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What is Botox?
Botox® (Botulinum toxin type A) is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It was developed during the 1970s 1980s to treat blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids) and strabismus (squint).
In 1997 it achieved FDA approval for cosmetic use in the USA and by 2006 was granted a license by the MHRA in the UK for the treatment of frown lines.
Worldwide, now more than 3 million Botox® treatments take place per year.
How does Botox work?
In addition to skin cell changes, collagen depletion and damage due to free radicals, wrinkles are caused by muscle contraction. For example, when you are angry or confused, you draw your eyebrows together and downwards. This causes pleating of the skin which results in frown lines.
Similarly, elevation of the eyebrows causes horizontal lines on the forehead and smiling / squinting causes crows feet around the eyes.
Botox® is injected into the target muscle and works at the neuromuscular junction by blocking the transmission of signals from the nerve ending to the muscle. This causes temporary paralysis of the treated muscle, which results in the reduction or loss of wrinkles. The result is not permanent because the nerve ending re-establishes its signalling by forming new nerve sprouts. This sprouting takes approximately 3-6 months, at which point the muscle regains its activity and the wrinkles begin to reapper.
- A few tiny injections into facial muscles using a very fine needle
- No local anaesthetic required discomfort is minimal
- Takes 10 mins to perform no downtime necessary
- Noticable wrinkle reduction in 3-5 days
- Results last at least 3 months
Botox Aftercare (within the first 6 hours)
- DO gently exercise the treatment areas by frowning, smiling, squinting and lifting the eyebrows occasionally this will optimise your result
- DO NOT rub or massage the treatment areas this may increase the risk of complications by spreading the product
- AVOID alcohol, aspirin and ibuprofen for 24 hours which can increase the risk of bruising and swelling
- AVOID lying flat or bending down excessively
- AVOID very strenuous physical activity
Possible side effects of Botox
- Small area of redness at treatment site lasting 2-3 hours (common)
- Bruising / swelling of treatment area (less common)
- Dull heavy sensation +/- occasional headache (less common)
- Ptosis (droop) of eyebrow or eyelid (rare)
What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are injectable products that soften and correct lines, wrinkes and folds in the skin. In addition, they are commonly used to augment and enhance the lips, cheeks and facial contours.
Which dermal filler should I choose?
There are a variety of dermal fillers on the market, which vary in their composition, however the most commonly used material is hyaluronic acid (HA). This is a natural, non-animal based, stabilised clear gel which hydrates and volumises the tissue. Most patients choose a HA product due to:
Safety over 10 million treatments performed over 10 years
Natural tissue tailored HA resembles the skins own material
Long lasting but not permanent (typical results last 3-12 months)
Non-animal reducing the risk of adverse reactions (only 1 in 20 000)
Quick and simple most treatments take < 30mins to complete
Treatment with dermal filler
Informed consent with pre-treatment photos
Local anaesthetic cream or injections used to increase comfort
Dermal filler injected into skin via small gauge (27-31G) needle
Injection sites massaged to promote even integration into tissue
Tissue expansion associated with slight burning / stinging sensation
Immediate results noticed but may be exaggerated due to swelling
Procedure takes around 30 minutes to complete
Results last 3-12m depending on product and volume
Price dependant on individual needs
- DO NOT apply make up or creams for at least 6 hours
- DO NOT expose the treatment areas to extreme heat (eg sunbeds / sauna) for at least 2 weeks, as this may affect product durability
- DO gently massage the treatment areas for up to 2 weeks to avoid unevenness
Possible side effects
- Immediate redness, swelling, burning and itching around the treatment site are COMMON and should settle within the first few hours
- Bruising and swelling lasting up to 2 weeks are LESS COMMON and should resolve spontaneously
- Slight blue discolouration of the treatment area is LESS COMMON
- Cold sores may RARELY erupt following lip augmentation this should be treated with Zovirax cream from the pharmacy
- Tissue infection / abcess is RARE and can be treated with antibiotics
- Granuloma (tissue nodules) are VERY RARE and can be treated with injection of steroid into the affected area
- Tissue necrosis (sores) is VERY RARE and usually resolves
- Hypersensitivity / allergy is VERY RARE and can be treated with antihistamines
You should avoid dermal filler treatment if any of the following are relevant:
botox, plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery non surgical, botox, wrinkles, face, facial, hanley, stoke-on-trent, staffordshire
- History of severe allergy or anaphylaxis
- Known bruising or bleeding disorders
- Anticoagulant and immunosuppressant drugs
- Pregnancy / breast feeding
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