As you grow older, your skin loses it elasticity and becomes less hydrated. In addition to this, you suffer the ravages of sun damage and environmental toxins. Other lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and smoking also have an effect on the condition of your skin. As a result, fine lines and wrinkles develop in aging facial skin, causing you to look old and tired. These horizontal and vertical lines and wrinkles are made worse by repeated movements of the facial muscles when you smile, laugh, frown, squint, or purse your lips. Injectable cosmetic treatments can help to reverse these changes and restore a more youthful, vibrant appearance. Please continue reading to learn more about one such treatment called Azzalure that uses botulinum toxin to correct lines and creases.

What is Azzalure botulinum toxin type A?

Azzalure is a cosmetic injectable that contains botulinum toxin type A. This is the same botulinum toxin product that is present in Botox, a well known wrinkle reducer.

Botulinum toxin is produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum which cause a type of food poisoning called botulism. However, this toxin is used in medicine to treat various conditions such as migraine headaches, bruxism (teeth grinding), hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), cervical dystonia (neck stiffness), and more. It is also used in aesthetic medicine for temporary improvement in facial wrinkles, specifically lateral canthal lines (crow's feet lines) and glabellar lines (frown lines).

When performed by a trained and licensed practitioner, Azzalure is highly safe, comfortable, and effective and gives consistent results.

How does it work?

Azzalure is a neurotoxin that is formulated for cosmetic use. It contains a protein called botulinum toxin. When it is is injected into the facial muscles, it blocks nerve signals and leads to a temporary relaxation of the facial muscles. This prevents the muscles from wrinkling or creasing, leading to a softening in the appearance of frown lines and crow’s feet lines.

It is worth noting that Azzalure is only effective against dynamic wrinkles, i.e., wrinkles that form as a result of repeated facial movements like laughing, frowning, or chewing. It does not correct static wrinkles that develop due to age-related changes in the skin (decreased collagen formation) or sagging skin due to the effects of gravity.

This is because Azzalure works by preventing the injected facial muscles from contracting. The neurotoxin collects at the neuromuscular junction (the space between a muscle and nerve cell) and prevents the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is required to conduct nerve signals. By blocking the nerve signals, Azzalure produces the effect of relaxing the muscles and smoothing the wrinkles in the overlying skin. This effect is temporary, however, and the injections need to be repeated periodically to maintain the results.

What are Azzalure injections used for?

Azzalure is used to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate to severe wrinkles, specifically glabellar lines (vertical lines in the area between the eyebrows), also called frown lines, and lateral canthal lines (crow's feet lines) in the area at the corners of the eyes that are seen during maximum smile. Additional indications for Azzalure include smile lines around the mouth.

You should know that while Azzalure has high effectiveness in treating dynamic wrinkles, some deep folds and creases (severe glabellar lines and lateral canthal lines) may not respond to botulinum toxin type A. People with deep wrinkles may require dermal fillers, which are also a type of injectable cosmetic treatment.

What to expect during Azzalure injections? Do they hurt?

You should arrive for your Azzalure treatment with a clean face, free of makeup. Your medical aesthetic professional will disinfect your skin and perform the injections with a sterile needle at specific injection points in the glabellar and lateral canthal areas. The injection solution contains an anesthetic to reduce any discomfort or pain and the treatment is quite comfortable for most people.

How long does the treatment take?

Azzalure is a quick and convenient treatment, suitable for mild to moderate to severe wrinkles. It only takes 15-30 minutes to complete. There is no downtime or recovery time. You can resume all normal activities right away. Therefore, it's possible to book an Azzalure treatment during your lunch hour.

How soon will I see Azzalure results?

It takes 2-3 days for Azzalure effects to become visible. The maximum effect is seen after around 1 month. The results of this treatment are subtle and natural looking. On average, Azzalure results last 3 months, so it is a temporary improvement in the appearance of wrinkles. With repeated use, the results can last longer, up to 6 months. Physicians recommend repeating the treatment approximately every 3 months to maintain the results. The exact frequency of repeat injections or the treatment interval will depend on your individual response.

