What are Wrinkle Relaxers?

“Wrinkle relaxers” is a term commonly used to refer to a class of cosmetic injectables known as neuromodulators or neurotoxins. These injectables are used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily relaxing the muscles that cause them. The most well-known and widely used wrinkle relaxer is botulinum toxin type A, which is marketed under brand names such as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin

How do you prepare for Wrinkle Relaxers?

Here’s how wrinkle relaxers work:

  1. Muscle Relaxation: Wrinkle relaxers work by temporarily blocking nerve signals to the muscles, preventing them from contracting. When injected into specific facial muscles, such as those responsible for frowning or squinting, wrinkle relaxers reduce muscle activity, which in turn smoothes out wrinkles and fine lines in the overlying skin.
  2. Treatment Areas: Wrinkle relaxers are commonly used to treat dynamic wrinkles, which are caused by repetitive muscle movements and expressions. These wrinkles typically appear in areas of the face prone to muscle activity, such as the forehead, between the eyebrows (glabellar lines or “11 lines”), and around the eyes (crow’s feet).
  3. Procedure: The procedure involves a series of small injections directly into the targeted muscles using a fine needle. The injections are relatively quick and typically cause minimal discomfort. Some practitioners may use topical numbing cream or ice to numb the skin before the injections.
  4. Results: Wrinkle relaxers begin to take effect within a few days to a week after treatment, with full results typically visible within 1 to 2 weeks. The effects of wrinkle relaxers are temporary and usually last for 3 to 4 months, after which muscle activity gradually returns, and wrinkles may reappear. Repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results over time.
  5. Safety and Side Effects: When administered by a qualified and experienced healthcare provider, wrinkle relaxers are generally considered safe and well-tolerated. Common side effects may include temporary redness, swelling, bruising, or mild discomfort at the injection site. Rare but potential side effects include drooping eyelids, asymmetry, or allergic reactions.
  6. Off-Label Uses: In addition to treating wrinkles, wrinkle relaxers may be used off-label for various other cosmetic and medical purposes, such as reducing the appearance of neck bands, lifting the eyebrows, or managing excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).

Why are Wrinkle Relaxers performed?

Wrinkle relaxers, such as botulinum toxin type A (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), are performed for various cosmetic and medical reasons, including:

  1. Reducing Dynamic Wrinkles: Wrinkle relaxers are most commonly used to reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles, which are caused by repetitive muscle movements and expressions. These wrinkles typically occur in areas of the face with frequent muscle activity, such as the forehead, between the eyebrows (glabellar lines or “11 lines”), and around the eyes (crow’s feet).
  2. Preventing Wrinkle Formation: Wrinkle relaxers can also be used preventatively to slow down the formation of new wrinkles. By reducing muscle activity in areas prone to wrinkle formation, such as the forehead and around the eyes, wrinkle relaxers can help prevent the worsening of existing wrinkles and delay the onset of new ones.
  3. Lifting and Contouring: In addition to reducing wrinkles, wrinkle relaxers can be strategically injected to lift and contour certain areas of the face. For example, they can be used to lift the eyebrows, soften the appearance of a gummy smile, or reduce the prominence of neck bands.
  4. Managing Excessive Sweating: Wrinkle relaxers can also be used to treat hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, particularly in the underarms, palms, and feet. By blocking the nerve signals that stimulate sweat glands, wrinkle relaxers can reduce sweating and improve quality of life for individuals affected by this condition.
  5. Alleviating Migraine Headaches: Some individuals with chronic migraine headaches may benefit from wrinkle relaxer injections. When injected into specific muscle groups associated with headache triggers, wrinkle relaxers can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
  6. Treating Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding: Wrinkle relaxers can be used to relax the muscles involved in jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism). By reducing muscle activity in the jaw muscles, wrinkle relaxers can alleviate symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, and tooth wear.

What can you expect during Wrinkle Relaxers?

During wrinkle relaxer treatments, here’s what you can generally expect:

  1. Consultation: Your first step will typically involve a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, who will assess your concerns, discuss your treatment goals, and evaluate your medical history to determine if wrinkle relaxer injections are suitable for you.
  2. Preparation: Before the procedure, your healthcare provider may ask you to avoid certain medications, supplements, or activities that can increase the risk of bleeding or bruising. They may also apply a topical numbing cream or use ice packs to minimize discomfort during the injections.
  3. Injection Procedure: The procedure itself involves a series of small injections directly into the targeted muscles using a fine needle. The injections are typically quick and relatively painless, although you may experience a mild stinging or pinching sensation. Your healthcare provider will carefully assess the facial anatomy and use precise injection techniques to achieve optimal results while minimizing the risk of complications.
  4. Target Areas: Wrinkle relaxers are commonly injected into specific muscle groups associated with dynamic wrinkles, such as the forehead, glabella (between the eyebrows), and lateral canthal region (around the eyes). Depending on your treatment goals, additional areas of concern, such as the chin, jawline, or neck, may also be targeted.
  5. Post-Treatment Care: After the injections, your healthcare provider may provide post-treatment instructions to help optimize results and minimize side effects. These instructions may include avoiding strenuous exercise, excessive sun exposure, or rubbing or massaging the treated areas for a specified period. You may also be advised to apply ice packs to reduce swelling or discomfort.
  6. Immediate Results: Wrinkle relaxers begin to take effect within a few days to a week after treatment, with full results typically visible within 1 to 2 weeks. You may notice a gradual improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as the muscles relax and the overlying skin smoothens out.
  7. Duration of Results: The effects of wrinkle relaxers are temporary and usually last for 3 to 4 months, although individual results may vary. Muscle activity gradually returns over time, and wrinkles may reappear as the effects of the treatment wear off. Repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results over time.
  8. Follow-Up: Depending on your individual response to treatment and treatment goals, your healthcare provider may recommend a follow-up appointment to assess the results, discuss any concerns or adjustments, and plan for future treatments as needed.

What is the followup and recovery like for Wrinkle Relaxers?

After wrinkle relaxer treatments, follow-up typically involves assessing results, addressing concerns, and planning future treatments. Recovery is minimal, with possible mild redness or swelling at injection sites, which usually resolves within a few hours. Results gradually appear over 1-2 weeks, lasting 3-4 months. Avoidance of strenuous activity and excessive sun exposure is advised initially. Follow-up appointments ensure optimal outcomes and adjustments if needed.

What are the potential costs for Wrinkle Relaxers?

At Upper West Side Dermatology, we charge $26 per unit of botox used during the treatment. The total units per visit depends on discretion of the physician and is based on each patient’s specific needs. We often offer cosmetic specials that make botox cheaper.

What are the potential risks for Wrinkle Relaxers?

Potential risks of wrinkle relaxers include temporary side effects like bruising, redness, or swelling at injection sites. Rarely, complications like eyelid drooping, asymmetry, or allergic reactions may occur. To minimize risks, seek treatment from a qualified provider and follow post-injection care instructions carefully.

Are there related procedures to Wrinkle Relaxers?

  • Botox
  • Xeomin
  • Dysport