Botulinum toxin injections, also known as Botox treatments, are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world, and have been safely used with no long-term side effects for nearly 30 years.
What are Botox treatments and how do they work?
Botulinum toxin first began to be used in 1980 to treat many muscle disorders such as lazy eye, eye ticks, uncontrolled blinking, migraines and Hyperhydrosis. Cosmetic botox treatments were pioneered by dermatological surgeons in 1987. Now botox treatments are most commonly used to treat three different areas: the frown lines between the eyebrows, the horizontal forehead lines, and "crow's feet" or "laughter lines".
Softened, relaxed facial muscles with botox treatments
Our botox treatments are administered with a purified preparation of botulinum toxin Type A, obtained from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When injected into muscle tissue in small quantities, botulinum toxin causes a temporary softening of the treated facial muscles and this allows the lines & wrinkles to soften over a few weeks to months. By doing this, the muscles cannot contract and therefore tend to relax. When the muscles relax, the overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled while the untreated facial muscles continue to work in a normal fashion, allowing normal facial expression to be unaffected by our botox treatments.
Patients with chronic migraine can be helped by botox injections, chronic migraine is defined as headaches occurring on 15 or more days each month, at least half of which have migrainous features. This treatment is also growing in popularlity with male patients looking to treat fine lines and wrinkles.
With Hyperhydrosis when botox is used; as it is a preparation of protein small doses are injected into the skin it then blocks the nerves that supply the eccrine glands; this prevents the glands from producing sweat and help individuals who suffer from and are embarassed by excessive sweating.
Do botox treatments hurt?
Our botox treatments use very fine needles and a cooling device on the skin just prior to treatment to keep discomfort to a minimum.
Are there any side effects?
There are very few side effects from botox treatments. Occasionally, temporary numbness or a mild headache may be experienced although it is important to remember that botulinum toxin is already widely used to treat people with intense migraines. Minimal bruising may occur at the site of injection after some botox treatments.
For less than 1% of patients a temporary droop of the brow or eyelid may occur. While allergy to any medicine is possible, allergic reactions to botulinum toxin are extremely rare.
How long does the treatment take?
You will be advised what to expect at your initial consultation as treatments have to be worked out on an individual basis.
How long will the effects of the treatment last?
Injections take effect about four to seven days after treatment and the effect lasts three to four months. Repeat injections will be required after this period of time to maintain the skin smoothing effects. After several botox treatments the effects of the botulinum toxin may begin to last longer, sometimes up to six to eight months.
What aftercare will I need?
It is advisable not to rub the area, not to bend over for a prolonged period and not to use the treated muscles regularly for three to four hours after treatment. This helps avoid side effects and helps you get the best results from botox treatments.