Muscle relaxing anti-wrinkle injections have been used as an anti-wrinkle treatment for many years now, gaining in popularity every year as an anti-ageing strategy.
These anti-wrinkle injections cause the tiny muscles they are injected into to fully or partially relax, eliminating one of the causes of wrinkle development and progression on the face.
Muscle relaxant injections are used for many medical treatments too, including migraines and tremors, but this isn’t where the use stops. A recent review of the successful uses of muscle-relaxant anti-wrinkle injections reveals the extent of the use of these neurotoxins in cosmetic and medical treatments to great advantage to patients.
A review in 2016’s August edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS) offers us insights.
Eight conditions were found to have good supporting evidence for anti-wrinkle injections as more than just anti-wrinkle treatments. A review author, Dr Marie Noland, stated, ‘The use of [muscle relaxant anti-wrinkle injections] has revolutionised the treatment of several different problems seen in the plastic surgeon’s office, from facial wrinkles to painful conditions with limited treatment options’.
Known as neuromodulators, anti-wrinkle injections interfere with communication between nerves and muscles, causing local relaxation of the areas they are injected into. There are two types of these neuromodulators (A and B) that are sold under different brand names.
The strongest evidence for use of the A-type anti-wrinkle injection is for, well, wrinkles. The treatment is minimally invasive and FDA approved for forehead lines and wrinkles, with some products specifically approved for ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles around the eyes.
Facial ageing is by far the most common usage of anti-wrinkle injection treatments, with over 6.5 million procedures performed in 2015, according to ASPS statistics.
Anti-wrinkle treatments injected at our Melbourne clinic are used for facial movement disorders (also known as dystonias), like tics and facial nerve palsy. Abnormal facial nerve regeneration can also be stopped in its tracks – these conditions can cause unusual sweating or tears (crying tears). These treatments have also shown promise in treating people with hand tremors. Both A and B types have been effective in reducing sweating in those with hyperhidrosis, particularly in the hands.
Both A and B types are believed to be safe and effective treatments for arm and hand spasticity in adults, and is showing promise in children with cerebral palsy.
Migraine headaches are also responding well to anti-wrinkle injections at our Melbourne clinic, with some patients receiving wrinkle treatments reporting fewer migraines. Three large studies have seen muscle-relaxant anti-wrinkle injections now being approved for migraine treatment. Muscle relaxant anti-wrinkle injections may soon be used to treat neuropathic (nerve) pain, including surgical nerve damage and nerve damage caused by diabetes.