The human face reflects the feelings of an individual by way of facial expressions. Every expression, be it laughter, smile, or a frown is controlled by a set of facial muscles. Excessive contraction of these muscles can cause facial lines and wrinkles, which can be treated with muscle relaxant injections.
Muscle relaxantswere initially used to treat muscle spasms (uncontrolled contraction of muscles) and spasticity (tight contraction of muscles leading to stiffness),and were later adopted for cosmetic treatments as well. The medicine works by reducing the amount of acetylcholine (chemical messenger produced by the nerves) that stimulates the muscles to contract. The effect of treatment is only temporary (The effect can last for 3 to 6 months), and may require maintenance treatments to prolong the effect.
Indications and contraindications
Muscle relaxant injections are used in the forehead and brow to reduce the frown lines, regions surrounding your mouth to minimize fine lines on the upper lip, regions around the eyes to treat crow’s feet, and neck region to reduce neck banding (lines in the neck).
Muscle relaxant injections may not be advised if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have neuromuscular conditions like multiple sclerosis, or taking under certain medication such as antibiotics and calcium blockers.
Muscle relaxant injection is a simple procedure that takes about 10-15 minutes. You will not require any sedation or anaesthesia. Your doctor will use a very fine needle to inject small amounts of the diluted muscle relaxant into the required area. There is minimal discomfort during the procedure, and you may return to your routine activities immediately after the treatment. You will be able to see the results of the injection gradually in the first two weeks.
Risks and complications
Side effects are usually temporary if they occur. These include redness, bruising, headaches, rarely ptosis (drooping of eye-lids), and puffiness around the eyes following treatment which should resolve within two weeks.