Botulinum toxin injections, also known as Botox treatments, are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world, these treatments have been safely used with no long-term side effects for over twenty 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 and uncontrolled blinking, Migraines and Hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating). 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, "crows feet" or "laughter lines".
Softened, relaxed facial muscles with Botox treatments
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 to soften over a few weeks to months. By doing this the muscles cannot contract and therefore tend to relax. This allows the skin to remain smooth and unwrinkled. 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 Botox treatments.
Do Botox treatments hurt?
The Botox treatments offered use very fine needles and a cooling device on the skin just prior to treatment to keep discomfort to a minimum.
Are there are side effects?
There are very few side effects from Botox treatments. Occasionally temporary numbness or a mild headache may be experienced although botulinum toxin is being used to treat migraine successfully in some patients. Minimal bruising may occur at the site of the injection after some Botox treatments. In 1% of patients or less, 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.
How long will the effects of the treatment last?
Injections take effect about four to seven days after treatment and the effects last 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 botulinum toxin may be to last longer,sometimes up 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 to use the treated muscles regularly for three to four hours after treatment. This helps avoid possible side effects and helps you get the best results from Botox treatments.
- Frown lines between eyebrows
- Horizonal forehead lines
- Crows feet
- Laughter lines