This procedure is common practice for the treatment of expression lines and wrinkles located in the upper third of the face.
Its use has expanded into different areas of medical practice since the eighties. Regarding facial aesthetics, the quantities of this substance needed for facial rejuvenation are very low, which makes this a relatively safe procedure.
This treatment works by relaxing the muscle fibres where it is applied, treating dynamic wrinkles which result from continuous facial expressions that lead to their appearance and persistence.
The facial areas where the substance makes its biggest impact in facial rejuvenation are the glabella (between the eyebrows), the frown (forehead) and the lateral aspect of the eye (“crows feet”).
The rationale behind this treatment is mainly the prevention of wrinkles induced by continuous facial expression. Treatment for this purpose can be started at any adult age, which may vary from case to case. Generally, to avoid early signs of aging and preserve a wrinkle free expression, its application is advocated from the early 30s onwards.
One of the biggest fears and misconceptions regarding this treatment is that wrinkles may worsen after the effect of the treatment wears off. As stated beforehand, treatment may actually prevent their appearance by relaxing the lines of tension. So when the effect wears off and continuous treatment is not undertaken, the activation of the muscles involved in certain facial expressions return to normal and the process of aging begins again.
Another common fear regarding this procedure is loss of facial movement, which could produce an artificial/unnatural look. However, when this treatment is undertaken by an experienced doctor, this is highly unlikely, especially since the product is applied only in specific areas and is carefully adjusted to adapt to the lines of expression and wrinkles of each patient.
Concerning the actual application of this substance, this is done using a syringe and fine needle after local anesthesia (normally anesthetic cream). The onset of action occurs after 3 days and achieves a stable result after 10 to 15 days. It has a lasting effect of at least 4 months, but generally 6 months of effect can be expected. Although these timings may differ from patient to patient, they will increase with continuity of treatment.