Injectables / Fillers
Known commercially as either Botox (Allergan, USA) or Dysport (Ipsen, UK), botulinum toxin is a product of the clostridium botulinum bacterium and effectively weakens muscles by disrupting the signal from the nerve cells just as they enter the muscle cells. Its effect wears off after a period of months.
While used for a number of spasm, or dystonia, related conditions, its benefit in cosmetic surgery is that it weakens facial muscle activity which causes frown lines and wrinkles. It is most beneficial in the upper part of the face – brow, frown lines, laugh lines.
Restylane is a synthetic substance that mimics the naturally occurring gel like material in the deeper layers of the skin – hyaluronic acid (a so called ground substance). It is injected into finer wrinkles often around the lower brow and mouth but is also used in lip enhancement. It has a life of around six months and injections usually therefore need to be repeated. There is a risk of around 1:500 of reactions to the injection.
Sculptra is a substance used to enhance the deeper soft tissues of the face. It is similar in its formulation to some types of dissolvable suture material. It requires two injections separated by around 5 weeks and usually lasts around 18 months. Like Restylane, there is a small risk of reaction to the injected material.