The most well-known of anti-wrinkle treatments would surely be the botulinum toxin A injection.
YOU may be a 30-year-old who is just starting to see the signs of ageing, perhaps creases that peek out by the corners of your eyes when you smile.
Or perhaps you’re a 50-year-old with facial features that don’t exactly keep your age a secret.
Many aesthetic professionals know that most people are losing the battle against wrinkles.
The vast majority of Malaysians believe that ageing and looking old is inevitable, but with modern aesthetic technologies and procedures available, you don’t have to look as old as your age. Anyone can and should look as young as they feel.
There are quite a number of ways to combat wrinkles. The best option for a particular individual differs from person to person depending on age, skin condition, lifestyle, tolerance for downtime, as well as budget.
It’s best to discuss your options with an aesthetic doctor, dermatologist or plastic surgeon, who can provide you with suitable recommendations.
Amongst the techniques employed by doctors to reduce wrinkles are hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, skin peels, dermabrasion, and skin-tightening or resurfacing lasers.
However, the most well-known of anti-wrinkle treatments would surely be the botulinum toxin A injection. Also known as BTA, botulinum toxin is a protein that temporarily relaxes muscle activity.
Doctors can inject minute doses of BTA in the forehead, frown areas and the corners of the eyes known as crow’s feet, as it is the muscles of facial expression that create wrinkles.
It can also be used to soften up creases on the laugh lines, which are lines that form by the sides of our mouth when we smile, as well as deal with wrinkles and lines on the chin and neck.
BTA injections are usually tolerable as a topical numbing cream containing anaesthetic drugs can be applied to the treatment area for half an hour prior to the procedure.
Doctors may also use ice packs to numb the injection site just before the needle prick. Only the finest, tiniest needles are used to minimize discomfort.
BTA injections may cause swelling, bruising or tenderness, though this is usually transient.
Headaches, asymmetrical results and drooping of eyebrows, as well as eyelids, are also possible, but does not arise frequently with experienced practitioners.
There are some do’s and don’ts after the procedure. I usually tell my clients not to lie down for the next four hours after injection. This is a precaution to ensure the injected drug does not dissipate to unintended areas.
You may go back to work or your usual daily activities as long as you don’t lie supine for the next few hours.
Having said that, running a 40km marathon or participating in a vigorous session of Zumba dancing on the same day as your treatment is not advisable. This is because the increased blood circulation induced by exercise could lead to more swelling or bruising.
You’ll need to refrain from touching your face excessively with those grubby fingers of yours to reduce chances of infection. Hands off, please!
You can wash your face gently if you wish, after the injection. But too much pressure or massaging your face may lead to the injected BTA diffusing and spreading to other areas.
It takes about five days for the results to start showing, and up to two weeks for the full results.
After two weeks, you may follow up with your doctor to ensure you have the best results possible without any complications.
Results of BTA treatment last for four months, but can extend longer if one gets the procedure done regularly. This is because over time, the muscles that cause wrinkles “forget” to work.
These days, it’s common for people to see an aesthetic doctor to have some procedures done. So don’t shy away from looking good and take the opportunity to consult a medical professional about anti-wrinkle solutions.
Dr Chen Tai Ho is an experienced aesthetic doctor who chills by the pool sipping espresso latte when he’s not attending to his beloved patients. For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.