skin as a sheet of paper. Each day you can scrunch it up into a ball and then unfold it. Over time the unfolding becomes less effective, and the creases tend to remain despite trying. This analogy can be applied to your facial skin, too, over time. Anti-wrinkle injections help stop that process. Common target areas for anti-wrinkle injections include frown lines (crows feet), forehead furrowing and laughter lines on the cheeks.
Without much scientific detail, botulinum toxin works by interrupting the brain messaging to the muscles. Various substances send signals to muscles asking them to contract, e.g. when we smile. The toxin works at a molecular level by blocking these chemical signals, causing them to stay relaxed. Anti-wrinkle injections can slow down the process of facial ageing. It is important to note that it only works on muscles and does not enter your bloodstream, so this treatment has no anti-ageing benefits as you cannot absorb the toxin through oral ingestion or injection.
Just about anyone can benefit from anti-wrinkle injections. There are also many medical uses. For example, in movement disorders such as muscle spasticity conditions like cerebral palsy and pain management in neck pain, migraines or jaw clenching. Hyperhidrosis is a condition of excessive sweating that responds well to toxin injections. Stephanie Quinn, a south coast physiotherapist and spinal hardware specialist recently explained to Secret Skin its use in Women’s health issue such as the treatment dyspareunia. Caused by vaginismus, an involuntary tensing of the vagina.
For cosmetic uses, you need to be over 18, not pregnant/breastfeeding or have any specific conditions that might interact with the treatment.
It is not unusual to have an anti-wrinkle injection every three months as the toxin will wear off and become less effective over time. Some patients only have a treatment once a year, and some have it every few months.
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