Anti-Wrinkle Injections/ Botox®
“In 2000, almost 787,000 people received Botox® injections, ranking it among the top five non-surgical cosmetic plastic surgery procedures”
“Botox® injection is currently the most popular cosmetic procedure with over 1.6 million Botox® injections being performed last year.”
Botox® is the brand name of botulinum toxin type A and has been in use since about 1990, around 20 million people have been treated worldwide. It is injected into muscle to reduce unwanted muscular contraction. The medication partially weakens the nerve to the muscle for four to six months. Botox® has thus proven very useful in people who suffer from abnormal contractions of muscle. The cosmetic use (anti-wrinkle) of the injections came about when it was noted that lines and facial wrinkles were dramatically reduced.
This has increased dramatically in recent times and is now by far the most common use. Botox® is safe and highly effective at diminishing forehead lines (horizontal lines across forehead), frown lines (vertical lines between the eyes), crows feet (laughter lines at edge of the eyes), neck lines (Nefertiti lift) and vertical ‘lipstick’ lines. It eliminates surface wrinkles, resulting in a refreshed, smoother, line-free appearance.
If you are uncertain about any aspects of Botox® we will be pleased to arrange a free consultation to discuss your questions
How is it given?
Very small amounts of Botox® are injected into the required areas using a tiny micro-needle.This acts by blocking the impulse of the nerves to the muscles which relate to the lines and wrinkles. The muscles are then relaxed preventing contraction. Following treatment with Botox® the skin over the muscles remains smooth and even,while all untreated areas remain unaffected.
Do the injections hurt?
Because the needles are so fine and the quantity of Botox® so small the pain is minimal. No local anaesthesia or sedation is required, although there may be some itchiness over the treated area immediately afterwards.
How will I look afterwards?
It may take 2-3 days to notice any initial effect, however within a week the improvement is dramatic. The maximum noticeable effect occurs up to 30 days later and will last for 4-6 months, when the effects begin to wear off. As most patients are happy with the effects of Botox®, a top up injection will be required after this period of time to maintain the skin smoothing effects.
How long will it last?
This varies from person to person, but can last up to 6 months. You will notice a gradual fading of its effects at which point it is time for a new treatment. Early clinical studies indicate that over time less frequent use of injections are required, but that also the benefits of Botox® may be less effective for those over 65.
Are there any side-effects?
Botox® is not harmful. There may be some temporary localised bruising following injections, or slight swelling at the injection site, but this disappears quickly in 1 or 2 days.
Is Botox® dangerous?
No! It has been used safely and effectively for almost 20 years in the treatment of many medical conditions including neurological disorders. It is now used more popularly for cosmetic purposes.
Will I be able to move my face afterwards?
Some patients ask if they will have a mask-like appearance or lose facial expression after Botox® injections. The answer is no, not when the procedure is done properly. Selected muscles are weakened not totally paralysed, whilst nearby muscles are unaffected. In this way, extreme movements of the forehead and eyebrows, which create the wrinkles, will be prevented, but other muscles in the face will not be affected and will move the face as normal.
Who is suitable for Botox?
A wide range of patients benefit from Botox® therapy. Botox® is ideal for younger people (25-60) who are just starting to develop wrinkles. Botox® treats existing creases, as well as potential creases before they start. After taking a detailed history and discussing your expectations you will be advised of the most age-appropriate and effective treatment for your individual needs.
Who is not suitable for treatment?
- Pregnancy; although there have been no reports of birth defects with this medicine, no pregnant patients will be treated.
- Breastfeeding; similarly, there is no evidence that Botox® is expressed in breast milk but it is best avoided if breastfeeding.
- Patients with a history of neuromuscular disease (multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis) or other types of diseases involving neurotransmission should avoid this medicine.
- Known allergy to human albumin or Botox®; currently there are no documented cases of allergy to Botox®.