“Botox” is the term which is most frequently used to describe neuromodulators, but in fact, Botox® is just one of three brands (Botox®, Xeomin® and Dysport®) approved by Health Canada to treat wrinkles. Neuromodulators are actually purified proteins created from a naturally occurring bacterium similar to the process in which penicillin is made. The medication is injected in tiny does in order to relax muscles.

Neuromodulators have been used worldwide since 1990 to treat medical problems such as cerebral palsy, neck spasm and double vision. A Canadian ophthalmologist, Dr. Carruthers from Vancouver, discovered that Botox® used in small amounts reduced lines around the eyes and had an excellent effect on facial expression. It was approved by Health Canada for Cosmetic use in 2009. Now, Botox®, Xeomin® and Dysport® can be used to relax muscles which cause fine lines and wrinkles.

Over time we all develop habitual facial expressions such as a furrowed brow, squinted eyes, or turning down the mouth. These actions are considered minor when we are young because skin is elastic in nature. With age and time, however, skin elasticity fades and these gestures cause wrinkles, resulting in permanent features of the face that we associate with advancing age.

When treated with neuromodulators (such as Botox®, Xeomin® & Dysport®), a tiny amount of the product is injected into one or more of the dozens of muscles that control facial expression. These purified proteins work by blocking the nerve impulse from reaching specific muscles, causing the muscle to relax and the wrinkles to fade. Over time the client learns how to control the muscle and reduce the amount of neuromodulator that is required in order to maintain the relaxed and younger appearance.

Our experienced practitioners will determine the right dose and injection technique for you. Neuromodulators only act upon the specific area being treated, so that the other elements of your facial expression remain active. It has no effect on the sensory nerves, therefore you will still have normal feeling in the treated areas.

No, neuromodator treatment can not be performed on pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Neuromodulators can be used to treat many common concerns including:

  • Frown lines between eyebrows
  • Forehead lines
  • Crow’s feet
  • Vertical lip lines
  • Downward turning mouth
  • Neck

In addition to the more commonly treated areas, the team at Martin’s are also experts at addressing other needs including:

  • Reducing a “gummy smile”
  • Lip flip
  • Wrinkled/dimpled chin
  • Nose “bunny lines”
  • Narrowing the jaw
  • Reduce jaw clenching
  • Excessive sweating in armpits (hyperhidrosis)

Neuromodulators are classified as medications which are only available by prescription from a qualified Canadian Physician or Nurse Practitioner who has had special training. As a result, all clients need to see the consultant prior to having any injections done.

Neuromodulators have been used safely and successfully for over 20 years. They are usually well tolerated & most patients do not experience any side effects at all. Side effects are rare. If they do occur, they are usually temporary and localized to the area of the injection. Side effects could include: bruising, localized tenderness, headache, or ptosis (drooping of the eyelid). Excellent technique is critical to minimize the risk of side effects.

After 3-5 months, the neuromodulator effect will fade and the muscle action will return. When the frown lines have returned to over 80% of their normal function, repeat injection is recommended. After several treatments, the effects of treatment may begin to last longer and less units may be required.

You will be asked to complete a brief health history form which will be reviewed with one of our medical staff. It is important to tell us about any allergies, your past medical history, and current medications (including over the counter and natural remedies/supplements) you might be taking.

Your appointment time is geared towards discussing possible treatment options, reviewing budget, understanding risks & benefits, and obtaining your consent to proceed. Depending on time booked, you may also proceed with treatment but a consent form must be signed with a physician or nurse practitioner before treatment can commence.

A tiny amount of the medication is injected very precisely into each area treated using a very fine needle. The injection is very quick and pain associated with the injection is minimal. Most people find the treatment to be very tolerable. Typically, there is no pain after treatment. The process takes only a few minutes and effects will begin to show in 48 hours. Full results will be achieved in 14 days.

In order to minimize risk of bruising/bleeding it is best to avoid alcohol, Advil, aspirin or any other blood thinning medications before treatment. If you are unsure about a specific medication or whether it is safe to stop taking, be sure to check with our team who can advise you on how to proceed.

We advise our patients after treatment with a neuromodulator to: “Exercise” the muscle for the first hour following treatment this is done by simply making the faces that cause the lines. Patients can do this a couple of times throughout that first hour. Keep head upright for 3 hours after treatment (this can include bending forward or lying down). Avoid, alcohol, advil, aspirin & physical activity for the first 24 hours after injection. Do not rub the area for the first 24 hours.