What is Botox®?
Botox® (botulinum toxin type A) is one of the most talked about anti-ageing treatments in the world. A prescription-only product, Botox® can be used to erase or soften dynamic facial lines and wrinkles caused by expressions, such as crow’s feet, forehead lines, bunny lines and frown lines or glabellar lines (the number 11 shaped lines in between the eyebrows). It can also be used to perform a non-surgical brow lift.
More than three million Botox® treatments take place around the world every year. The treatment is one of the most-popular aesthetic procedures and is well-researched and documented by science.
Botox® is made from a purified protein produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria. When injected into a target muscle, Botox® blocks the transmission of signals from the nerve ending to the muscle causing temporary “paralysis” of the muscle. Because the lines and wrinkles we treat with Botox® are often “dynamic”, i.e. Caused by facial expressions, they are no longer so visible or prominent once this action takes place.
What does Botox® treatment involve?
Botox® treatment is relatively quick, it only takes around 10 minutes to perform, and it is not at all painful. The toxin is injected into a few specific points using a very fine needle, which means the treatment is very comfortable. You may feel a few small pinpricks but that’s it. No anaesthetic is required.
The amount of product injected will dictate whether or not the muscle movement is completely frozen or whether there is still some movement, which looks more natural.
Is Botox® safe and is there any recovery time?
Botox® actually has a long history of use in medicine which means it is a very safe and well-researched drug.
Botox® was originally used to treat blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids) and strabismus (squint) where it was noticed, back in the late 80s, that it also had an effect on lines and wrinkles. Today Botox® is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions such as idiopathic cervical dystoniadynamic, axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and even chronic migraine.
It has been used for more than 25 years now and it is extremely rare for serious side effects to occur. One side effect that can happen as a result of Botox® treatment ptosis, which means drooping or falling of the upper eyelid. Even if this occurs, it can be rectified and in cases where it can’t, the duration of effect of the product means that the effect is not permanent.
As Botox® involves needles there is also a risk of some minor bruising or redness at the injection site. Some people may get a headache after treatment but this is temporary and rare.
We would not recommend having Botox® if:
- You have a known history of hypersensitivity to any ingredient in Botox®
- You have any muscle weakness disorders, such as myasthenia gravis
- You are pregnant or breast feeding
Botox® is a prescription only medicine and therefore it can only be prescribed by a medical professional, such as a doctor, dermatologist, or nurse who has the ability to prescribe.
What kind of results can I expect?
Botox® is a highly effective, safe and proven treatment for diminishing the appearance of facial expression lines such as crow’s feet, forehead lines, bunny lines and frown lines.
After your treatment it will take a few days (on average five) for you to start to notice the effect of the toxin working, and can take up to two weeks for it to take full effect. The effects of Botox® last between three and six months. This is because the toxin on temporarily blocks the signals from the nerve endings. As they re-establish new signals, lines and wrinkles re-appear.