We are passionate about ensuring you know absolutely everything there is to know about any treatment you have at ORA. After all, knowledge is power and we want to work collaboratively with you to meet and exceed your skin goals.
Ahead of treatment, please follow these steps:
Step 1: Read our pre-care information here:
Step 2: Read our after-care information here:
Step 3: Review the wrinkle relaxer consent form here:
Step 4: Check out the information below to understand more about your proposed treatment
Any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Wrinkle relaxers 101 guide.
What are wrinkle relaxers?
Wrinkle relaxers are injections of the medication Botulinum Toxin A. Botox is one of the trade names under which this medication is sold. In cosmetic medicine we use wrinkle relaxers to create a fresher and more youthful appearance by temporarily relaxing facial muscles. It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces the muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form. It can also be used to create better facial balance and symmetry as well as reducing the downward pull of certain muscles on the face and neck which can cause us to look sad, angry or tired. The best approach is often to sprinkle a small amount of wrinkle relaxer into various muscle throughout the face to give an overall freshness..
Sounds good, but will I look frozen?
It's not magic, it's...
Wrinkle relaxers! The truth is that wrinkle relaxers are unrivalled in their ability to slow the appearance of ageing. They do this by reducing the strength of the muscles that crease the skin. As we age, the skin becomes less able to resist creasing while the muscles retain their original strength. This disharmony can result in deep static lines forming. These are lines that are visible as imprints in the skin even when you are not making a facial expression. Used correctly, wrinkle relaxers can harmonise the face and slow down the deepening of these lines. You should never aim however, to remove all movement. This is not natural and will over time result in an unaesthetic outcome. In addition, as we age we can see the position of the brows change, the neck can appear more lax and the mouth corners can sag. Overactive muscles can have a role in all of these features of the ageing face and using wrinkle relaxers can help to reduce these signs is beneficial. We also use wrinkle relaxers to slim the face when people have overactive chewing muscles on the sides of the face.
Why combined treatments?
But can they prevent new lines...
Yes, they can help prevent the formation of new dynamic lines and stop dynamic lines that have already been formed from deepening. The rationale for starting Botulinum Toxin A early is the prevention of the permanent development of deep wrinkles or lines. The average woman begins to show signs of facial aging around the age of 25. The first signs of aging in women are new lines around the eyes (crow’s feet) and around the mouth, as well the “elevens” – the frown lines between the eyebrows. Women tend to show the first signs of aging younger than men because a women’s facial skin is thinner. Men have thicker skin and an increased blood supply to the skin of the face. For this reason men tend to start using wrinkle relaxers later in life; around their mid-thirties. As wrinkle relaxers can have a preventative effect, it’s best not to wait until your wrinkles or lines are deeply etched on the face and then expect an overnight miracle!
What's the catch?
For longterm beautiful results the trick is to never aim to 'freeze' muscles. Freezing muscles can be very ageing and can cause other muscles to function unnaturally. We want people to tell you that YOU look great not that your treatment looks great!
Can you be too old for wrinkle relaxer treatment?
Whilst it is true that the more elastic the skin, the better the treatment will work – Wrinkle relaxers can usually be utilised to smooth wrinkles from around 20 to 60 years of age. It works best in patients who have lines caused by muscle pull (and preferably before the lines have become too deep), as opposed to wrinkles caused largely by excess loose skin and/ or sun damage. An individual consultation is the best way of ascertaining whether the treatment is suitable and beneficial for you as an individual patient.
How long do results last?
The effects of Botulinum Toxin A are temporary and how long it will last depends on the patient. For most people the results last between 3-4 months however runners or people who train a lot tend to metabolise Botulinum Toxin A at a faster rate. Pharmacologically Botulinum Toxin A starts to be broken down by the body at week 7/8 post treatment. At this stage you may start to see a gradual increase in movement. The good news is that with repeated doses the lines and wrinkles often appear less severe because the muscles being treated are being trained to relax. Botulinum Toxin A treatment is best taken as a course with repeat treatment every 4-6 months. This ensures results are always natural. Check out this useful infographic by our colleague Gillian Murray Aesthetics:
How often should I have treatment?
