What is Botox?
Botox is a naturally derived protein which acts upon nerve endings to reduce the action of these nerves and thereby the muscles which they supply. When used cosmetically it reduces the strength of the muscles of the face that cause the tell-tale lines that come with age. The most common areas of the face are frown lines, crows’ feet at the side of the eyes and the horizontal lines (surprise lines) that run across the forehead. We will always tailor the treatment to the individual patient but on the whole, a more ‘natural’ look is achieved by precise dosing to prevent a ‘frozen’ appearance. We can also use Botox to prevent drooping of the eyebrows that are starting to become hooded with age.
Is it safe?
Botox has been used for many years very safely in various medical conditions such as cerebral palsy and for about 20 years in cosmetic use. Side effects are very rare but allergic reactions and effects on other muscles to those being treated have been reported in the medical press.
What is the procedure?
Botox is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. Botox generally takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment. Asprin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment as well in order to reduce possible bruising.
How long does it last?
The effects of Botox are temporary and last from 3-6 months. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to re-appear and wrinkles need to be re-treated. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time because the muscles are being trained to relax. On the whole it has been proved to be a very safe and effective procedure and this is what we have also found over the years in our clinic.
Botulinum toxin type A is the actual name given to the treatment commonly known as Botox.