Cosmetic Muscle Relaxants
Cosmetic muscle relaxants are the most common and popular cosmetic medical treatment world-wide. Cosmetic muscle relaxants are a protein that relaxes muscle. It is commonly used in the face to relax frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet and horizontal lines in the forehead. Dr. Elliott also uses it for several advanced treatment areas for facial shaping, including lifting down-turned mouth corners, lifting the brows, relaxing lip lines, and smoothing the neck.
Treatment With a Cosmetic Muscle Relaxant
For a cosmetic muscle relaxant to reach the target muscle, it must be injected with a tiny needle. If you have ever had a painful treatment in the past, you owe it to yourself to try Dr. Elliott’s advanced techniques for a comfortable treatment. His patients will tell you how much easier it is in his hands.
These treatments have “zero down-time”. What this means is you can have treatment and go right back to normal social activity without looking any different.
+ What about topical treatments instead of muscle relaxing injections?
There have been a few cosmetic products over the years that claim to do what cosmetic muscle relaxants do when applied to the skin surface. They simply don't work. One of the main jobs of the skin is to keep things out of your body. Proteins that are in cosmetic muscle relaxants are too big to get through the skin, so anything that might work to relax muscles won't penetrate through to the muscles below. Even the actual cosmetic muscle relaxants applied to the skin surface doesn't do anything. This is why it must be injected.
+ Is it safe?
Yes, it is. Millions of patients have been treated over the last 2 decades with cosmetic muscle relaxants. Nothing stays behind in your body after your treatment wears off.
+ Can this treatment give me botulism?
Botulism is a medical condition caused by eating contaminated food. You cannot develop Botulism after a cosmetic muscle relaxing treatment.
+ How long does it last?
Typically, the treatments lasts 3 months. If yours wears off before this, Dr. Elliott isn't satisfied and will increase your dose. This lengthens your effects up to 3 months in most cases. There are some patients in whom these treatments will only last 2 or 2 1/2 months, regardless of dosing, but this is not common.
+ I don't want to look "frozen"
Often, patients tell Dr. Elliott about this concern. Don't worry. A well-done muscle relaxing treatment will make you look fresher, more rested and younger. The art in this treatment lies in relaxing overactive facial muscles, while still leaving your face normally animated, with normal expressions. Dr. Elliott and all his staff get regular cosmetic muscle relaxing treatments and you can look at their faces to see what these treatments can do for you.
+ Who should perform my cosmetic muscle relaxing treatment?
A cosmetic muscle relaxing treatment is only available from a physician, although in many practices, the doctor does not perform the treatment. Dr. Elliott firmly believes that only physicians skilled and experienced in the use of these medications should be performing these treatments. Although common practice and legal in Alberta and elsewhere, nurse injectors are not used in Dr. Elliott's practice. He performs all cosmetic muscle relaxing treatments personally.
He believes that you deserve the full attention and skill of your doctor when having this treatment.
Risks and Side Effects of Cosmetic Muscle Relaxants
You may not have any cosmetic muscle relaxant treatments if you are pregnant or have a rare neurological disorder called Myesthenia Gravis. Otherwise, anyone can have this treatment. There are no common side-effects in the hands of an expert physician. Occasionally, you may get a small bruise at the site of injection, and with careful technique, this is rare. Dr. Elliott offers his patients free laser treatment for any bruising, which clears the bruise in a couple of days.
Other side effects include over-relaxation of the target muscles, leading to heaviness in the forehead after treatment of forehead lines, or upper eyelid droop after frown line treatment. These side effects are temporary and are rare when you are treated by an expert physician. In the case of eyelid droop, eye-drops are used to correct this until the effect wears off.
Cosmetic Muscle Relaxants Heal and Prevent
This is a powerful statement. Cosmetic muscle relaxing treatments in an area with lines produces an improvement over the first 2 weeks as the treatment takes effect. However, it gets even better over time. If you maintain your treatment schedule, you prevent your lines from getting worse and you will see further improvement in the lines over the next 6-12 months. This is what Dr. Elliott means when he says that these treatments heal.
Cost of Treatment
Pricing in Dr. Elliott’s practice is different than you will have experienced elsewhere. Most clinics charge by the “unit”, which is how cosmetic muscle relaxant dosing is measured. Several years ago, Dr. Elliott changed to flat rate pricing. This means that you pay one rate each area of the face, without paying more if you need extra relaxing in that area. For example the frown lines would be one area, forehead another, etc. This makes things simpler and lowers costs for most patients when compared to typical per unit pricing.
You will sometimes have little bumps under the skin after injection which represent the volume of the cosmetic muscle relaxing solution under your skin. These disappear within 5 or 10 minutes as the medicine is taken up into the target muscles. This treatment takes 2 or 3 days to start working and everyday you will feel that the muscle is a bit more relaxed. Full effect is evident by day 12, so Dr. Elliott will always see you for a follow-up visit at 14 days. Any bothersome movement in the treated muscles can be settled with a small touch-up dose, which is free of charge.
Theraputic Muscle Relaxants
Therapeutic muscle relaxants do the same thing as a cosmetic muscle relaxant. It relaxes muscle. It is used to treat medical conditions including migraines, tension headaches and hyperhydrosis. Therapeutic muscle relaxants are sometimes covered by your drug plan for hyperhydrosis, except in the case of Green Shield. Some plans also cover it for treatment of migraines.
+ What is Hyperhydrosis?
This is a medical condition where there is excessive sweating. Areas commonly affected are the face, scalp, hands, feet, chest and armpits. Patients with this condition suffer socially due to embarassment and may often change their shirt several times a day, or avoid shaking hands. Topical antiperspirants are of limited or no help.
+ How does a therapeutic muscle relaxant improve the symptoms of hyperhydrosis?
Each sweat gland has a muscle that allows the gland to excrete the sweat. The treatment relaxes this muscle so that it can't contract and stops sweat production in the area. You will continue to sweat normally in areas that have not been treated.
+ How is treatment performed?
Therapeutic muscle relaxants must be injected into the dermis of the skin in the area to be treated. In Dr. Elliott's practice, this is always done after a topical anesthetic cream has been applied. This makes treatment comfortable. Like with everything Dr. Elliott does, his patients would tell you that it doesn't hurt.
+ How much does treatment cost?
There are 2 components of the treatment cost: the therapeutic muscle relaxant, and the procedure cost. Your drug plan will cover the therapeutic muscle relaxant cost at whatever reimbursement level you receive. You are responsible for the treatment cost.
Ask a staff member for more information on this process, and they will be more than happy to help you.