In recent years, the market for non-surgical aesthetic treatments has exploded, driven mainly by injectables such as Botox and dermal fillers. The ageing process affects the face in a number of different ways, and there are some ageing concerns that surgery cannot tackle, but that these non-surgical procedures are more suited for.
Injectable treatments can play an important role in the management of facial ageing either as a standalone treatment or to enhance the results of facial rejuvenation procedures. However, it is important that patients realise that though these are termed ‘non-surgical’ they can create long-lasting problems if incorrectly administered, so it is essential to check your practitioner’s credentials before undergoing an injectable treatment.
Am I a suitable candidate for Botox or dermal fillers?
One of the first signs of ageing is facial lines known as dynamic wrinkles. These are caused by the action of the muscles underneath the skin; as they continually contract and relax they can create lines on the surface of the skin and they are commonly found around the eyes and across the brow in the form of crow’s feet and frown lines.
Botox is one of the brand names of botulinum toxin, a protein that when injected into the facial muscles can temporarily relax them by blocking the signal from the nerves. It is a highly effective and safe treatment for dynamic wrinkles.
Another common sign of ageing is a loss of volume, particularly from the mid-face, as our levels of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin deplete. It can result in thinner and dryer skin, flat, sunken cheeks, marked eye hollows and lines to appear between the nose and mouth and from the mouth to the jaw.
Dermal fillers aim to restore lost volume and the leading brands on the market utilise a temporary hyaluronic acid solution to achieve this. By adding volume in the mid-face it is possible to provide a small lift that can smooth folds around the nose and mouth. Hylauronic acid dermal fillers can also fill lines and add volume to the lips.
However, dermal fillers and Botox can only achieve so much, therefore it’s important to be assessed by a fully qualified practitioner who will be able to determine which is the most effective facial rejuvenation option for you, whether surgical, non-surgical or a combination of both.
What happens during a Botox or dermal filler procedure?
Botox and dermal fillers are both injected just under the surface of the skin. The treatment area may be numbed with a local anaesthetic cream or injection if required, although most patients do not find the procedure painful. Both products are delivered in a series of small injections and there may be redness and swelling at the injection site but that should quickly fade
Are there any possible risks or complications associated with a Botox or dermal filler procedure?
Both Botox and temporary dermal filler brands such as Restylane and Juvederm are very safe, well-tolerated products that have been extensively tested.
Botox can cause the eyelids to droop or look uneven, but if this occurs it should be temporary. Some patients may report a headache or, very rarely, double vision, but again these side effects usually wear off very quickly.
What results can I expect from my Botox or dermal filler procedure?
Dermal fillers can help to gently augment the lips and cheeks and can help to reduce the appearance of static wrinkles. Botox can help reduce the appearance of active wrinkles. I aim to avoid the ‘over-filled’ or ‘frozen face’ look and to use Botox and dermal fillers in a subtle way.