There are a number ways that aging affects the body, but few are as difficult to control as wrinkles. Over time the fat and proteins in the face are not produced as quickly as they are broken down. This means that as we age, some areas of high use and that are thin to begin with, will tend to wrinkle. There are several ways to slow down the wrinkling process but none of them stop the inevitable. Fortunately, there are a number of anti-wrinkle injections that have been developed to fight this very apparent sign of aging.
There are many different anti-wrinkle injections approved by the FDA for the treatment of wrinkles but they can be divided into two main classes based on the way they work. All available anti-wrinkle injections are either aimed at paralyzing the muscles of the face or physically filling the area underneath the wrinkle.
The main paralytic anti-wrinkle injection is botulinum toxin or BOTOX. This neurotoxin disrupts a nerves ability to stimulate muscle by interfering with the chemical transmission between the nerve and the muscle. BOTOX is very effective as an anti-wrinkle injection because it causes the muscles under the wrinkles to relax. Not only does this soften the appearance of the existing wrinkle, but it also prevents the muscle that deepens the wrinkle from contracting. This means that, for example, if you are trying to combat “crow’s feet” the muscle that contracts underneath the wrinkle will not contract and the wrinkle will not form (or form as deeply). While this anti-wrinkle injection is effective, BOTOX does interfere with normal facial expressions expressly because it does paralyze the muscle temporarily.
There are a number of dermal filler anti-wrinkle injections available. One main subgroup of products is made of the main structural ingredient of the skin, namely collagen. Collagen is a protein that is found in high quantity between cells and gives the skin its plump appearance. There are a number of collagen containing anti-wrinkle injections and their major distinctions rest in how they are produced. Some collagen anti-wrinkle injections are derived from cows like Zyderm and Zyplast, others are from pigs like Evolence while others still are engineered from human sources like CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast.
The main distinction the collagen anti-wrinkle injections is the capacity to create an allergic reaction in the skin. Bovine (cow) collagen is unlike human and could be recognized by the immune system as foreign. The human collagen, while more expensive, is much less likely to evoke an allergic reaction. As a reasonable compromise, the porcine (pig) collagen is almost identical to human collagen and does not require allergy testing.
Not a protein, hyaluronic acid anti-wrinkle injections are actually made of a polysaccharide. They can be derived from animal and non-animal sources. Major hyaluronic acid dermal filler anti-wrinkle injections include Restylane and Perlane, Juvederm and Hydrafill, Hylaform, Captique, Prevelle Silk and Puragen. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the various hyaluronic acid anti-wrinkle injection types.
Other substances that are used as anti-wrinkle injections include polymethylmethacrylate (Artefill), poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) and Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse). These dermal fillers have different applications, benefits, and limitations.
If you are investigating the various anti-wrinkle injection options, and there are many, it can be quite helpful to discuss them with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon.