What does Botox do?

cosmetic MD


You can obtain more information about anti-wrinkle injections by sending us an email at the Contact page or call us to arrange a consultation.

The information presented here is of a general nature and does not substitute for a face to face consultation with a medical practitioner.

You must first see a medical practitioner for a consultation to determine your suitability for treatment with anti-wrinkle injections.


What are wrinkles?

A wrinkle is essentially a crease, line, fold or furrow in the skin. There are two main types of wrinkles on the face.

Dynamic wrinkles occur during muscle movement - for example, the area between the eyebrows (the glabella) creases when you frown or the lines at the side of your eyes crease when you smile.

Static wrinkles are present at rest (that is, when you are not moving the underlying muscles). Static wrinkles are formed by repetitive creasing of the skin, from the facial expressions that we make on a daily basis. Over time static wrinkles become deeper due to changes in the skin’s elasticity and thickness.

What are Anti-wrinkle Injections?

The active substance in anti-wrinkle injections is a purified protein. It has been used in medicine for over 40 years and in cosmetic medicine for over 20 years.

How do Anti-wrinkle injections work?

Many people have the impression that anti-wrinkle injections cause paralysis or numb the face. But it is not as scary as it sounds.

Anti-wrinkle injections do not harm the muscles or the nerves. We can target specific parts of muscles with the injections. Simply administering any amount of anti-wrinkle injection does not necessarily cause paralysis of that muscle - the effect depends on the dose (how much is put in).

Your muscles move in response to a signal from the brain that is sent via the nerves. Anti-wrinkle injections work by interrupting the signalling pathway from your brain to your muscles (and individual muscle fibres). If the muscle fibres do not receive that signal, they do not move. As more and more fibres of the muscle are blocked (by an increase in the dose), the weaker the muscles become.

A more complete explanation of what the active substance is, how it works and whether it will be suitable for you in your circumstances will be discussed at the consultation.

What is the effect of Anti-wrinkle injections on the skin?

Basically, anti-wrinkle injections address
dynamic wrinkles. They indirectly improve static wrinkles by allowing the skin to rest. The skin is not being creased as much while the anti-wrinkle injections are working. The static lines soften naturally through the skin’s own mechanical properties.

Anti-wrinkle injections can be used as either or both a preventative and corrective measure to improve the look of moderate to severe facial lines.

A major advantage of anti-wrinkle injections is that they are temporary. The nerves will virtually always recover over three to four months by which time re-treatment is performed.

Who are the best candidates for anti-wrinkle injections?

Generally, anti-wrinkle injections are intended for adult men and women between the ages of 18-65. If you are wanting to preserve your youthful appearance or you want to improve the look of existing fine lines and wrinkles, anti-wrinkle injections may help.

What can I expect?

It is a common misconception that anti-wrinkle injections will erase facial expression and movements all together. The goal of a treatment is to soften facial lines, while still providing you with a natural appearance.

During the consultation at cosmetic MD, our physician will go through your medical history, discuss your concerns and expectations, and then advise on the most appropriate treatment. If it is decided that anti-wrinkle injections form part of your treatment program, it will be explained how many units you will need (the cost), any risks to treatment and what to expect following the injection. Digital photography will be performed to record your baseline appearance and movement and the results of treatment.

The actual injection is performed with a very fine needle and only takes a few minutes, with little or no discomfort.

After the injection you can return to work or home right away. You are advised not to touch or rub the treated area as this can spread the effect of the anti-wrinkle injection to unintended muscles.

Weakening of the treated muscle typically starts around 2 to 4 days and the maximum result is seen at 2 weeks.

Subsequent treatments will be needed at approximately 3 to 4 month intervals.

Is it safe?

The drug in our anti-wrinkle injections has been studied for over 4 decades and is considered extremely safe when appropriately administered.

Are there any side effects?

Anti-wrinkle injections are generally well tolerated and have few side effects. There is no downtime and it is a safe walk-in, walk-out procedure.

The commonest side effects Include:
  • Redness and swelling in the treatment area, which subsides within a few hours
  • Headache in the frown area or forehead after treatment of these areas, in about 10% of patients
  • Bruising, uncommon, related to the needle

Much less common side effects include:
  • Dizziness, nausea (usually related to the act of injection)
  • Weakness in an unintended muscle group (for example, a droopy eyelid if the frown area is treated)

What about the Covid vaccine and anti-wrinkle injections?

As of July 2021, no interactions have been reported in patients who have had anti-wrinkle injections before or after a Covid vaccination.

It is thought to be safe to have anti-wrinkle injections whether or not you have had or about to have a Covid vaccination.

How long does the effect last?

The typical duration of action is 3 months. However, there is a range of responses in different people ranging from 2 months up to 6 months or longer.

You will notice that your treated muscles will start moving and gradually return to normal strength. Ideally, we would advise retreating a short time before full movement returns as this is best for maintaining the effect on static wrinkles.

If you decide not to continue with anti-wrinkle injections, your muscle movement will return to normal and your wrinkles will reappear. They will not be worse but your static wrinkles will then start deepening again.

Can I receive (or continue to receive) anti-wrinkle injections during pregnancy?

At this time, we do not recommend treatment during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.

I am in my 20s, is that too young to start anti-wrinkle treatments?

There is a stigma that anti-wrinkle injections are only for “older” men and women. This is simply not the case. Anti-wrinkle injections are approved for adults between the ages of 18 to 65 and we know treatments can be a preventative measure.

It can be beneficial to start anti-wrinkle injections before wrinkles have the chance to set in. By keeping the skin from creasing you are maintaining a smooth, youthful appearance. This can help in the battle against the ageing process. Of course it is up to the individual to decide when they want to start their anti-wrinkle treatments. Patients either want to start when dynamic expression lines have become prominent and bothersome, or patients want to start at a young age to help prevent lines from forming. We will discuss this at your consultation.


To find out more about anti-wrinkle injections, go to our
Contact page to send cosmetic MD an email or call us to organise a consultation.


The active agent in anti-wrinkle injections has many other uses apart from softening dynamic wrinkles.

The major non-wrinkle uses we can address at
cosmetic MD are:

  • jawline contouring (by shaping the masseter muscle)
  • muscle shaping elsewhere on the body such as calf-shaping or the trapezius muscles
  • excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • migraine headaches

  • Other potential uses for anti-wrinkle injections can be discussed at your consultation.

*Under Australian law, anti-wrinkle injections are prescription-only medicines, and therefore we are unable to name the products that we use.

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