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What is botox?
Botox® is actually the trade name of one brand of botulinumtoxin but ‘botox’ is what everyone talks about – just as I ‘hoover’ my home (with a Dyson!).
The other brand names commonly used in the UK are Bocouture, Azzalure and Dysport – along with Botox®, these are licensed medications in the UK, and can only be prescribed by doctors, dentists & prescribing nurses. These four brands are also approved by the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has the most stringent standards in the world when it comes to aesthetics products.
Botox is mostly used for treating the upper face – the creases between the brows, on the forehead & the crows’ feet creases.
Aren’t toxins dangerous?
Many things are toxic in large amounts – the tiny amounts used in cosmetic medicine are smaller than those used in mainstream medicine to treat muscle spasms and are very safe.
What does botox treatment involve?
A series of injections into the area being treated. These small injections are into individual muscles and are given using the very finest needles, so you will feel very little discomfort.
How do botox injections work then?
The botox acts on the individual muscle fibres – it breaks the electrical connection between the nerve & the muscle, so the muscle fibre relaxes. Only certain muscles are targeted, leaving the surrounding muscles alone to maintain normal facial expressions.
How long does treatment take?
The actual treatment takes about 15 minutes – you should already have had a previous consultation to discuss the procedure and your medical history.
Am I too young to have botox?
The ideal time to start botox treatment is when you have dynamic lines (visible when you make an expression such as frowning), but before these have turned into static lines (visible even when your face is relaxed). By doing this you are using botox as a preventative treatment – if the skin cannot crease then the wrinkles are not able to develop, the habit of frowning has been broken.
I don’t want to look frozen!
Given in the correct small doses, botox treatment will give subtle improvements to your appearance & friends will comment that you look more relaxed and less ‘frowny’. The dosage can be ‘topped up’ if the relaxing effect is less than desired. Dosages that are high result in less movement – some people prefer this.
What about side-effects?
Just occasionally the botox can be dispersed into an adjacent muscle resulting in a slightly heavy brow – this will be temporary, typically resolving in a few weeks at most. All possible side-effects will be discussed with you at your consultation.
Why is there such a variation in prices for this treatment?
Because there is a lack of regulation in the aesthetics industry, the skill levels & qualifications of practitioners varies considerably.
Do your research – choose a doctor, dentist or qualified prescribing nurse who has been doing aesthetic work for some years. Do not be tempted by low prices or deals – sometimes offered by less skilled practitioners. Some practitioners may also use inferior imported products – these products are not approved by the FDA or licensed in the UK.
As in life you get what you pay for – and remember you are not just paying for the botox product, you are paying for the skills and experience of the practitioner.