What are Wrinkle Relaxants (Botox®)
Botulinium toxin is a chemical produced by the Botulinium bacterium. Its muscle relaxing properties were discovered some 30 years ago when it was first used to correct squints of the eye. There are several different products licensed for use in the UK namely Vistabel, Azzalure, Botox® and Bocouture. These products carry a licence allowing them to be used for facial cosmetic treatments.
Botulinium Toxin is a powerful chemical agent and its use and administration is restricted to prescription by a doctor/nurse prescriber on a named patient basis. It is only administered after a full consultation has been given.
Botox® was also was licenced in 2010 for the treatment of chronic migraine. The injections have shown on average to reduce headaches to less than eight days per month. The effects can last up to twelve months.
What are the benefits?
Every time we frown, squint, or smile our muscles move our face. This causes lines/creases to appear on the skins surface. The skin will always fold/crease in the same place, therefore the crease naturally becomes deeper and deeper over time. By relaxing the muscles that cause the lines or folds to occur the skin is given time to recover and thus the lines soften.
What does the treatment involve?
The procedure takes about 20 minutes. Your practitioner will ask you to pull some facial expressions in order to see how your facial muscles work. Then an extremely fine needle is used to inject the area, this may cause some brief discomfort The area may become slightly reddened and a little swollen but this usually resolves within the hour. The treatment will begin to take effect within 5-10 days, however full effect being achieved at approx 14 days. The effects of the treatment will normally last between 3-6months during which time the muscles will gradually start to regain movement.
How does the treatment work?
Botulinium toxin works by stopping the transmission of nerve impulses to the facial muscles that contract and cause wrinkles, such as frown lines between the eyebrows and crows feet (laughter lines) around the eyes. By using facial muscles repeatedly throughout a lifetime, the skin can become creased in areas of greatest use. The ageing process causes the slowing down of collagen and elastin production therefore these areas can become damaged and permanently lined. By reducing the movement of the muscles, the skin in these areas is allowed to recover the lines then improve and soften.
Is it safe?
As with any cosmetic treatment , safety is the first concern. You should ensure you discuss any allergies, or medical conditions with your practitioner at your consultation. IT SHOULD NOT BE USED DURING PREGNANCY OR LACTATION. It is not suitable for people with neuromuscular transmission disorders e.g. Myasthenia Gravis . Or if you are taking Aminoglycoside anitibiotics. Few side effects have been reported, other than the mild redness, tingling at the injection site and slight bruising. However, there have been reports of it causing a mild headache, which dissipates after a few days. Rarely a temporary drooping of the eyelid may occur, this resolves within a few weeks.
Where can it treat?
• Frown lines between eyebrows
• Brow lines in forehead
• Smokers lines (above lips)
• Crows feet / stroke laughter lines
• Excessive Sweating / Hyper Hydrosis
• Forehead / between eyes (frown lines)