Muscle relaxants and dermal fillers

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What happens to skin when we age?

When we are young, our skin is rich in hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin. These elements keep it plump, firm and hydrated. This allows the skin to return to its original state after movement without any creases being made. As we age, skin produces less of these substances so it becomes drier and less elastic. At the same time, gravity, sun exposure and weight fluctuations start to have an effect, causing wrinkles to form and skin to sag. Some wrinkles are noticeable all the time. These are called ‘static wrinkles’.

Others only appear when we contract the muscles of facial expression, for example when we smile, frown or laugh. These are ‘dynamic wrinkles’.

Muscle Relaxants

What are they and how do they work?

Muscle relaxant injections work by blocking signals between the nerves and muscles, so the injected muscles cannot contract.

They have been around a long time and are used successfully to treat several medical conditions caused by abnormal muscle movements. Today injectable muscle relaxants are also used to reduce the visible signs of ageing by relaxing the muscles that cause facial expression lines and wrinkles.

In which areas can muscle relaxants be used?

Am I a candidate for muscle relaxant treatment?

To have a muscle relaxant treatment you should have good overall health, not be pregnant or breastfeeding, and have no history of neuromuscular conditions.

Muscle relaxant procedure

Before treatment Dr van Mourik will discuss with you the amount of muscle relaxant needed to treat the areas you have selected. This will affect the cost of your treatment.

If this is your first time, you may decide to have a small area – say frown lines – done to see how you like the effect.

The muscle relaxant is injected through a fine needle into the muscles. Most people say the injections are not too painful and feel like being stung by tiny ants.

Recovery after muscle relaxant treatment

You will be asked to stay for 10 minutes after your treatment and will be given an ice pack to apply to the area to reduce the risk of bruising.

The injections should cause minimal discomfort, but there may be slight swelling and redness. You should be able to go back to work or return to your normal activities after treatment.

Muscle relaxant results

How long does it take to see effects?

After the treatment, it takes 2 to 3 days for the treatment to begin taking effect on your muscles, and 10 to 14 days to see the full effect.

How long does the effect last?

The effect lasts from 2 to 6 months depending on the individual. The results will wear off progressively after 2 to 3 months and you will need to repeat the injections 2 to 4 times a year to maintain those results.

Possible complications of muscle relaxants

It is unusual to have complications if you get a skilled practitioner to administer your muscle relaxant. However, all procedures have some potential risks including: pain, tenderness, tingling, redness of the skin, infection, and/or bruising at the site of injection. This should resolve in 7 days.

Dermal Fillers

What are they and how do they work?

Dermal fillers work by lifting the wrinkle or fold, adding volume, hydration and cushioning to the areas where they are injected.

They can be used to soften wrinkles, irregularities caused acne scars or other skin damage. They can also enhance your facial features by adding volume to your lips or cheeks.

Hyaluronic acid gel is the most common type of filler. It is a naturally occurring substance found in your skin and soft tissue. Hyaluronic acid improves skin appearance by:

  • Improving hydration by holding water
  • Combining with collagen and elastin to enhance skin elasticity

In which areas can dermal fillers be used?

Am I a candidate for dermal filler treatment?

Dermal fillers are widely used by both men and women of all ages. Ideally you should be in good overall health, not be pregnant or breastfeeding and have realistic expectations.

Dermal filler procedure

Using a very fine needle, your doctor will place the dermal filler under your skin to fill in wrinkles and depressions in the areas you want treated. The dermal filler contains a local anaesthetic which is designed to reduce discomfort during and after the procedure.

You will be asked to stay for 10 minutes after your treatment and will be given an ice pack to apply to the area to reduce the risk of bruising.

Recovery after dermal filler treatment

Some dental practitioners employ a nurse sedationist to perform IV sedation. For safety reasons, Dr van Mourik always uses an anaesthetist who is a specially trained medical doctor.

Dermal fillers results

Results can be seen immediately

Hyaluronic acid effects can be seen immediately, although the final result may not be fully apparent until a couple of days later when the inflammation subsides. Most hyaluronic acid fillers last from 6 to 18 months.

The effects are reversible

If you do not like the result, enzymes can be injected to break down hyaluronic acid filler and reverse its effects.

Possible complications of dermal fillers

It is unusual to have complications if you get a skilled practitioner to perform your dermal filler procedure. However, all procedures have some potential risks. Possible side effects and complications of dermal fillers include: Pain, tenderness, numbness, swelling, redness, infection, bruising and/or lumps at the site of injection. This should resolve in 7 days.

Dr van Mourik is a highly experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He explains things clearly and he’s a good listener, so do ask him questions about your muscle relaxant and dermal filler procedure and tell him your concerns — he’ll take the time to answer you and manage your concerns sensitively.

Learn more about muscle relaxants and dermal fillers in our comprehensive guide

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Suite 104, 568 Oxford St, Bondi Junction 2022, NSW

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