Face wrinkles are of two major varieties. They are dynamic face wrinkles and the static face wrinkles. In this article we are concerned with the causation and treatment of dynamic face wrinkles.
Dynamic face wrinkles occur as a result of excessive muscle activity. The reason the dynamic face wrinkle is labelled thus is because it comes on when the muscle contracts and disappears when the muscles are relaxed. In the face, because the muscle layer is just underneath the skin with a minimum of subcutaneous tissue in between, it is quite easy for face wrinkles to occur whenever the underlying muscles contract. This occurs most commonly and importantly in the forehead (resulting in forehead lines or surprise lines), in between the eyebrows (resulting in frown lines or glabellar lines), and the corners of the eyes (resulting in eye wrinkles or crows feet). There are other areas, of course, on the face where muscular contraction produces dynamic wrinkles. Examples are the under eye wrinkles, the bunny lines on the bridge of the nose, and the smoker’s lines that occur when one purses the lips.
Face wrinkles, both dynamic and static, have the effect of making the sufferer look older and more unpleasant than he or she is. This impacts on the person’s personality and outlook in life, and can affect his job performance as well as that all important first impression when he or she meets clients or potential friends. It is thus very important when one notices the first signs of face wrinkles that there be an aggressive effort made to eliminate that wrinkle, or at the very least, reduce its degree of severity. It is also well known that persistent contraction of muscles will result in the wrinkle being permanent, or static, that is, it does not disappear on relaxation of the muscle, and is then harder to treat.
Treatment of dynamic face wrinkles is, by and large, through the use of a substance that effectively but temporarily weakens or paralyses the facial muscle groups that produce the wrinkle. Although there have been claims of substances that can work when applied to the skin, it is well known that by far the most effective substance that can be used is an injectable item called botulinum toxin.
Botulinum toxin is the purified toxin of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. The two most common brands in the world are Botox and Dysport, both of which use a specific variety known as botulinum toxin type A. Botox is produced by Allergan of USA and Dysport is from Ipsen in Britain.
Botulinum toxins such as Botox (also commonly misspelled as Botax) work by blocking the neuromuscular junction of the muscle, thus causing the effect of paralysis or weakening of the muscle, during which time the effect is very positive, being the disappearance of the wrinkles on the part of the face which was injected. This effect is not permanent, lasting 4 to 6 months from the time of injection. After this time period, the affected muscles gradually recover their function, and the face wrinkle will recur. Botox is very safe and specific if used in the proper hands. Thus if one wants to have Botox treatment to remove face wrinkles, one should go to trained practitioners.
Injection of Botox is generally through the use of fine needles which hardly cause any pain, as very small amounts are injected directly into the target muscle. Bleeding is minimal, if any.
The effect of weakening of muscle, resulting in disappearance of the face wrinkle, takes place within 4 days. Generally no side effects are noted if Botox is injected properly. However some people complain of some tightness of the forehead or mild headache a few days after the Botox injection. This is thought to be due to an unconscious reflex contraction of the surrounding untreated muscles as the treated ones are no longer working. This tightness which does not cause any harm wears off after a few days.