Frequently asked questions about Botox®
- WHAT IS BOTULINUM TOXIN?
Botulinum toxin is a chemical produced by the botulinum bacterium. Botox® is a protein derivation of the toxin, which, when injected into the muscle, causes it to become weakened or inactivated. It stops the muscle from functioning by blocking neuromuscular transmission – i.e. it stops the chemical messages from the nerve to the muscle.
- HOW DOES BOTOX® THERAPY WORK?
By using facial muscles repeatedly throughout a lifetime, the skin becomes creased in the areas used most. The ageing process causes collagen and elastin production in the skin to slow down so that, as we get older, these areas of over-use become damaged and the lines become permanent. By reducing the movement of muscles in these areas, the skin stops being creased and is allowed to recover, causing the lines to soften or even fade away. In the areas treated, the muscles are temporarily (always reversibly) inactivated, during which time the patient can break the subconscious habit of overusing these muscles. Depending on each individual and the dose used, the response to treatment can vary from a relaxation of the muscles to an inability to move them.
For the first couple of years, frequent treatments are required to ‘re-educate’ the facial muscles. Thereafter, treatments would be less frequent until a yearly maintenance treatment is normally all that is required.
- HOW LONG HAS BOTOX® BEEN IN USE?
As long ago as 1978, Botox® was used as a treatment for patients with eye squints by weakening the over-active eye muscle. Since then, it has been used in a variety of therapeutic areas such as spasmodic neck, writer’s cramp, tics, multiple sclerosis, facial spasm, Parkinson’s Diseasse and cerebral palsy, to name but a few. In more recent times the use of Botox® for cosmetic therapy has become more widespread.
- HOW SAFE IS BOTOX®?
In high concentrations, botulinum toxin is a potent poison. However, used in minute doses (as it is in cosmetic therapy), Botox® has a very high margin of safety.
- WHAT HAPPENS DURING TREATMENT?
The procedure takes about 5-10 minutes. Your consultant will ask you to use certain muscles of the face to observe how they work. An extremely fine, short needle is used to inject the Botox® into the appropriate area. This may cause some slight but brief discomfort. The area may have some slight redness and swelling, which normally resolves in an hour or two. After treatment, you should not massage the injected area. You should not lie down for four hours after treatment.
The treatment normally starts to take effect after 4 to 14 days, but this may vary slightly with some individuals. The effects will normally last between 2 and 6 months, when you will start to notice an ability to move the muscles more freely.
- ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
Side effects of this treatment are rare. Most people find that the injection causes only mild discomfort. Immediately after the injection there may be mild swelling, which usually subsides in 48 hours. Occasionally, a temporary drooping of the eyelid can occur. This may last a few weeks, but will always resolve. Special eye drops can be prescribed during this time to help lift the lid back into the normal position. In extremely rare cases patients have developed an allergy to the treatment, while others have shown resistance, i.e. it causes little or no effect on the treated muscles.
- WHAT IF I AM PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?
If you are pregnant or a breastfeeding mother, treatment is not recommended.
- WHICH AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH BOTOX?
WHICH AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH BOTOX?
The most common areas to have treated are where there are frown and laughter lines present. E.g The forehead, sides of the eyes and in between the eyebrows…
- HOW MUCH TIME DOES A TREATMENT TAKE?
A few minutes only
- WHEN DOES BOTOX START TO WORK, AND HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
The results of Botox treatment start to appear in four to seven days. The treated muscles will gradually regain their action over three to five months. When the frown line starts to reappear, a simple repeat treatment is all that is necessary to maintain the desired results.
- WHO CAN PERFORM BOTOX TREATMENT?
Botox must ONLY be performed under the direction of a qualified physician.
- WHO INJECTS THE BOTOX AT LABS CLINIC?
Megan Cross is the only qualified member of staff to administer this procedure at LABS Clinic. Megan is a qualified, certified and experienced dentist.
- IS TREATMENT EFFECTIVE IN BOTH MEN AND WOMEN?
- IS THE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
Although we strive to achieve minimal discomfort, clients feel varying levels of sensation.