Botox treatment is probably the most popular cosmetic medical treatment for facial lines and wrinkles in the UK and can be used successfully in combination with other rejuvenation treatments. The upper third of the face is where the best treatment results are obtained.
Botox injections are not permanent. It is usually good to have treatments every 3-4 months to maintain the effect.
What is Botox?
Botulinum toxin or Botox is a naturally occurring protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. The bacterium makes several different types of protein. These proteins cause the muscles to relax.
How does it work?
A minute quantity of Botox is injected into the muscles that cause dynamic lines, for example frown lines. The injection temporarily prevents nerve signals from reaching the muscle and as a result, the muscle relaxes, the skin smoothes out. This is not a permanent condition but it will last 3-4 months. It has been proven to be quite safe to have Botox injections at the above frequency over a period of years.
What areas can it be used to treat?
The upper third of the face is where the best results are obtained, commonly for reduction in the appearance of crows feet around the eyes, and frown lines and wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows.
The treatment is simple, quick and safe. Treatment usually takes no longer than 10-15 minutes. Most people return to normal activities immediately afterwards.
Most people find that Botox injections cause little discomfort. Many compare the feeling to a little insect bite. As the treatment is very quick, the needles used are tiny and only minute amounts of liquid are being injected into the skin; few people experience any significant pain. A cream called Emla cream can be applied 30 minutes prior to treatment to help numb the skin.
Botox usually takes 7-10 days to relax the muscles after treatment.
What side effects may I expect following treatment?
Most side effects experienced by people are short lived and are linked to injections eg pain on injection, redness, swelling. Other side effects such as ptosis [drooping] of the upper eyelid, whilst still temporary in nature can be caused by a spread of the injection into nearby muscles.
Occasionally people experience a headache after treatment and very rarely, double vision.
Post treatment advice
Directly after treatment, there may be slight redness, swelling, tenderness and a numb sensation in the treated area. Occasionally bruising may occur around the treatment area. This is an average result of the injection. The irritation is short term and in general vanishes in a day or two. If irritation continues please contact me immediately.
- Refrain from touching the treated area for 3-4 hours.
- Remain upright for 3-4 hours.
- Do not engage in strenuous exercise after treatment.
- Repeatedly tense the treated muscle groups during the 3-4 hours, as the toxin works better in active muscles.
- Follow up appointment 2 weeks after treatment to review results.