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Smooth away wrinkles
First introduced to Australia in the 1990s, wrinkle relaxants have a long history as a staple of the modern woman’s – and man’s – beauty regime. One form of botulinum toxin, Dysport has been used by hundreds of thousands of people to solve one of the most lamented hallmarks of ageing: wrinkles.
Dysport has been available in New Zealand since 1992 and in Australia since 2000 and is indicated for the cosmetic treatment of frown lines.
The thing about wrinkles
Frowning, talking and squinting contract muscles all over the face, particularly the muscles above and between the eyebrows. This consistent contraction breaks the collagen fibres between these muscles, leading to deep frown lines above the nose. Because these are dynamic wrinkles – or lines caused by facial movement – they can appear on younger individuals and are not necessarily associated with ageing.
‘Dysport can be used for both men and women, young and older,’ says Sydney dermatologist Dr Robert Rosen. ‘The typical patient is interested in regaining a younger looking appearance with natural-looking results. Patients today don’t want an immobile face. Successful Dysport treatment should grant a natural-looking result. It will have the patient’s friend, partner or patents commenting on how good they appear, maybe asking if they’re using a new moisturiser or have had a recent holiday.’
How does Dysport work?
Dysport is injected into the treatment area to block the signal from the nerves to the muscles. This temporarily reduces muscle activity, preventing the contractions that cause wrinkles on the face. However, only the muscles involved in the wrinkle are affected, meaning the rest of the face will retain its expression as usual.
‘For the practitioner, it’s a matter of anatomy. If you know where the muscles are, where they start and where they finish, you can achieve the removal of angry lines and still leave the face able to move,’ says Dr Rosen. ‘Results are usually very satisfying, and are generally evident within a couple of days.’
The treatment itself
Before treatment with Dysport, an initial consultation is needed to establish the patient’s concerns and expectations. The procedure itself will typically last less than half an hour.
‘In the initial consultation I usually discuss with patients what they would like to achieve and how we can plan to achieve that result,’ Dr Rosen says. ‘Topical anaesthetic cream can be used before treatment, although not all patients request it, as the needles are very small. I also provide ice to help with numbing and prevent bruising,’ he adds.
Results typically last between three and six months, and there should be at least a 90-day period between Dysport treatments.
While Dysport is effective in combating wrinkles as a stand-alone treatment, it can be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities to achieve an improved result in general facial rejuvenation. It can work well in conjunction with dermal fillers, to treat deeper lines, folds and volume loss, or with laser skin rejuvenation to boost skin health.
According to Dr Rosen, a holistic approach, with combined modalities, can achieve a universal and preventative anti-ageing effect. ‘I often use Dysport in conjunction with other treatments, and discuss these options with my patients during consultation,’ he explains. ‘However, my approach always depends on each individual patient. Sometimes it is better to improve a patient’s appearance gradually, rather than use multiple treatments all at once. this way, it becomes a case of preventative maintenance.’
While the risks are relatively low, side effects can include some immediate swelling and occasional bruising. ‘Patients can usually apply makeup and return to work directly following treatment,’ Dr Rosen says. ‘Bruising can occur, and will take a few days to pass, but that is rare with toxin injections.’
As with anything in anti-ageing, prevention is key and Dysport can counter the first dynamic signs of ageing, leaving the complexion smoothed and refreshed. Whether you’re seeking comprehensive facial rejuvenation, or just looking to combat a few persistence wrinkles, Dysport affords an effective, time efficient and, most importantly, predictable approach to wrinkle prevention.