Botulinum toxin type A is commonly known as Botox™. Anti-wrinkle injections are the most common, non-surgical treatment in the UK. This treatment helps relax facial muscles to smooth lines and wrinkles, resulting in a more youthful, rejuvenated look.
Areas most often treated are:
• Frown lines
• Forehead lines
• Crow's feet
But can also treat:
• Dimply chin
• “Smoker’s lines”
• Down turned mouth
• Gummy smile
• Excessive under arm sweating
What is Botulinum toxin type A (Botox™)?
Botox™ is a trade name for the drug Botulinum toxin type A. In the UK there are two other brands available, Azzalure and Bocouture. Botulinum toxin type A is a natural protein from the bacterium, clostridium botulinum. It was FDA approved for cosmetic use in 2002 but has been used medically since 1989. Botulinum toxin type A is a drug that can only be prescribed by a nurse prescriber, doctor or dentist.
How does it work?
It works by preventing messages being transmitted from the nerves to the targeted muscles. Therefore blocking the message from the nerves telling the targeted muscle to contract, leading to temporary relaxation or paralysis. It takes 2-5 days to start working and full effect can be seen after 2-3 weeks. The effect lasts 3-4 months generally, however some people it can last longer and others it doesn’t last 3 months. Gradually from about 7 weeks after treatment you can start to get a little movement as new nerve buds have grown.
Does it hurt?
Generally this treatment is not painful and is tolerated with no anaesthetic cream. The finest needle available is used to ensure the maximum comfort of my patients. Most people are surprised by how little it hurts and some even find lying on my treatment bed therapeutic!!
Is this treatment right for me?
In order to assess if you are suitable for this treatment a detailed medical history will be taken and consent form completed before I will prescribe the drug to be administered.
It is not suitable if:
• You are pregnant or breastfeeding
• You have certain neurological disorders
• You are taking certain medications
• You have previously had an allergic reaction to botulinum toxin type A
• You have an infection at injection site
Also caution should be taken if you are taking medicines that increase the risk of bruising eg warfarin, aspirin and some over the counter tablets, vitamins and supplements.
Is it safe?
Every medicine carries a degree of risk. Botulinum toxin type A should only be administered by a health care professional with specialist training in aesthetics. Potential side effects will be discussed fully at your consultation.
Potential side effects include:
• Redness and swelling at injection site (typically lasts 30 minutes)
• Headache, dry eyes or blurred vision
• Asymmetrical facial expressions
• Dropping of eyebrow or drooping of eyelid
Side effects are uncommon, usually occur within a few days of having treatment and are temporary. You should contact Hayley regarding any concerns following treatment.
Expectations after treatment
The only aftercare instructions are to exercise the treated muscles for a couple of hours, so regularly smiling, frowning and raising up your eyebrows. This is thought to help make it work better. You will start to see an improvement 2-5 days following treatment but full results will not be seen for 2-3 weeks. You may be given an appointment for review 2-3 weeks after treatment for me to assess the success of your treatment, to 'tweak' if necessary and to alter your future treatment plan.