Is there any special aftercare?

There is no special aftercare, but your physician will advise you about some precautions. For 24 hours after your treatment, you will need to avoid rubbing or massaging the treated area and moving around too much, such as with strenuous exercise. You will also be asked to avoid any strong facial expressions. It is a good idea to avoid extreme heat and cold and excessive sun exposure for a couple of weeks. You should delay any beauty treatments like facials for a few days.

What are the side effects?

It is not unusual to have some minor redness, swelling, or irritation in the target areas after the Azzalure procedure. Some people may develop dry eye or headache. These symptoms are temporary and typically disappear in a few hours.

Very rarely, more serious adverse reactions can occur, potentially due to the spread of injected material to areas beyond the treatment site. This can lead to facial muscle weakness, eyelid drooping, a lopsided smile, and in the severest cases, difficulties with swallowing and breathing. You should seek emergency medical care in the rare event that breathing, swallowing, or speech difficulties arise.

Who can get Azzalure treatment?

Azzalure is approved for use in adult patients between the ages of 18 and 65. However, not all adult patients are candidates for this treatment. Your medical aesthetic professional will perform a complete assessment, following which your candidacy for Azzalure injections will be determined.

This treatment is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with certain neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis, Eaton Lambert syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), those with active skin infections at the proposed injection sites, and those with a hypersensitivity to this or another botulinum toxin product.

Why is it important to choose an Azzalure provider carefully?

A deep knowledge of facial anatomy is essential to administer Azzalure safely. It is also important not to exceed the recommended dose while trying to accomplish an improvement in the appearance of lateral canthal lines and glabellar lines. Additionally, practitioners need to be aware of when to exercise caution, for example, if there is infection or inflammation at the injection sites, if the targeted muscles show weakness, or if the patient has a bleeding condition that can make the treatment unsafe. For these reasons, it is critical that you choose a licensed, certified, and experienced provider for Azzalure.

Is Azzalure as good as Botox for severe glabellar lines?

Both Azzalure and Botox contain the same ingredient, botulinum toxin, which blocks muscle contractions and smoothens wrinkles. They are just different brand names manufactured and marketed by different companies. Azzalure is made by the French company Ipsen and marketed in the UK by Galderma. The same company also makes another botulinum product called Dysport. Botox is made by the global pharmaceutical company Allergan and has been around longer.

Both Botox and Azzalure are safe options for non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Both products are FDA approved in the US and MHRA approved in the UK with a proven safety record.

Which lasts longer: Botox or Azzalure?

Botox vs Azzalure have similar results. Some practitioners prefer one over the other because they act a little differently. The molecular structure of Botox is bigger and therefore it does not spread as much as Azzalure. This means that Azzalure has an advantage in that a patient may require fewer injections of Azzalure compared to Botox. However, the risk is that Azzalure can spread beyond the injection site or target area. More than the product Azzalure vs Botox, it is important to choose a skilled and experienced injector to have the injections administered.

How much Azzalure do you need for 3 areas?

How much product you will need and what your treatment will cost depends on the severity of your glabellar lines and crow's feet lines. On average, the treatment costs $500. However, each individual is unique and the only way to know how much Azzalure will cost is to see a medical aesthetic professional in consultation.  

It is worth noting that health insurance will not cover Azzalure or Botox because they are cosmetic procedures. Your provider may offer package prices that make the injection treatments more affordable.

Finding a provider for Azzalure treatment

If you're interested in finding a qualified and experienced medical aesthetic professional for administration of Azzalure, Botox, dermal fillers, or other cosmetic treatments, the MeTime app makes it easy. You can chat with experts, share photos, do a video consultation, get quotes, and so much more. Download the MeTime app today and see what facial aesthetic treatments, including Azzalure, can do for you.

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