Usually associated with crows feet, anti-wrinkle treatments can also be used in many other area of the body, both for medical or cosmetic reasons. In this blog Clinetix owner Dr Ravichandran explains how using anti-wrinkle injections can help improve the appearance of the chin and perioral area.
The mouth is the most dynamic area of the face. It is constantly in motion either when talking, eating, kissing or even breathing. This is represented by the fact that the lips are co-ordinated and moved about by no less than 10 pairs of 20 individual muscles! It’s role in non-verbal communication and conveying emotion and expression is central to the way we exchange information. Abnormal or excessive movements of these muscles can often occur resulting in an abnormal appearance to the mouth area which is often a cause for concern in patients attending our clinic.
Anatomy Lesson! – you can ignore this bit is you want 😉
The three muscles that effect the lower part of the mouth area to the chin are Mentalis, Depressor Labii Inferioris and Depressor Anguli Oris. They all have different functions in conveying emotion and non-verbal communication. Depressor Anguli Oris is responsible for pulling downwards at the corner of the mouth, expressing doubt or anger. Mentalis is a strong central muscle that provides the bulk of the chin and is responsible for pushing the lower lip upwards and outwards. This movement is again associated with the expression of doubt but also disdain. Depressor labii inferioris is a thin muscle that inserts into the side parts of the lower lip and pulls the lip outwards sightly.
What does that mean?
Simply put, hyperactivity or overuse of the muscles in the lower part of the face can result in an unsightly appearance of the mouth, making one look sad, angry, doubtful or disdainful. It can also result in a dimpling or roughened appearance to the skin over the chin. Over long periods of time the hyperactivity of the muscles can result in deep lines and creases developing at the corner of the mouth and in between the lower lip and the chin. People often present to our clinic asking for us to improve the appearance of the chin area with anti-wrinkle injections. Sometimes people also become aware that they are overusing the muscles in normal situations, which leads to self-consciousness, and they ask for a treatment to help with this.
How does the treatment work?
Anti-wrinkle injections are applied to muscles to produce a temporary weakness. This happens because the medicine enters into nerve endings and prevents the molecular signals from passing from the nerve to the muscle. This is a temporary effect that returns to normal over a period of about four months at which point it can be repeated. The goal of the treatment is to create a controlled and specific weakness in the muscles with a return to normal positioning of the lip and less exaggerated movements.
Are there any side effects of treatments?
Serious side effects from anti-wrinkle injections are very rare, particularly when used in the small doses required for this sort of treatment. Bruising may occur if the injection damages small blood vessels, as with all injection treatments. Such bruising is typically short-lived and not too conspicuous. The commonest side effect from this sort of treatment is related to the mechanism of action of the medicine itself. The muscles are very small and quite close together, this means that occasionally the treatment will effect the wrong muscles and create an asymmetrical appearance to the lower lip. Should this happen it is usually possible to balance the asymmetry with further treatment, or if this is not possible the asymmetry will return to normal as the results of the treatment wear off. If you are thinking about a treatment for hyperactive muscles in the chin and around the mouth you should make sure your treatment is performed by someone with experience in this area.
What will happen in a treatment?
Firstly you should attend for a consultation to discuss your concerns and expected outcomes from treatment. Your practitioner will listen to your concerns and examine the muscles carefully. If both yourself and your practitioner feel that anti-wrinkle injections are an appropriate treatment for you then you will be required to sign a consent form and have photographs taken to demonstrate the area to be treated and for comparison after the treatment. Your skin will be cleaned and the anti-wrinkle treatment carefully injected into the target muscles. You will be able to leave the clinic straight away and continue your normal day to day activities. Usually you will not notice any changes for a few days but over the course of following two weeks you should start to see a gradual improvement in the area. At Clinetix we like to review you back in the clinic two weeks after treatment to assess the response to treatment and identify any concerns. If all is well a repeat treatment is usually scheduled to take place after four months.