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Wrinkle Relaxers

One of the most popular ways to get rid of wrinkles is to use a wrinkle relaxer, such as Botox. A wrinkle relaxer is also known as a Neuromodulator, because it is an inhibitor of neuromuscular activity. It blocks the communication between the nerve fiber and the muscle preventing contraction and temporally relaxing the muscle.

“Neuromodulators work by weakening the muscles of facial expression,” says Dr. Russell Kridel. “Once the resting tone of these muscles is weakened, the pull of the muscles relaxes and the skin flattens out.”

For years there has been only one option — Botox — for those seeking a botulinum toxin to help erase wrinkles from the top third of their face. Recently, Dysport and Xeomin have entered the marketplace. All three are viable options. The chemical balance is slightly different in each, so patients can react differently. One may be more effective than another depending on the patient. Plus, patients can develop a tolerance to one specific brand over time. With the introduction of these products, the additional competition means more options for patients, and hopefully, a lower price point as well.

Injections of Botox, Dysport or Xeomin can work wonders on forehead creases, frown lines between the eyes, and crow’s-feet. This is a simple, in-office treatment used to treat facial wrinkles in the upper third of the face. You have to be very careful in using neuromodulator injections for wrinkles in the middle and lower part of the face because that may distort your smile and other facial expressions.

These injections can also be used to shape eyebrows. In such cases, the injections are carefully mapped out to create a pleasing brow. However, this takes great skill to avoid a brow drop, so it is extremely important to select a skilled facial plastic surgeon.

As far as time limitations, it typically takes three to five days to take effect and lasts three to six months. In men, it may take a larger dose to achieve the effect the patient wants. You can have repeat injections as soon as you see signs that your frown lines or wrinkles are returning. It usually takes two to three injections per year to maintain the improved appearance.

The best patient for wrinkle relaxer injections is 30 to 60 years old, with skin that has not been extremely sun-damaged.

Questions and Answers with Dr. Kridel:

What are the different types of Wrinkle Relaxers?

Which brand of wrinkle relaxer is best for me?

How quickly will I see results with Botox or any other relaxer?

What areas of the face are wrinkle relaxers most effective?

Do injections hurt?

Can I see a patient being injected with a wrinkle relaxer, such as Botox?