Anti-wrinkle injections: FAQ

Written by: Dr Tracy Xu
Edited by: Aoife Maguire

As women, the fear of ageing is omnipresent and intensifies when women are as young as in their early twenties, with a profound fear of the “w” word….wrinkles. As a result, many women choose to opt for anti-wrinkle injections in order to postpone such signs of ageing. Dr Tracy Xu, renowned consultant dermatologist answers your frequently asked questions about this treatment.


What are anti-wrinkle injections?


Anti-wrinkle injections, also known as botulinum toxin injections, involve the introduction of a protein generated by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum into the target muscle. This procedure results in a temporary interruption of the nerve signal and a reduction in muscle activity, leading to an enhanced appearance by diminishing the lines brought about by facial expressions, also known as dynamic lines.




Can anti-wrinkle injections treat all types of lines?


No, anti-wrinkle injections can only fix lines that appear when you make facial expressions. Static lines, which are lines that stay when your face is relaxed usually don't get better with this treatment. Your doctor might suggest other treatment methods which can help with those lines.


Who can prescribe botulinum toxin?


Botulinum toxin is a prescription only medication (POM), meaning that it can only be prescribed by a qualified doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife, or pharmacist.


Can a non-prescribing practitioner perform the treatment?


Yes, a non-prescribing practitioner can perform the treatment, upon approval and agreement from both the prescriber and you.  


What are some areas that can be treated with botulinum toxin?


Botulinum toxin can be used to improve several areas, including the following:


  • canthal lines (crow’s feet)
  • glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows)
  • forehead lines
  • gummy smiles
  • bunny lines
  • smoker’s/ lip lines
  • platysmal bands (turkey neck)
  • jawline (Nefertiti Lift)
  • slimming of jaw muscles
  • chin dimpling, brow lifting
  • hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)



How does botulinum toxin work?


Botulinum toxin works by blocking the transmission of the chemical signal from the nerve to the target muscle, causing the muscle to relax, which, in turn, makes facial expressions relaxed.


Are the effects of botulinum toxin instant?


The effects of botulinum toxin may take up to 10 days to become fully apparent.


How long do the effects of botulinum toxin last?


The effects of botulinum toxin typically last for 3-4 months. After this period, the treatment may need to be repeated in order to maintain the desired results.


Does botulinum toxin produce any side effects?


Side effects are uncommon, and any side effects produced are usually mild and are resolved within a few days following treatment. That being said, factors such as poor skin condition, loss of elasticity, heaviness of the eyelids, and asymmetry may increase the likelihood of side effects.


Before undergoing treatment, it is essential to discuss any potential risks and side effects which may occur as a result of botulinum toxin.


How can I best avoid side effects?


Before undergoing treatment, it is crucial to consider how skilled and experienced the person doing your treatment is. It is best to visit a highly qualified practitioner, as they will know the best ways to do the injections and how to prevent problems.


Additionally, it's vital to follow the advice your practitioner gives you before and after your treatment. This can also help you avoid prevalent side effects.




If you would like to book a consultation with Dr Xu, do not hesitate to do so by visiting her Top Doctors profile today.

By Dr Tracy Xu
Aesthetic medicine

Dr Tracy Xu is a leading advanced aesthetic medicine specialist based in Nottingham and London, with over a decade of experience. Dr Xu is an expert in numerous cosmetic treatments and procedures, including blepharoplastyPDO thread lifts, dermal fillers, Profhilo, acne scars, jaw slimming and liquid facelifts.

Dr Xu is currently the clinical director of the renowned Peonia Medical aesthetic medicine clinic in Nottingham, where she also offers a wide range of cosmetic and aesthetic treatments. She also practises privately at the London Clinic at Harley Street in Central London.

Dr Xu has an impressive educational background, first qualifying with an MBBS and an MSc in China before going on to receive her PhD in pain science from the University of Nottingham. She has continued to improve her knowledge of aesthetic medicine, completing a number of courses at Harley Academy. These include courses in cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic injectables.

Dr Xu holds the position of advanced aesthetic trainer at Cosmetic Courses, the UK’s largest provider of aesthetic training.  She has also held the position of clinical teaching fellow at the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and anatomy lecturer at the University of Nottingham. 

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