We recommend having treatment every 4-6 months. Studies tell us that the treatment results last up to 3 months however some people find they do not need to return until 5-6 months post treatment. We recommend, not letting the deepest lines etch the skin again. A good guide as to when to return is not when your movement increases but when you start to see the lines imprint the skin at rest again.
How soon will I see my results?
Initial results are typically seen after 1 week but final results are not seen until 2 weeks post treatment. This is also the time when I offer all patients a review to evaluate the results.
What 'areas' should I have treated?
This is entirely up to you but we will guide you in choosing the approach that will yield the most natural results for you. Usually, there comes a time when you need to consider a full face approach to achieve facial harmony and natural results.
Do I have to keep having wrinkle relaxers if I start?
Of course not but the vast majority of patients love the results so much that they couldn’t imagine going back to their pre-Botulinum Toxin A days! We know that many people worry about what they will look like if they stop having treatment. Rest assured Botulinum Toxin A has no long lasting effects on the skin. You will simply revert to how you looked pre-treatment although many patients notice that they look better than pre-treatment because during the time they were having wrinkle relaxer treatment, they were not causing further deepening of lines. In essence, while you are having wrinkle relaxer treatment you are ‘stopping the clock’ on lines!
Can I go back to work after treatment?
Yes! This is an ideal lunchtime treatment. You will have small bumps in the treated area for approximately 20 minutes but otherwise it will be undetectable.
How do I know if I am suitable?
Very few people are deemed unsuitable for wrinkle relaxers. You should not have wrinkle relaxers if you are pregnant or breast Feeding. Patients with certain neuromuscular disorders such as: Myasthenia Gravis/Eaton Lambert Syndrome/Multiple Sclerosis/Parkinsons/Epilepsy may not be suitable and will require clearance from their consultant pre treatment. It is exceptionally rare to have an allergy to Botulinum Toxin A but we do urge caution if you are allergic to egg albumin.
What does the treatment involve?
Step 1: All injectable patients are requested not wear any make-up to the clinic if possible.
Step 2: The skin is cleansed with an antibacterial solution. Your ORA doctor marks up the skin with a white pencil.
Step 3: Injection of the wrinkle relaxer using tiny needles.
Are there any risks associated with wrinkle relaxers?
Botulinum Toxin A is a medical procedure and should only be administered by appropriately trained medical professionals. Nonetheless, Botulinum Toxin A is an extremely safe procedure with a safety record spanning 20 years.
Of course, it is, still important to remember that because it is a medical procedure there are risks and potential side effects: Any time that the skin is pierced with a needle – you risk infection, swelling and bruising, even if it’s only a minor risk. It is advisable not to wear makeup or touch the treated area for 24 hours after treatment.
Up to 10% of patients can experience a headache. Some patients have described it as a feeling of heaviness in the forehead region in the first week of treatment. This usually resolves within 14 days.
Eyebrow or eyelid ptosis. These are the most undesirable side effects. This is where either the eyelid or eyebrow visibly drops. The feeling of heaviness around the eyes is normal and this is NOT a ptosis. This is simply how it feels when a muscle is relaxed! True ptoses are reported to occur in approximately 3% of cases and can be due to regional anatomical variation, injector technique, poor compliance with post-operative advice or a combination of factors. If you have had a ptosis previously then you are more likely to have it occur again. Most ptoses resolve within 6 weeks. They are NEVER permanent.
Double vision. This is rare but it can occur.
Smile Asymmetry. When we treat the lower face or neck it is rare but possible to develop an asymmetric smile (short term).
What should I not do before/after treatment?
Read our pre and post care information leaflets here.
Want to turbo boost your treatment and have time for a little extra treat?
Consider booking in for our 'pre-treat treat peel'. This extra special treatment starts with a gentle cleanse, application of a light peel designed to enhance skin radiance instantly and concludes with a sculpting facial massage and collagen stimulating LED.
Don't worry we administer your wrinkle relaxer in between all these glorious treats but you will be so relaxed you might not even notice!