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What is Botulinum Toxin (or Botox®)?
Botulinum toxin type A or botox® is one of the most talked about anti-ageing treatments in the world. A prescription-only product, Botox® can be used to erase or soften dynamic facial lines and wrinkles caused by expressions.
More than three million Botox® treatments take place around the world every year. The treatment is one of the most-popular aesthetic procedures and is well-researched and documented by science.
Botox® is made from a purified protein produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria. When injected into a target muscle, Botox® blocks the transmission of signals from the nerve ending to the muscle causing temporary "paralysis" of the muscle. Because the lines and wrinkles we treat with Botox® are often "dynamic", i.e. Caused by facial expressions, they are no longer so visible or prominent once this action takes place.
What does Botox® treatment involve?
Botox® treatment is relatively quick, it only takes around 10 minutes to perform, and it is not at all painful. The toxin is injected into a few specific points using a very fine needle, which means the treatment is very comfortable. You may feel a few small pinpricks but that's it. No anaesthetic is required.
The amount of product injected will dictate whether or not the muscle movement is completely frozen or whether there is still some movement, which looks more natural.
Is Botox® safe and is there any recovery time?
Botox® actually has a long history of use in medicine which means it is a very safe and well-researched drug. Botox® was originally used to treat blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids) and strabismus (squint) where it was noticed, back in the late 80s, that it also had an effect on lines and wrinkles. Today Botox® is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions such as idiopathic cervical dystonia, axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and even chronic migraine.
It has been used for more than 25 years now and it is extremely rare for serious side effects to occur. One side effect that can happen as a result of Botox® treatment ptosis, which means drooping or falling of the upper eyelid. Even if this occurs, it can be rectified and in cases where it can't, the duration of effect of the product means that the effect is not permanent.
As Botox® involves needles there is also a risk of some minor bruising or redness at the injection site. Some people may get a headache after treatment but this is temporary and rare.
We would not recommend having Botox® if:
You have a known history of hypersensitivity to any ingredient in Botox®
You have any muscle weakness disorders, such as myasthenia gravis
You are pregnant or breast feeding
Botox® is a prescription only medicine and therefore it can only be prescribed by a medical professional, such as a dentist, doctor, or nurse who has the ability to prescribe.
What treatments and results can I expect?
Botox® is a highly effective, safe and proven treatment. It can be used for: for diminishing the appearance of facial expression lines such as crow's feet, forehead lines, bunny lines and frown lines.
After your treatment it will take a few days (on average five) for you to start to notice the effect of the toxin working, and can take up to two weeks for it to take full effect. The effects of Botox® last between three and six months. This is because the toxin on temporarily blocks the signals from the nerve endings. As they re-establish new signals, lines and wrinkles re-appear.
Where can Botox® be used?
Botox® can be used to erase or soften dynamic facial lines and wrinkles caused by expressions, such as crow's feet, forehead lines, bunny lines and frown lines or glabellar lines (the number 11 shaped lines in between the eyebrows). This is the most common cosmetic use of toxin.
Clenching and grinding of teeth, or wide jaw angle
This can be caused by overuse of a large muscle in our jaw, called the Masseter muscle. Reducing the activity and power of this muscle can help those who grind or clench. Often with extensive use of this muscle, the angles of the jaw can look wider. Using Botox® can minimise the overuse of Masseter, and can therefore reduce your clenching habit. It can also help narrow the angle of the jaw, to give rise to a more oval shape as opposed to a square shaped face.
These are the wrinkly lines that appear on the side of the nose when smiling or talking. Botulinum toxin is very effective at softening or eradicating these dynamic lines
Used either by itself or in some cases with filler, we can achieve a brow lift, by modifying the position of the tail of the eyebrow.
Neck and lower jaw tightening (Nefretiti Lift)
With small multiple points of injection into the superficial neck and lower face muscles we can soften lines in the neck and lower face region, and also achieve a mild tightening of the platysma muscle. This is used in conjunction with the QSC™ Non Surgical Facelift gives rise to beautiful, subtle full face rejuvenation.
Excessive Sweating (hyperhidrosis)
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness. It can be embarrassing, it stains clothes, ruins romance, and complicates business and social interactions. We can reduce sweating by up to 90% with Botox® in one treatment session, and the results can last up to 6-9 months.
A high smile line with lots of gum show can affect your self esteem. If the smile is partially due to hyperactive muscle activity, Botox® can be used to reduce the extent of muscle activity, thereby reducing the degree of lip lift and show of gum.
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