There are a number of different causes for facial wrinkle lines, such as aging, gravity, and chronic pulling of mimetic muscles on the face. Among these, pulling by mimetic muscles on the skin not only involves facial expression but also has a great role in forming facial wrinkle lines as a result of repetitive action, such as dynamic or hyperkinetic wrinkle lines.
Botulinum toxin A is currently being used for eliminating facial hyperkinetic wrinkles by causing paralysis of the underlying mimetic muscles. Because there are some histologic differences between Asians and Caucasians, such as thick dermis and more abundant collagen fiber, etc., the chronic pulling by mimetic muscles on the skin is expected to affect facial wrinkles differently.
Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of botulinum toxin A injection in eliminating facial hyperkinetic wrinkle lines among Korean patients.
This study included 38 patients and 59 injection sessions from January of 1996 to April of 1997. We used Botox containing 100 U. Toxin was diluted with 4 ml of sterile normal saline and yielded 2.5 U for each 0.1 cc. A dose of 5 to 10 U was used in each muscle. Ages ranged from 26 to 56 years. There were 33 women and 5 men included in this study. Thirty-two of the patients were followed from 3 months up to 12 months after injections.
The number of injection sessions that were performed on each patient was as follows: one session, 23 patients; two sessions, 10 patients; three sessions, 4 patients; four sessions, 1 patient. The number of injections per target site among these 38 patients was as follows: lateral canthal area, 33; glabellar area, 9; forehead, 9; nasal dorsum, 5. The most common duration of effective response was about 4 months, but in eight patients the period was over 5 months. After the response, complete recovery took about 1 or 2 months. Two patients felt unsatisfied, 5 patients felt slightly improved, and 25 patients retained only a slight line and were satisfied with the results. None of the patients experienced complete removal of wrinkle lines. Adverse effects included altered facial looks or appearances, mild local swelling, and ecchymosis at the injection sites. No systemic side effects were noted.
Based on these results, the injection of botulinum toxin A seems to be an effective method of eliminating wrinkle lines on the upper third of the face in Korean patients, and it was a simple and effective nonsurgical procedure.