Anti-wrinkle treatments have a diverse range of uses in non-surgical cosmetic medicine.
Their primary use is in reducing wrinkles in several areas of the face, but they may also be used to soften folds in the neck, to reduce the prominence of a ‘gummy smile’, or in the armpits to reduce sweating where excessive sweating is a concern. With careful use, it can also be used to lift the outer eyebrow (chemical browlift).
Anti-wrinkle treatment overview
TYPE OF ANAESTHETIC
LENGTH OF PROCEDURE
NIGHTS IN HOSPITAL
No time required off work
Minor bruising may occur
What are wrinkle relaxing treatments?
Tiny amounts of botulinum toxin are injected into the muscles of the face where wrinkles are a concern. This blocks the transmission of nerve signals to the muscles, causing them to relax and reducing the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles.
Where can they be used?
The areas of the face most commonly treated with wrinkle relaxants are the forehead, frown area between the eyebrows and crow’s feet.
They can also help with other cosmetic concerns such as a gummy smile, bunny lines and overly prominent muscles in the face and neck. These injections can also be used in the armpits to reduce excessive sweating.
What are the risks?
Anti-wrinkle treatments have a very high safety profile, with millions of injections being administered worldwide.
The risks include bruising and under or over-correction.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition in which someone can’t help thinking about one or more perceived issues or faults in their appearance. Other people may think that their concerns are minor or they may fail to see them at all.
People with BDD, continuously focus on their appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. The perceived flaw likely causes significant distress and impacts on a person’s ability to function in their daily life.
People affected with BDD often seek out cosmetic procedures to try to “fix” their perceived flaw. Afterwards, they may feel temporary satisfaction or a reduction in their symptoms, but often the anxiety returns, or they may move on to focus on other perceived problems related to their appearance.
Some patients may have features of body dysmorphia. Such patients are not likely to be offered surgery.
If you are considering surgery, it is worth trying the self-assessment tool below known as the Cosmetic Procedure Screening Questionnaire (COPS).
The questionnaire was developed by David Veale, Nell Ellison, Tom Werner, Rupa Dodhia, Marc Serfaty and Alex Clarke (2012) Development of a cosmetic procedure screening questionnaire (COPS) for Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Journal of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, 65 (4), 530-532.