Anti-wrinkle injections have become increasingly popular treatments for both men and women at all stages of life.
As skin ages, fine lines develop around areas of movement, particularly around the eyes (crows feet), frown and forehead. These are formed due to the habitual pulling of the skin by the mimetic muscles of the face. Treatment targets and weakens the muscles causing these lines.
Most people have seen or known someone who has had a suboptimal outcome from anti-wrinkle injections. It is therefore natural that many patients have the fear that they will be made to look ‘frozen’. Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung can assure you that in their hands, this is not going to be the case.
Anti-wrinkle injections work by weakening the underlying mimetic facial muscles that cause lines to form. They aim to ‘modulate’ the muscles sufficiently to weaken them but without paralysing them; with the clinical result of softening rather than eradicating wrinkles. When treatment is given optimally, the hyperactive muscle movement during normal social animation is calmed down to an acceptable level, which will still allow normal and appropriate facial expressions to be made. Being able to achieve these results consistently takes knowledge, experience and wisdom. At Aesthetic Harmony, all anti-wrinkle injections are performed by Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung, our medical directors themselves.
Facial muscles are arranged into groups that oppose the action of each other (agonist and antagonist). It is the balance between the agonist and antagonist that determines where certain facial features sit, e.g. the height and shape of the eyebrows. Interfering with this balance in a negative way can cause the eyebrows to sag or become too peaked (‘spocked’). It is therefore crucial to maintain or improve the balance in order to achieve an aesthetically pleasing outcome.
Many patients have found that the effect of their anti-wrinkle injections can be maintained with treatments three to four times a year. However, this can vary quite considerably from person to person and with time.
It is also important to be mindful that facial ageing affects all four layers of the face, namely skin, muscle, subcutaneous fat and bone. It stands to reason that other treatment modalities, such as dermal fillers will play a more prominent role in delivering a refreshed appearance as we age.
An additional point to consider is that the underlying structural ageing changes cause the face to sag. A number of the facial mimetic muscles, particularly those involved in smiling, elevate and lift the face. These elevator muscles of the face work overtime to compensate for the sagging, causing lines to form. Our doctors are highly experienced at appreciating and recognising this phenomenon, and they will treat these muscles judiciously to avoid causing further sagging.