Last Thursday there was a segment on A Current Affair about the dangers of anti-wrinkle injections, and I felt it might be worthwhile to discuss and clarify some of the issues raised.
Please note that legally I am unable to use the brand name or drug name of the product used, so I will use the term “anti-wrinkle injections”.
During the show three different patients described adverse reactions they had had to anti-wrinkle injections.
The dangers of anti-wrinkle injections were discussed as was the medical nature of these treatments and, briefly, the law relating to their use by clinics without a doctor on site.
The first patient described loss of vision, but in fact it transpired that she actually suffered from an episode of double vision after anti-wrinkle injections.
This is a very rare side effect that I have not seen for over twelve years.
It is caused by some of the anti-wrinkle injection affecting the muscles around the eye ball which move the eye in different directions.
If one of these muscles is weak the eyes are unable to work properly in unison and double vision can occur.
In my opinion this is usually caused by injector error – either too high a dose has been used or it has been placed too close to the eye.
The second patient had her masseter muscles treated for teeth grinding and had some weakness of her smile muscles.
Again this is usually injector error.
The injections into the masseter muscles need to be placed a bit deeper than most cosmetic anti-wrinkle injections, it is usually easy to feel the muscle and know that you are in the right spot.
Clench your teeth and feel a muscle pop out like a walnut near the angle of your jaw – that’s the masseter muscle.
The third patient suffered from some form of allergic reaction which was attributed to the anti-wrinkle injections.
It is quite possible for anyone to be allergic to anything, although in over 24 years of using these products on a daily basis and treating thousands of patients, I have never seen or even heard of anyone having an anaphylactic allergic reaction to anti-wrinkle injections.
So a significant allergy to anti-wrinkle injections is certainly very very rare.
Obviously, as with any medical treatment, complications can occur with anti-wrinkle injections, as this program highlighted.
Most complications can be minimised or eliminated by an experienced practitioner whose main focus is treating the patient in the best way possible, not one who is trying to do as big a dose as possible in order to maximise revenue.
Anti-wrinkle injections are a medical prescription drug (S4) in Australia and must be prescribed by a doctor or other health professional with prescribing rights.
As A Current Affair discussed there is a proliferation of centres now, many in shopping centres, which do not have a doctor on site. Instead they rely on Skype style video consultations with a doctor who is often inter-state and will not be locally available should a side effect occur.
Although technically legal, video consulting and prescribing in this way is considered sub-optimal by many.
Despite this, anti-wrinkle injections are still considered to be generally very safe when performed by an experienced practitioner, and any side effect that does occur should only ever be temporary.
By far the biggest risk of being treated by an in-experienced injector is that you will not be left with an optimal result.
At Envisage Clinic all practitioners performing anti-wrinkle injections have many years of experience in the industry, and treatments are always performed judiciously.
As a medical clinic the patient’s interests are always paramount above all else. I myself am generally always available in clinic, or if not within a few minutes’ drive.
Article by Dr Christopher Leat – Medical Director Envisage Clinic Benowa
|Dr Christopher Leat – Medical Director Envisage Skin Clinic Founder and Director.Dr Christopher Leat has 33 years’ experience in Medicine and is a member of The Royal College of Physicians of London. Dr Leat has devoted the last 18 years to Cosmetic Medicine and is recognized throughout Australia as one of the most experienced doctors in the field of Cosmetic Medicine.|