Wrinkles are visible creases or folds in the skin. You may have heard that Botox can get rid of lines and wrinkles.
How do we get wrinkles?
The lines and wrinkles you see are created by facial muscle movement.
The muscle attachments on your face are unique. These muscles are attached to the skin unlike in other body parts. When you move your facial muscles, i.e when the muscles contract, the skin moves with it. When frowning, the muscles involved create the lines between the eyebrows, also called the 11s. When you smile, lines are created around the eyes (crow’s feet). As the muscles relax, the overlying skin also relaxes and reverts back to its resting state. These are called ‘dynamic’ wrinkles.
How can we treat these wrinkles?
Dynamic wrinkles respond very well to anti-wrinkle treatment with Botox. In this treatment, botulinum toxin, commonly known by the brand name, Botox, is used to block the connections between the nerve endings and the muscles. The muscles stay relaxed and can no longer contract and the lines are no longer visible. This is only a temporary treatment. The body reforms these connections over a period of 10-12 weeks and the muscle action returns slowly.
Botulinum toxin is successfully used as a preventative treatment to keep these wrinkles at bay in people under the age of 30. If you desire Botox treatment without looking frozen then this can be achieved using tailored does for your muscle activity.
Fixed lines and wrinkles on the face
Although initially Botox will get rid of all wrinkles, over time, and with repeated contractions, the lines become deeper and are fixed, referred to as static lines. Both the skin and muscles go through ageing changes as well as the facial bones and the deep fat pads. They all contribute to the development of deep lines and folds.
In time, due to factors beyond your control, just like all other organs, the skin ages. These factors are genetics, your ethnic background, hormonal changes and disease processes.
Your skin becomes thin and dry, develops wrinkles and becomes dull with an uneven tone. It becomes less elastic due to collagen loss and develops pigmentation.
These changes do not happen in isolation. As your skin is in direct contact with the environment, it is affected by environmental factors and your lifestyle: Sun exposure, air pollution, smoking, stress and poor nutrition all play a part. The effects on your skin are related to the severity of the insult.
The skin ageing caused by these factors produces coarser skin with a rougher, uneven texture, promotes premature wrinkles and gives rise to uneven pigmentation. Fortunately, these factors can be influenced and any decent skin specialist should advise you about them.
Can Botox work on these wrinkles?
Botulinum toxin (Botox) is very specific in its action, therefore, it is not the only treatment of choice for static lines. Repeated treatment will help soften your lines by muscle relaxation but it does not eradicate them as they are caused by multiple causes. Most people still choose to have Botox to help reduce their lines and wrinkles.
How else can we treat static wrinkles?
There are a number of options to address permanent wrinkles. These treatments help to plump up your skin and reduce the depth of your wrinkles. They are suitable for anyone over the age of 21.
Your skin can be tricked into repair mode with dermal needling. By stimulating a cascade of reactions within your skin, old collagen is removed and new collagen is made by your body resulting in healthy, plump skin.
Medical skin peels
This is a chemical exfoliation treatment of varying strengths to stimulate cell turnover to produce new skin cells. By improving the efficiency of your skin we can minimise fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots and discolouration and keep pores clear.
Skinboosters and Mesotherapy
They contain a mixture of substances including hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidants directly injected into your skin to revitalise and plump up the skin.
Although they take longer to work, they slowly improve cellular turnover, protect your skin and help you achieve a natural glow.
Dermal fillers are the treatment of choice to fill lines and wrinkles in low-risk areas. Facial fillers are composed of hyaluronic acid gel of differing consistency which when injected into your face can fill lines and create volume. They are very good at attracting and holding onto water so they have a consistent effect of plumping your skin.
You have to be aware that fillers can potentially cut off blood supply to the skin if they are accidentally injected into or very close to blood vessels, with some areas of the face being definite danger zones. As the blood supply on the face is very complex there are no safe areas but good anatomical knowledge and specialist training in techniques enable medical practitioners to deliver safer treatments. In the event of a blockage, I am equipped with the knowledge and skills to dissolve the filler and reverse any damage caused by the dermal filler.
Other treatments for permanent wrinkles include thread lifts, laser treatments and surgery.
In summary, although Botox is a powerful solution to get rid of your lines and wrinkles, it does have its limitation if your skin has fixed wrinkles. The earlier you start to take care of your face the better you will look and feel. Prevention is better than cure and by starting early you can maintain the results with less invasive treatments!