One way of reducing the prominence of wrinkles and facial lines as well as of preventing the occurrence of new lines and creases on the face is the administration of a cosmetic injection. Dermal fillers such as the body’s own fat, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, and the neurotoxin botulinum toxin are some of the substances most commonly used in cosmetic injections.
Lines and folds on the skin can be made less prominent by adding volume to areas underlying wrinkled skin. This is because the main cause of facial lines and wrinkles is the reduced volume of lipid tissues underlying the skin as years pass by. A fat implant is often the cosmetic injection of choice because it involves taking fat from a part of one’s own body and depositing it as a dermal filler where it is needed, and thus does not entail the introduction of a foreign substance.
Collagen gives the skin elasticity and strength. It is the main protein of connective tissue and makes up about 35 per cent of whole-body protein content. The construction of artificial skin and the reconstruction of bone in burn patients are two of the cosmetic surgery applications in which it is most often used. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in mammals but as skin ages, its collagen content decreases because the production of the protein wanes. An increase in the level of collagen content, achieved through the administration of collagen in a cosmetic injection, can restore the youthful appearance of the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally abundant in youthful skin. Also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, it is present in body tissues and involved in tissue repair in the skin by stimulating the production of collagen. By binding water, it hydrates the skin. The distribution and functions of hyaluronic acid in the skin change as years pass, making the skin prone to wrinkles and facial lines. A cosmetic injection of hyaluronic acid can restore the skin’s hyaluronic acid content to optimum levels.
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic substance produced by the anaerobic, Gram positive, spore-forming bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It causes botulism and is not a dermal filler like the three mentioned above. It blocks the release of acetylcholine, a chemical neurotransmitter that relays messages from the brain to various parts of the body, between the nerve endings and muscle fibres at the cosmetic injection site. This immobilizes the muscles underlying wrinkled skin so that the lines and folds become less prominent.
A qualified medical practitioner who has experience in cosmetic treatments and expert knowledge of facial anatomy must always administer a cosmetic injection. This is regardless of the type of cosmetic treatment to be injected. This will ensure that the injections will be made exactly where needed for maximum benefit. The same medical practitioner will also be the one best qualified to determine what substance should be used in an individual’s cosmetic injection treatment.
Allergic reactions may be experienced as a result of a collagen cosmetic injection. In the case of hyaluronic acid injections, there could be pain, infection, allergic reactions, and scar formation. For botulinum toxin injections, there could be headache, flu-like symptoms, temporary eyelid droop, nausea, squint/double vision, twitching of the eye, facial pain, redness at the injection site, and muscle weakness. These are the most common side effects observed in cosmetic injection treatments.
Botox Cosmetic and Vistabel are the trade names under which the cosmetic injection botulinum toxin is commercially available. The rapidly growing biotechnology/medical device company Q-Med AB in Sweden manufactures an injectable gel form of hyaluronic acid available under the brand name Restylane. tretinoin uk