Fillers and BotoxTM—collectively referred to as injections—can be an effective solution to combat wrinkles that come with age. But what exactly are they? Do they work? Can they be used for the neck and décolleté area? What are the risks? And are there alternatives that provide the same repair and prevention? Are neck injections worth the risk? This article will answer those questions.
What Are Neck Injections?
The neck and chest area (the décolleté) are particularly susceptible to wrinkling because of their frequent exposure to sunlight, toxins in the air, and gravity. Neck and chest injections can be used to combat these effects. Neck injections, or just injections, refers to the reparative process of injecting natural or chemical substances into the skin of the neck to fill in lines, tighten skin, and produce a more youthful appearance.
How Do Neck Injections Work?
Neck injections come in two main categories—fillers and BotoxTM. While each results in smoother, younger looking skin, the processes by which these results come about are vastly different.
Fillers do just as their name suggests—they fill in the empty space in the skin left when collagen and elastin break down. Fillers in the skin are very much akin to the water in a water balloon. The pressure (of the water or the filler) on the inside pushes (the balloon or the skin) outward and smoothes the wrinkles around the injection site.
Fillers can be broken down into four distinct types: hyaluronic, synthetic, collagen, and autologous. Each has their own specific uses, benefits, and risks. In general, fillers can last from 4 to 12 months but, like anything foreign introduced into the body, can cause significant side effects (which we’ll outline in the next section).
BotoxTM is a trade name for onabotulinumtoxinA. It produces much the same result as fillers but achieves the smoothing through a different method. When injected, BotoxTM blocks nerve receptors and prevents nerve impulses from reaching the muscle. This essentially forces the muscles to relax. As a result, the skin on top of the muscle relaxes and returns to its natural place causing wrinkles to disappear.
BotoxTM, like fillers, has its own specific uses, benefits, and risks. Results can last anywhere from 3 to 4 months but BotoxTM is not generally recommended for wide swaths of skin such as the neck or chest. BotoxTM is more readily used for small areas like the lips, the forehead, and the sides of the eyes.
What Are The Uses And Limits Of Injections?
Neither fillers nor BotoxTM work to remedy sagging skin, crepey skin or fatty deposits in the neck. What’s more, BotoxTM produces the best results on the neck if you have little fat and minimal loss of skin elasticity. It may only have limited effects if your neck has extensive wrinkling, loose skin, and excess fat.
So while it is possible to administer both fillers and BotoxTM to the neck, results are often significantly less than are seen on the face. For the chest, BotoxTM is not recommended and fillers can be very expensive.
What Are The Risks Of Injections?
While the effects of injections can be profound and relatively long-lasting, they are not without risks.
Fillers can cause an allergic reaction that can result in side effects ranging from the relatively benign (small, temporary bumps at the site of the injection) to the more severe (a bluish tinge that can last for months) to the extreme (blindness and nerve paralysis).
BotoxTM also has its own list of possible side effects. Errors in administering the BotoxTM can cause paralysis of important muscles groups such as those involved in moving your head, breathing, and swallowing. Even when administered correctly, leakage of the BotoxTM solution can result in the same type of paralysis. In addition, BotoxTM is not FDA approved for cosmetic use in the neck.
How Can I Get An Injection Done?
The first and best step is to consult with a dermatologist. Only with her advice and the information she provides should you proceed. Be sure to inform her if you have received any type of injection in the past four months and if you take muscle relaxants, sleeping aids, or allergy medications as these could react with the injection. For those who take blood thinners, you may be advised to stop taking them for several days before the injections in order to prevent excessive bleeding and bruising.
The second step (of equal importance) is to always have the injection performed by a board-certified doctor or surgeon. Never opt for injections at a spa or party just because they might cost less. The side effects that can result from improper use can be severe and are not worth saving a few dollars.
What Are The Alternatives To Injections?
The considerable cost involved with injections and the potential for harmful side effects leads many to ask, “Are there alternatives to injections that can be used to repair and prevent décolleté wrinkles?” The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!”
Products like SiO Beauty’s 24 Hour System can be used to smooth chest and neck wrinkles while you get your beauty sleep. For the neck, the cleansing discs repair damaged skin and prevent new wrinkles from forming. For the chest, the SkinPad can be used in conjunction with the cleansing discs for an even more powerful smoothing effect.
The added benefit of SiO Beauty’s 24 Hour System is that it can be performed while you sleep and can be used on consecutive nights to speed the healing process. You can’t say that about injections.
Simply cleanse with the SiO décolleté cleansing discs, apply the SiO SkinPad, and get a good night’s sleep. It’s just that simple!