Botox® is a simple, safe and effective treatment to temporarily soften or fade frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet.
Other trade names for Botulinum Toxin Type A are: Dysport®; Azzalure®; Xeomin®; Bocouture® and Vistabel®. I continue to use Botox® in my practice, in preference to other brands, due to its reliability and long history of safety in use.
What is Botox?
Botox® utilises the toxin produced by the bacteria responsible for botulism food poisoning. However the amount of toxin used is minimal and extremely safe. The active substance in Botox® (onabotulinum toxin A) has been used in medicine for 50 years. Initially it was used to treat strabismus (lazy eye), blepherospasm (eyelid twitch) and other muscle rigidity problems. More recently it has become a popular cosmetic treatment; approved in 2002 by the FDA for the reduction of glabeller lines (the deep creases between the eyebrows).
How does Botox work?
The toxin reversibly weakens the muscles beneath our skin which are responsible for the development of lines. The combination of the aging process and repeated use of our facial muscles when smiling or frowning causes permanent lines and wrinkles to occur. Botox It is thought to act by interrupting the chemical message from the nerve endings to the muscle. By reducing the movement of muscles the skin stops being creased and is allowed to recover, causing lines to soften or fade away. Depending on each individual, and the dose used, the response to treatment can vary from relaxation of the muscles to an inability to move the muscles. Although a number of sites respond very well, static wrinkles due to sun damage will not usually improve with Botox®, as they are not generated by muscle activity.
How long does the treatment take?
The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes. You will be asked to move certain muscles of the face. This is so I can observe how your individual muscles work. An extremely fine short needle is used to inject the Botox® into the appropriate areas. Most people find that the injections cause only mild discomfort.
Are there side effects?
Immediately after the injection you may have mild redness and swelling at the injection sites which will resolve within an hour or two. There may be slight bruising. Numbness, a rash or a headache may occur but usually subsides within 48 hours. Occasionally surrounding muscles can be affected causing ptosis (temporary drooping of the eyebrow or eyelid) and diplopia (double vision) or watering of the eyes, this may last a few weeks but will resolve with time. More rarely, clients may develop antibodies or allergies to Botox®. Azzalure® and Botox® contain small amounts of albumen which comes from human blood. It is very unlikely that this could pass on an infection, but it cannot be entirely ruled out.
When will I see results?
Results can usually be seen within 3-14 days and effects will last between 3 – 6 months. This may vary slightly with some individuals. For the first couple of years frequent treatments are required (every 3- 4 months) to re-educate the facial muscles. Thereafter, treatments are required less frequently, until yearly maintenance treatment is all that is required. You will be given detailed post procedure care. Please follow these instructions to optimise your treatment and reduce the incidence of side effects.