BOTOX® – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m a big fan of providing all the information to let my patients be in a better position to make decisions. Allow me to explain all about Botox® and it’s uses:
What exactly is Botox®?
Botox® is the commonly used name for the neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin, which is derived from a type of bacteria known as clostridium botulinum.
How does it work?
Contractions in the muscles of the face cause small folds in the skin, which over time develop into wrinkles. Botox® blocks nerve impulses to the muscles in the target areas, such that the wrinkling effect is diminished. This leads to a smoother, more youthful appearance.
Which type of Botox® will be used?
I only use the original Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) by Allergan (previously known as Vistabel® for cosmetic purposes) rather than newer, cheaper alternatives. I place my trust in Botox® with its near 40 year history, supported by more research than any other drug in the world.
How is the treatment undertaken?
Very small amounts of Botox® are carefully injected, using a very fine needle, into the facial muscle or muscles which is/are causing the wrinkle.
Is it safe?
Yes – Botox® has been widely researched, and used for millions of patients over many years. The amount of Botox® used for cosmetic procedures is so small that toxicity does not occur at these levels.
Is it painful?
The needles I use are extremely fine (in fact the finest available in the world), and so the procedure is almost painless for most people. However, in certain sensitive areas an anaesthetic cream can be applied, prior to injection.
How long does it take to work?
One would normally expect the treatment to start working within two to three days and be fully effective within ten to fourteen days of your appointment.
How long does the effect last?
The results vary by patient, but the effects typically last from three to six months following treatment, and sometimes up to nine months. Although wrinkles will begin to reappear, after each injection they often return somewhat less severe, as the muscles are trained to relax. As such, it is not uncommon for the intervals between later appointments to increase over time.
Are there any side-effects?
It is extremely rare for anyone to have an allergic reaction to the use of Botox®. There may be a small amount of initial swelling/redness, arising from the use of the needle, but this would be expected to settle within a matter of hours.
Who should not be treated?
I undertake a full assessment of suitability prior to treatment. Apart from certain rare medical conditions which prevent Botox® being given, there are several medications which should be avoided at the same time, such as the antibiotics Gentamicin and Neomycin. In addition, Botox® should not be used in pregnancy or when breast feeding.
What areas can be treated?
The traditional areas of treatment have been the glabella (the area between the eyebrows), the forehead, and the areas around the eyes (crows feet). Other areas that can be treated include so-called bunny lines (at the sides of the nose), or it can be used to improve a ‘gummy’ smile. Some of my patients want to achieve a lift, for example of the brow – a ‘Botox® brow lift’. Muscle relaxing injections can also be used in the lower face on occasions. You will have the oportunity to discuss all of your areas of concern at your free initial consultation.
What other uses does it have?
Non-cosmetic uses of Botox®, undertaken at BrightNewMe, include treating medical conditions such as blepharospasm (excessive blinking), overactive jaw muscles, migraines, and excessive underarm sweating.
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