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Treatment for wrinkles and lines

Movement of our facial muscles allow us to express our feelings and emotions. This generates “dynamic” lines which we see as furrows or lines on our face. When we are young, these lines simply disappear when the movement is not being made, due to the collagen and elastin in our skin. However, as we age the production of these key components of the skin reduces, as does their stability. These changes can be accelerated by environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol and UV sun exposure. Over time and with continual muscle contractions, the skin leaves an imprint of the dynamic lines on the face when it is at rest. These lines are a sign of aging and are termed “static” lines or wrinkles.​

The three treatment areas around the eyes aim to address the horizontal forehead lines (wrinkles), the smile lines or ‘crow’s feet’ at the corner of the eyes, and the vertical frown lines between the eyebrows.
Image of a face showing areas that may be affected by wrinkles and lines

Forehead lines Frown lines Crow's feet
How does the treatment work?​

Injection treatment, using different brands (e.g. Botox® and Bocuture®) of a naturally occurring toxin (Botulinum Toxin A), works by temporarily relaxing the facial muscles that create facial wrinkles, lines or twitches. Injection of toxin binds to membrane receptors, blocking the nerve impulse travelling to the muscle. This signal block prevents the muscle from contracting for a period of time. This reduces the intensity of movement and lessens the formation of dynamic lines, and in turn minimises the worsening or creation of new static lines or wrinkles. By softening the appearance of lines, anti-wrinkle treatments give the face a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.

At Subtle Look we take time with each client to fully understand their facial structure and movements so that we ensure the Botulinum Toxin A is placed in the optimal areas to gently smooth out lines whilst allowing some movement and expression. This treatment is particularly effective for lines on the forehead, frowning of the brow (the glabellar region) and around the eyes (crows feet).

What are the risks with anti-wrinkle injections?

As with any intervention there is risk, and although generally safe, if you are considering anti-wrinkle treatment you must be aware of the following:

The main risks are allergy to the Botulinum Toxin A, but at Subtle Look we will observe you after your first treatment, and as highly trained doctors, we will be able to counter any such reactions. There is a risk of temporary facial asymmetry due to drooping of the eyelid also known as ptosis (this can occur in 1 in 100 people). However, it is important to note that Botulinum Toxin A injections are not permanent, and it is extremely unlikely that there would be any long terms effects from treatment. There are also some smaller risks such as bruising and infection, however your doctor will discuss these during a full consultation and give you the opportunity to ask as many questions that you may have to help inform your choices.

Please click here for our consent form

What to expect?
After your initial consultation with our doctors to determine if you are suitable for Botulinum Toxin A, they will create a personalised treatment plan just for you. The actual injections take 5-15 minutes depending on the number of areas receiving treatment. A tiny needle will be used to inject the Botulinum Toxin A into the muscles that cause unwanted lines and wrinkles. The injection site appears like an insect bite but subsides within 5-10 minutes. We advise that you avoid rubbing or massaging the injected area for at least 2-3 days to prevent it moving to an alternative area of your face. You can return to work or daily activities immediately as there is no recovery time. However, we suggest you remain upright for at least 4 hours, and do not shower, drink alcohol or undertake physical exercise for at least 12-24 hours. There is particular risk of eyelid or eyebrow complications should you apply pressure on the treated area such as placing your face in the breathing hole on a physio or massage couch. This should be avoided for at least 1 week. You will notice an improvement in the appearance of the fine lines and wrinkles within the first 1-2 weeks following treatment, the maximum effect being observed 5 to 6 weeks after injection. The treatment effect can be seen for up to 3-4 months after injection.

Please click here for the aftercare sheet
Who should not receive Botulinum Toxin Therapy?

There are a few situations which may exclude someone from having Botulinum Toxin A. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • An allergy to Botox® or another botulinum toxin product
  • Skin disorders or infection around the planned injection site
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Known muscular or neuromuscular disease
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • Existing weakness in targeted muscles
  • Any active cardiovascular disease or taking anti-coagulants (blood thinning agents, please discuss with your doctor)
  • An auto-immune disease or being under immunosuppressive therapy
How long does a treatment last?​
The full benefit of treatment typically lasts 2-3 months, but can be shorter or much longer in some people. With repeated treatment, the anti-wrinkle effects can become longer lasting. The muscles which have been treated will slowly start moving again once the body has made enough new membrane receptors to restore transmission of the nerve signalling pathway which causes muscles to move. ​
What happens if I don’t like how it looks?​​
Whilst the treatment cannot be reversed, the good news is that it always wears off after a period of time, with no lasting change to your appearance. ​ This wearing off, and full return to how you looked before, is an important difference between toxin therapy and some other surgical aesthetic treatments, which might modify how you look for a longer period, or even permanently. Toxin therapy is a good option for people who want to feel in control, but to refresh and rejuvenate their looks for a relatively long period of time.
What should I do if I have questions?

Please get in touch and we would be pleased to advise you further: