The lowdown on Botox treatment
heres plenty of debate about the pros and cons of using Botox to stem the ageing tide.
Whatever your view, Botox offers a quick and easy fix for wrinkles – providing its administered by a qualified surgeon.
Botox is actually a purified form of the same bacteria that causes a virulent form of food poisoning known as botulism. For cosmetic purposes however, the Botulinum toxin or Botox for short, is manufactured as a protein in a pharmaceutical laboratory under strict clinical conditions.
It acts by reducing the nerve stimulation to muscle and subsequently inducing relaxation, smoothing away a tired aged look. Any wrinkles melt away, leaving the facial expression free of lines or at least significantly reduced. Botox is usually administered by a few tiny injections under the skin.
Botox will continue to prevent and reduce facial lines and wrinkles for up to four months after treatment, but occasionally its smoothing effects can last for six months or longer.
Following treatment, the results are not immediately apparent. It usually takes two days for facial lines to disappear, with full results noticeable after two weeks.
The advantage of Botox – providing its administered by a suitably qualified cosmetic surgeon - is that there are no major or harmful side effects. Common side effects are restricted to minor and temporary redness, swelling or bruising at the injection site. Very rarely, Botox may migrate into the upper eyelid, causing the eyelid to droop. However these effects are temporary, lasting between seven and fourteen days.
Drooping eyelids following a Botox treatment are usually caused by inappropriate injection of the upper facial muscles – and underlines the importance of this treatment being carried out by a qualified surgeon.
Botox has other uses apart from treating the effects of ageing. Children as young as three years of age who are suffering from cerebral palsy can be given Botox to ease muscle spasms. In addition, Botox recently has been shown to be effective in reducing the occurrence of migraine and tension headaches. Medically, Botox has been used effectively to treat these conditions for more than 25 years.
When used as a cosmetic treatment, Botox is commonly used to treat crows feet around the eyes, the central frown line between the eyebrows and the worry lines across the forehead. Botox is essentially the treatment of choice for these areas.
Prior to having Botox, patients should avoid using aspirin or any drugs that may thin the blood. This helps to avoid unwanted bruising following the injections. Botox is also best avoided in patients who are pregnant and breast feeding. There is some medical evidence that Botox can be used not only to smooth away existing wrinkles, but also to prevent the occurrence of new ones. Botox relaxes the wrinkle-causing muscles and as a result, prevents recurrent skin creasing by these muscles, preventing the occurrence of new lines and wrinkles.
Your surgeon should be able to demonstrate they understand the anatomy of the facial muscles before Botox is administered. Understanding the true function minimises over-activity of other muscles that have not undergone Botox injection. This is important, as it helps avoid a patient developing a blank look following the injection of Botox. The aim of treatment is to rejuvenate the face and provide a natural appearance, preserving a normal expression while relaxing unwanted lines.
In spite of any Botox treatment, patients will still have persistent crease lines on the face. In such cases patients may request a dermal filler to try and correct this problem, as these crease lines can give the appearance of anger or stress. For most patients undergoing Botox treatment, there may still be some fine lines present which are not a cause for concern, since they give the patients face a more natural appearance.