Everyone experiences changes in the way they look with age. This can include seeing fine lines, sagging skin, and other signs of aging. While over-the-counter beauty products are marketed as a solution to age-related changes, few of them produce noticeable results.
A more thorough and effective way to address signs of aging is through cosmetic injectables. Here is how aesthetic injections can be part of your anti-aging strategy.
WHAT ARE COSMETIC INJECTABLES?
Cosmetic injectables are minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments that can resolve a wide variety of concerns.
There are two different types of cosmetic injectables: neuromodulators and dermal fillers. These two types of injections use very different methods to address age-related changes and help you achieve a more youthful appearance.
NEUROMODULATORS (BOTOX AND DYSPORT)
Neuromodulators are cosmetic injectables that can reduce wrinkles and fine lines while preventing further ones from developing. Neuromodulators use chemicals called neurotoxins to subdue the movement of your face.
There are three aspects to using these products. The first and most common is to reduce and prevent wrinkles caused by facial movement. The second is to alter expressions for the sake of the expression. Most commonly used between the eyebrows to prevent scowling, people often use the product simply to prevent this expression. This may aid one in negotiations for example. Other uses are to help move the corners of the mouth up and prevent dimples in the chin. Finally, neuromodulators can be used to cause a muscle to shrink in size. This is useful when someone would like a more tapered jaw. By placing it in the masseter muscle, the muscle can shrink a bit.
Neurotoxins interact directly with your nerves and muscles to restrict facial expressions when injected into the muscle. Many wrinkles are the result of repeated facial expression. An obvious example is your forehead lines. Younger people will only have a crease while actively raising their eyebrows or scowling. In these people, neuromodulators will prevent wrinkles from forming. As we age, repeated use of the muscle and “scrunching” the skin repeatedly breaks collagen in the skin and results in creases that are present even at rest. Neuromodulators will greatly reduce these types of wrinkles and prevent worsening.
These neurotoxins also prevent further wrinkle formation through the restriction of your facial skin. Many people do not realize that excessive facial movement is a leading factor in wrinkle formation.
As you age, collagen and elastin decrease within your skin. This makes your skin less elastic and more susceptible to movement. Every smile, laugh, and frown leads to creasing in the skin, which can cause frown lines, smile lines, and other wrinkles. By restricting this movement, neuromodulators can stop new wrinkles from developing.
TYPES OF NEUROMODULATORS
There are several different neuromodulators that are used in the cosmetic industry. The two most frequently used brands are Botox and Dysport.
While Botox and Dysport are both botulinum toxin type A (a protein), they differ slightly in regards to how the protein is “packaged”. Presumably it is this difference that results in Dysport having a much faster onset. Dysport sets itself apart from Botox by having a faster onset. While Botox develops gradually over five to seven days, many people see the results of Dysport injections in one to two days.
Botox and Dysport have similar longevity and can be used interchangeable. Botox and Dysport have a different unit of measurement. One unit of Dysport does not produce the same result as one unit of Botox, so the number of units given for each will be different to produce the same result. I use the analogy of miles and kilometers, it is a different number, but it is still the same distance from here to there. A larger number of Dysport units is needed to produce a similar result to Botox, however, Dysport is less expensive per unit, so the cost comparison is a bit in favor of Dysport.
Dermal fillers are another type of cosmetic injectable that can reduce age-related changes. While neuromodulators focus on wrinkles and fine lines, dermal fillers can address these concerns along with loss of volume. In my practice, I only use hyaluronic acid fillers (HA Fillers). There are a number of reasons for this including efficacy, the fact that hyaluronic acid is a normal part of our skin, and the fact that it is dissolvable.
HA fillers can be used within the skin to address creases, or beneath the skin to address shape and volume.
When used in the skin to address wrinkles, the product is injected into the dermis (deeper) layer of the skin. It is only useful in thicker, particularly the skin around the mouth. The HA is not to be thought of as “caulking” however. By using a specific technique of injection, the HA will stimulate a collagen growth response from your body and cause the skin to repair the crease. For this reason, the results of HA fillers can last many years, well beyond the point that the actual filler has dissolved.
