Muscle Relaxers stop the targeted muscle from moving. This neurotoxin can be used to raise your brows, soften a gummy smile as well as prevent the appearance of dynamic lines and wrinkles. Anti-wrinkle injections (wrinkle relaxers) block the transmitting messages between nerve and muscle cells, resulting in muscle cells being unable to contract. With the reduction of muscle contraction, the appearance of existing wrinkles are decreased and the formation of new ones are prevented.
When we are younger, our skin springs back easily when we make facial expressions. As we age, our skin loses some of its elasticity. This loss of bounce combined with the repeated muscular action required to smile, squint or cry to causes wrinkles and folds to become permanent.
Anti-wrinkle or muscle relaxer treatments result in just that, they relax wrinkle-causing facial muscles. As product names cannot be used in Australia due to TGA regulations, we use these descriptions when talking about the product. These ‘relaxers’ have traditionally been used to reduce lines and wrinkles in face, but also have success in treating excessive underarm sweating and allergic rhinitis.
Areas Treated With Muscle Relaxers
Popular treated areas include the forehead, crow’s feet, frown, brow lift, jawline, dimpled chin and gummy smile.
Frown Line Fillers/Frown Line Treatment: Relaxes the entire group of muscles that pull the brows down when frowning, resulting in an opening of the eyes and a raising/reshaping of the eyebrows.
Teeth Grinding/ Face Slimming (Masseter Reduction): Relaxes the masseter jaw muscle, resulting in a slimmer appearance and reducing excessive teeth grinding.
Anti Wrinkle Injections Forehead: Relaxes the forehead lines created when raising the eyebrows. This area needs to be treated with care as too much relaxation of this muscle can create ‘heavy’ eyebrows.
Bunny Lines: Relaxes the muscle that bunch up on either side of the nose when smiling.
Hyperhidrosis: Underarm sweating treatment.
Brow Lift: Relaxes the muscle at the tail of the eyebrow, allowing the forehead muscle to lift this area.
Lip Flip: Relaxes the pursing or kissing muscle that surrounds the mouth. Creates a small improvement in the outward turn of the pink of the lips.
Downturned mouth: Relaxes the muscle that pulls the side of the mouth down that creates a sad face, often treated in conjunction with a ‘pebbled’ chin.
Nose Tip Lift: Relaxes the muscle at the base of the nose. This treatment is effective in people whose nose dips down when smiling.
Nefertiti Lift: Relaxes the platysma muscle between the lower neck and jawline. The release of this downward pull will allow the muscles of the face to elevate the sagging skin over the lower face and more clearly define the jawline.
Allergic Rhinitis Treatment: A quick and easy nasal spray of muscle relaxer is a safe and effective treatment method for decreasing rhinitis symptoms like an itchy or runny nose. Results can last up to three months.
Are there any side effects with Muscle Relaxers?
Anti-wrinkle or muscle relaxer are usually well-tolerated, however, as with all medications, side effects can occur. Possible side effects include pain, burning or stinging, bruising, swelling or redness at the injection site, local muscle weakness including drooping eyelids or eyebrows, swollen eyelids and skin tightness, tingling sensations, itching or aching forehead, headaches, nausea and flu-like symptoms.
Is there any downtime with Muscle Relaxers?
There is very little downtime with muscle relaxer injections. The average treatments lasts around 10 minutes and you can return to your day to day activities straight away.
Muscle/Wrinkle Relaxers last around three months on average. After this time you can choose whether to retreat or not. Your muscle function will return to normal with no ill effects. However, if you are trying to soften an existing ‘static” line
Results can be seen within a few days but the full result is achieved by two weeks. I will book you in for an appointment at the two-week mark to review results and to see if anything needs ‘tweaking’.
The protein that causes the injected muscle to relax starts to have an effect in 1 to 2 days following treatment. However, we generally expect to see the full effects within 7 to 14 days.
Studies show on average results will start to decline at the six-week mark but will not be noticeable until around the twelve-week mark. At this time it is usual to treat the area again. Some people will need treatment sooner while others may enjoy results that last much longer than three months.
The effects usually last between 3 to 4 months. If you have regular muscle relaxer treatments, the effects may last longer.
Muscle relaxer injections relax only the muscles beneath the lines where the product has been placed and the muscles responsible for other aspects of your facial expression stay active. If you have no further treatments, the muscles return to normal and lines gradually go back to how they looked before treatment.
Very little preparation is required on the part of the patient. In order to reduce the risk of bruising, the use of blood thinning agents such as anti-inflammatory medications and fish oils can be ceased in the week leading up to your treatment, however we advise you to consult with your GP before ceasing any medications. Avoid any large intakes of alcohol for 24 hours as this increases the risk of bruising.
If you have a managed illness, I advise you also discuss the use of injectables with your doctor/specialist. If for any reason we need to delay or not proceed with your treatment, you will not be charged for the consultation.
Each unique cosmetic injectable treatment has its own aftercare requirements, which will be discussed in detail with you at your appointment. I recommend the following post-care regimen:
- Keep injection sites clean
- Don’t touch or rub the injected area
- Avoid lying flat for at least 4 hours post treatment
- Use gentle facial cleansers and creams while your skin is recovering
- Avoid sun exposure and heat treatments such as saunas and hot tubs for 24-48 hours
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol and strenuous physical activity for 24-48 hours
- A cool compress may help to reduce pain and swelling
- No kissing or smoking for 24 hours following lip fillers
Cosmetic injectable treatments are unsuitable for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive. Some treatments may also be unsuitable for certain skin types and people suffering from certain medical conditions. It is important to be honest when discussing your medical history, so I can best determine your suitability and ensure your safety for treatment. A thorough consultation will be undertaken before any treatment.
Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are two of the most commonly performed cosmetic treatments in the world. While every patient is different and may experience possible side effects, these treatments are generally require very little recovery time, making them popular ‘lunchtime procedures’. It is possible that some side effects may occur. These will be discussed with you thoroughly at your appointment.