What are wrinkle relaxing injections?

There are many types of wrinkle relaxing injections. The newest of these is Azzalure® and is the treatment of choice, and recommended here at Phoenix Medical Cosmetics. Azzalure® lasts for up to 6 months compared to a maximum of 4 months with Botox®. These are used to relax the muscles of the upper face to smooth the appearance of forehead and frown lines as well as crows feet. Older types of the drug are still available on request.

wrinkle relaxing injections are derived from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum and have been around for many years. Discovered in the 1950s, researchers noticed that using minimal injections of the drug locally to overactive muscles resulted in the paralysis of these muscles, with the results lasting from 3 to 4 months. These doses are now used to prevent the formation of wrinkles by paralyzing facial muscles. With 4.6 million procedures done in the USA in 2007, this number is only on the increase in both women and men.

What are wrinkle relaxing injections used for?

wrinkle relaxing injections are non-surgical cosmetic treatments for moderate to severe frown lines as well as treating excess sweating. It is typically used in people aged 25 to 65. wrinkle relaxing injections work by blocking nerve transmission to temporarily reduce the contractions of the facial muscles that cause frown lines or the nerves that signal the release of sweat. It has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for wrinkles as well as excess sweating, and wrinkle relaxing injections are becoming increasingly popular.

Common use:
  • Frown lines (between the eyes)
  • Shock lines (forehead lines)
  • Crow's feet (laughter lines)
  • Jowls (sagging of the jawline) - success varies from person to person; ofter cheek fillers will give a better result

Less commonly used for (these are not always successful):
  • Eyes - small amounts can be injected to open the eyes up
  • Around the mouth - small amounts can be injected to smooth here although fillers work better

Who can be treated with wrinkle relaxing injections?

Any health professional trained to give wrinkle relaxing injections will be able to decide if you can have cosmetic treatment with it. Before starting treatment, tell your doctor if you have any disorders that affect your nerves and muscles, if you are breastfeeding, or if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon.

After the injection

You should notice an improvement in your frown lines within 2 to 10 days, the effects of which can last up to 4 months with conventional wrinkle relaxing injections or 6 months with Azzalure®. However, results may vary. After a period of time, your frown lines will begin to reappear as the effects of the treatment start to wear off.

How often can wrinkle relaxing injections be given?

You can receive wrinkle relaxing injections every 4-6 months depending on the specific treatment. If you feel that your treatment has not been effective enough then a top up can be given at 14 days.
With repeated treatments, thinning of the muscles occurs, which produces longer lasting results.

Possible side-effects of wrinkle relaxing injections

Common side effects (usually mild to moderate reactions that are reversible and occur in the first week of treatment)
  • headache
  • injection reactions
    • redness, swelling, irritation, rash, itching, numbness, pain, discomfort, stinging, bruising, bleeding
  • less commonly: temporary eyelid droop

Uncommon side effects
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness

Rare side effects
  • twitching of the eye
  • anaphylaxis/allergic reaction


    Do not have wrinkle relaxing injections if you:
  • have an infection where wrinkle relaxing injections will be injected
  • are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • are pregnant or think you might be pregnant
  • if you are breastfeeding
  • have a neurological disorder (eg. Myasthenia Gravis)

There are also a number of medicines that may interact with wrinkle relaxing injections (eg. Quinidine, some antibiotics). It is important to tell us if you are taking any medication.

What to expect during the consultation

The full consultation for wrinkle relaxing injections, including treatment and medical history will usually take about 30 minutes for your first treatment. After this, it will take from 15-30 minutes.

No preparation is needed. After taking initial details and investigating the results you would like you acheive, the trained health professional will administer several tiny injections of wrinkle relaxing injections directly into the muscles of your face using a tiny needle. Prior to injection, the person doing the procedure will determine where to administer the injections by examining your ability to move certain muscles in your brow area. The entire procedure for wrinkle relaxing injections takes approximately 10-20 minutes and does not require anaesthesia. Discomfort is usually minimal and brief.

The commonest muscles/areas treated are orbicularis oculi (for crow's feet), frontalis (for forehead lines) and procerus/corrugator (for frown lines).

  1. orbicularis oculi
  2. frontalis
  3. procerus/corrugator

Crow's feet can be done alone (1 area). In order to get the best results for the upper face, it is usual to do both the forehead area and frown area (2 areas) at the same time, rather than alone.

A tiny needle 0.3mm in diameter (that is less than a third of a millimetre) is inserted into the areas chosen to inject the wrinkle relaxing injections. Usually, five injections will be needed for the procerus/corrugator frown lines, five for frontalis forehead lines and two to four on both sides for orbicularis crow's feet lines.

A follow-up will be organised in 7-14 days to ensure you are getting the best results.