Wrinkle relaxing injections? Botox®? Dermal fillers?.....What’s the difference? 🤷🏻♀️
Many people get confused between the different types of injectable treatments used in aesthetics. They generally fall into 2 main categories :
▫️Injections to reduce lines on the skins surface caused by the movement of specific muscles.
▫️Injections to provide volume, plumping, filling deeper creases, shaping and facial contouring.
Wrinkle relaxing injections
Wrinkle relaxing injections are commonly referred to as ‘Botox®’ . Botox® is actually a brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A. There are a handful of good quality brand names which we use in the UK. As well as Botox® you may have also heard of Bocouture®, Xeomin®, Azzulure® and Dysport®. They all have extensively backed safely profiles, are approved/licensed and from reputable sources. There are many on the market which are not rigorously tested originating from the Far East. Many places which offer super cheap deals and offers on wrinkle relaxing infections often use these to keep their costs down and enable them to offer these prices. I sometimes see adverts for treatment which is cheaper than the cost of a vial to buy from the reputable brands. So whilst the price may look appealing, you have no idea what is being injected into your skin. They may also advertise a well known brand, but then over dilute it to enable it to go further. So it’s very important to do your research and make sure you know exactly what is going into your skin and what qualifications the practitioner has who is injecting it.
Wrinkle relaxing injections work very specifically on the muscle they are injected into. Constant contraction of the same muscle results in visible creases/lines on the skin. By relaxing them and preventing such strong movement, for example in a frown, we can not only help smooth the existing lines but also prevent them becoming deeper as you age. The most common areas we use these injections are the forehead, around the eyes (crows feet) and frown lines. All wrinkle relaxing injections are temporary and if only performed once the skin would slowly, over time, return to its pre treated condition. The duration of wrinkle relaxing injections ranges from 3-6 months depending on the area treated and individual environmental factors.
Unknown to many, the same Botulinum Toxin Type A injections used to treat wrinkles can also be used on areas of excessive sweating, such as armpits, hands and feet. It works by temporarily blocking the activity of the sweat glands to provide relief from embarrassing sweat patches. It can last for up to 9 months.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) makes up one of the most commonly used dermal fillers. HA is found naturally in the skin and provides a plump youthful look. Babies have an abundance of it, hence the chubby cheeks! HA fillers come in the form of a gel designed to mimic your skins natural HA as close as possible.
The gel is injected into different layers of the skin to add volume, re shape, contour and fill deeper creases, pretty much anywhere on the face. Fillers last for 6-18 months depending on the type of filler used as well as individual and environmental factors. Common areas for treatment are lips, cheeks, nose to mouth lines and around the jowl area.
Brand names you may have heard of include Juvederm®, Restylane®, Teosyal® and Belotero®. As with the toxin brands discussed earlier, these are all well researched and ensure safety as their top priority. Again cheaper alternatives can be sourced but these do not have the safety profiles of the well known brands. It is so important to do your research and ensure you know exactly what product is being injected into your skin. Quality products are not cheap for us to buy, so if they are being sold on the cheap they are unlikely to have the important safety profile.
It is crucial to check your practitioners competency and ability for both the treatment, but arguably more importantly, to treat and resolve any side effects you may experience. Whilst these are very rare is it vital you make an informed consent and that information is given on what to look out for. You must be confident any complication could be dealt with by your medical practitioner.
An in-depth understanding of medical facial anatomy is crucial to help reduce risks and ensure a good aesthetic outcome. I went on a cadaver (a body donated for medical science) course in France where I got to see all the facial anatomy under the skin in real life. It was totally different than any text book could ever illustrate and was invaluable to ensure safe and accurate administration of aesthetic treatments.
Dermal fillers are not to be confused with ‘collagen injections’. These are very rarely used now and are usually permanent fillers. They were widely used in the 80’s before it was apparent there were many risks and permanent side effects. In fact I am not aware of anyone in my close professional circle who still endorses this practice.
by Emma York
Key safety points
✅ Check what product you are receiving
✅ Make sure you see the box opened in front of you
✅ If the ‘deal’ seems too good to be true it probably is❗️
✅ Never risk having anything injected into your face which you are not fully clued up on
✅ Check your practitioners medical credentials and ability to deal with any rare side effects
✅ Check your practitioners medical indemnity insurance