Botulinum Toxin Type A (BTX), more commonly known as “botox”, is one of the most well known treatment modalities used in aesthetic medicine. Although BTX is derived from a toxin, the final product used during treatment is a natural purified protein. This protein relaxes muscles by blocking nerve impulses; ultimately inhibiting communication between the brain and the muscles concerned. BTX causes temporary muscle relaxation without any permanent consequences. Effects are seen within 3 – 5 days with maximum results in 2 weeks. BTX typically lasts 3 – 6 months but varies amongst individuals.
Inability to contract muscles results in smoother appearing skin as well as the prevention and reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.
Dermal fillers are injectable gel substances which are used to fill wrinkles and creases that develop due to natural aging and volume loss in the skin. There are many different types of dermal fillers available on the market, which all vary slightly in their composition. The main ingredient however, is hyaluronic acid, a substance occurring naturally in the skin, which provides it with volume and hydration.
Lines and wrinkles are part of the normal aging process, adding character to a person’s face. Unfortunately, with character comes the loss of a plump and youthful looking face, which certainly is not appreciated by most people. So why do wrinkles get worse the older we get? As we age, a number of factors contribute to the formation of deeper lines and sagging skin. These can be divided into modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. The non-modifiable ones are gender, genetics and any inherited skin condition that may cause your skin to be more vulnerable to damage. Along with these, the natural loss of collagen, the skins “building blocks”, and decreased elasticity result in the skin not being able to “bounce back” to its line-free state the way it could when we were young. The modifiable risk factors are the most important as we can address them and actively play a role in maintaining our youthful skin. These include sun exposure, smoking, poor diet, sleep deprivation, stress, late nights partying and of course, overuse of facial muscles (i.e. expression)
To understand how fillers are used, one must first understand that there are different types of wrinkles/lines, namely dynamic lines and static lines. Dynamic lines occur during animation and facial expression, while static lines are present even at rest as a result of volume loss. Over time, dynamic lines can develop into static lines, as a result of collagen loss and less hydration of the soft tissues. Dermal fillers are injected into static lines/ wrinkles, smoothing them out and creating a more youthful appearance.