When used to address volume loss, the filler is producing a one-to-one response. If you add 1cc of HA, you get 1cc of fill. The result will last as long as the HA lasts. This is often one to two years. Commonly, one might want to add volume to the cheeks, temples, and under eye areas. All of these areas tend to collapse with age giving a skeletal appearance to the face. HA fillers can temporarily improve this appearance, even in thing people.
DERMAL FILLER BRANDS
There are a wide variety of different dermal fillers available in the cosmetic industry. Restylane is a popular brand which offers a product line that includes a selection of different dermal fillers.
Some fillers are designed for age-related changes like volume loss and wrinkles. Others are primarily focused on facial enhancement, such as lip fillers and cheek fillers. Each brand of filler has multiple “flavors” with some of these being more firm for deeper volume applications, some are softer for more superficial wrinkle correction, and others are more rubbery for use in the lips.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT COSMETIC INJECTABLES
If you’ve never had cosmetic injectable treatment, you may have some questions or concerns about the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that clients have when seeking cosmetic injections:
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR COSMETIC INJECTABLES?
Since cosmetic injectables can address a number of different concerns, many people qualify as candidates. Most clients who seek injectables are in their 30s and older. These clients are looking to resolve age-related changes like wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.
Younger people can also seek cosmetic injections. Neuromodulators are a good option for younger clients who want to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming. Dermal fillers can be used on younger people as lip or cheek fillers.
SHOULD I GET NEUROMODULATORS OR FILLERS?
When it comes to cosmetic injections, many people are unsure where to start. Should you get neuromodulators like Botox or dermal fillers like Restylane? This all depends on your desired result.
If you want smoother, tighter skin without wrinkles, you may want a neuromodulator. If you are looking to achieve plumper, fuller skin, then dermal fillers may be a better option. The best way to find out is by having a consultation with Dr. Apo.
Depending on your needs, you may be able to have both neuromodulators and dermal fillers at the same time. Clients with an array of age-related changes can benefit greatly from this combination of treatments.
ARE COSMETIC INJECTABLES PAINFUL?
Cosmetic injectables use a small syringe to administer the solution beneath your skin. A topical anesthetic can be applied before the needle is inserted, but is typically not needed. Most clients find the treatments to be just an annoying pinch that is over very quickly. Of note, lip injections are a special situation. Dr. Apostolakis will offer all patients who want lip injections a “dental block”. The dental block will convert what would be a very painful lip injection procedure into a nearly painless one. Lips are extremely sensitive to inject and the dental block solves this issue very effectively.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET COSMETIC INJECTIONS?
Receiving cosmetic injectables is a quick process. In most cases, your injections can be administered in just a few minutes.
IS THERE ANY RECOVERY PROCESS AFTER COSMETIC INJECTABLE TREATMENT?
Bruising and swelling can occur. The risk of this depends greatly on what exact treatment you are receiving. Botulinum products (Dysport) usually produce no bruising or swelling while filler injections (Restylane) are higher risk for bruising and swelling. Dr. Apostolakis will make it clear to you before your treatment what the risk is for the exact treatment you are receiving. Regardless, you can return to your normal activities on the same day as your session.
WHEN WILL I SEE THE RESULTS OF MY COSMETIC INJECTABLES?
Most people see the results of their cosmetic injections within a few days of treatment. This time will vary depending on the type and brand of injection used. For example, Dysport neuromodulators develop faster than Botox, while dermal fillers typically take two to three days to develop.
GET COSMETIC INJECTABLES WITH DR. APOSTOLAKIS
Are you looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles without having an extensive surgical procedure? Cosmetic injectables are a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment that can address these age-related changes in a matter of days.
Dr. Apo provides cosmetic injectables for patients throughout Austin, TX, and in surrounding cities. Our selection includes neuromodulators like Botox or Dysport and dermal fillers like Restylane. He takes pride in offering expert, patient-centered care to help you look and feel your best.
To find out more about his cosmetic injections, schedule a consultation online or by phone today.