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Q&A on anti-wrinkle treatments with Mr James Haeney

15 February 2017

Anti-wrinkle treatments

James Haeney, Consultant Plastic Surgeon

What are anti-wrinkle treatments and will they work for me?

The main non-surgical anti-wrinkle treatments are muscle relaxants and filler injections. Both are increasingly popular and safe when delivered carefully .

When a surgeon assesses your face they will talk you through what options are available for different areas including both risks and benefits. It is possible to treat small problematic areas or to treat bigger areas to give a more refreshed look.  Your surgeon will give you an honest appraisal of what can be done and what can’t be changed!

What areas of the face can be treated?

Typically muscle relaxant injections are used into the upper face to reduce wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyebrows, bridge of nose and around the eyes. They can also be used to create a subtle lift of the brow in some cases.  Filler injections are more commonly used into the lower face to address deeper lines between cheek and lip or chin and also to fill or plump up the lips.  They can also be used to plump up cheeks or scars.

How do anti-wrinkle injections reduce wrinkles?

Muscle relaxant injections have been used medically since the 1960s and are known to be safe. They work by paralysing the small muscles that cause wrinkling to reduce creases. Deeper, ingrained creases don’t always disappear but can be ‘softened’. Used carefully muscle relaxants can be used to weaken muscles rather than paralyse them so the face still moves and has good expression but fewer wrinkles.

What are filler injections?

Numerous different type of filler injections exist. Some fillers are temporary, some are permanent and some can cause allergic reactions.  Filler injections result in an instant plumping effect but also then attract water so there is a little more swelling over a few days before the final results are apparent

How long do they last and are there any risks?

The effects of muscle relaxant injections typically develop over 3-5 days after injections and usually last for around 4 months. Sometimes the effects can last for longer or shorter periods. Side effects can include bruising at the site of injections and there is a small risk of weakening unintended muscles causing drooping of brow or eyelid.  This is rare and usually wears off quickly.

The most common side effect of filler treatment is bruising which can take some days to settle fully. Whilst this doesn’t always happen it is important to allow a little more recovery time after filler injections to look your best. Much rarer side effects include infection and damage to skin resulting in blisters or scarring. There is often some lumpiness early on which softens with massage. Fillers typically last between 6 and 18 months depending on the area treated but can be dissolved earlier if needed.

Are the injections painful?

Although all injections are uncomfortable there are numerous ways to reduce discomfort, including using local anaesthetic and creams. Most patients feel that the benefits are worth the initial discomfort!

Will people know I have had treatment?

Usually people will only know that you have had treatment if you tell them! In the vast majority of cases muscle relaxants and filler injections are used to refresh the face giving a subtle and natural look.  Magazine pictures and articles often show extreme examples of overtreatment.  It is always safer to gently build up the effects rather than to make big changes in one go!


If you would like to make an appointment to see Mr Haeney please contact us on 0142 672 412.

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