Anti-wrinkle injections (Botox®)
The Cosmetic Use of Botox®
Crease lines and wrinkles are a natural process due to a combination of ageing, sun damage, gravity and the muscle action of laughing, talking, frowning and crying.
Hyperactivity of the facial expression muscles often results in the development of deep frown lines, forehead lines and/or crow's feet. Injecting botulinum toxin into the the affected area temporarily relaxes the underlying muscles responsible for wrinkling. This gives the face a more relaxed and pleasant appearance. The wrinkles become smoother or disappear altogether.
What is Botox®?
Botox® (botulinum toxin) is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment where it is largely inactive and non-toxic. Botulinum toxin can be injected in extremely small concentrations and works by preventing signals from nerve cells reaching muscles, therefore paralyzing them.
Botulinum toxin is predominantly used as a treatment to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines. It is currently also used to treat over 20 different medical conditions, including; eye squints, migraines, excessive sweating and certain bladder conditions, with more applications under investigation.
When and how long does it work for?
There are two types of wrinkles; dynamic wrinkles (the lines that form when you move the muscles in your face) and static wrinkles (the lines that are present when your facial muscles are at rest). Botox® works by treating the dynamic wrinkles. It will not improve the static wrinkles and other types of treatment management may be required for these.
The initial effects of treatment become visible within 48-72 hours. The maximum effect is reached in 10-14 days. A top-up may be required at this stage to reach the required dose level for a mutually achievable result.
Your facial expression will become more relaxed but by no means mask-like. The overall result is very natural. The treatment is for improvement, not perfection.
The effect of treatment generally lasts for 3-4 months. Re-treatment is then required to maintain the optimum effect.
For Frown Lines
Between the eyebrows, the vertical frown lines result from overactive muscles. These muscles are also used when concentrating. By drawing the eyebrows inward, one expresses anger, confusion or anxiety. Repeated often enough, permanent skin creases develop and even when relaxed, these frown lines remain. Neutralisation of these overactive brow muscles helps to eliminate these negative appearances.
For Crow's Feet
Wrinkles radiating from the corner of the eyes caused by smiling, laughing or squinting are especially distressing to some individuals. Even with deepest chemical peels or laser resurfacing techniques, rapid recurrence of these lines is inevitable. Botox® has proved to be effective at preventing the recurrence of lines by inhibiting underlying muscles.
For Forehead Lines
You use muscles here for raising the brows. Some people are very expressive and 'talk' with their forehead. Botox® is used to smooth the horizontal lines.
For High (Gummy) Smile
Some people can show a lot of tooth when they smile to their maximum point. Botox® can be used to reduce this movement of the upper lip, and for some individuals give them a more confident smile.
Risks and Side Effects
Although allergy and side effects to Botox® treatment are extremely rare, there are some risks of which you need to be aware if considering treatment:
The results of treatment cannot be guaranteed. Individuals can have varying responses.
Most people find injections cause only mild discomfort. Immediately after treatment there may be some mild swelling which usually subsides in 24 - 48 hours.
Afterwards the injection site is slightly red for about 1 hour. Occasionally a bruise may occur.
When having treatment of the upper face, such as frown and forehead, a very low risk of brow ptosis (drooping eyebrow) or eyelid ptosis (drooping eyelid) can occur. This completely reverses with time.
Rare side effects include:
patients can also develop antibodies or allergies to the toxin
double vision and watering eyes
If you are pregnant or a nursing mother, suffer from neuromuscular diseases such as Bells Palsy or Myasthenia Gravis, treatment is not recommended.
For you to achieve maximum benefit from treatment, and to ensure your safety, there are a few instructions for you to follow after treatment:
Repeatedly frown or tense the area for about 1 hour after treatment. This helps the treatment to be more effective by increasing the uptake at the targeted muscles.
Do not rub or touch the treated area for 4 hours.
Try to remain upright for 4 hours.
Avoid exercise for 4 hours.
Avoid applying makeup to the area for 1 hour. After this apply makeup gently for the next 24 hours using a light dabbing motion rather than a rubbing or spreading action.
DO NOT have any facial treatments for 7 days following treatment, as they may cause 'tracking' of the Botulinum Toxin to neighbouring areas.
If you have any concerns following treatment please do not hesitate to contact the practice on 0191 286 3398 for advice. If out of hours, please call the emergency phone on 0759 615 4619.