Used in aesthetic medicine, Botox (or botulinum toxin) treats facial wrinkles.

What is botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin, better known as ’Botox’ is a drug that has been used since the 1980s to treat various conditions such as strabismus, blepharospasm, equine foot and excessive sweating.

During the treatment of these conditions, doctors noticed that Botox had a relaxing effect on the skin and assisted in smoothing wrinkles.

Since then, a number of laboratories have carried out extensive studies into its use. In 2003, Botulinum toxin was authorised to be used in the aesthetic treatment of wrinkles.

This toxin is available in the UK under the brands: Botox®/Vistabel®, Dysport®/Azzalure®, and Xeomin®/Bocouture®.

What are the indications for botulinum toxin?

Expression lines come with age and are also the result of the contraction of facial muscles often caused by fatigue or anxiety – these lines can sometimes be quite severe.

Botox injections help to smooth horizontal forehead wrinkles, frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes (commonly known as crow’s feet). The use of Botox is quite normal in the treatment of intrusive wrinkles.

It also helps to rejuvenate the upper third of the face without the need for surgery.

How does the botulinum toxin work?

Botulinum toxin aids muscle relaxation around the area of the injection.

The injection causes the muscle to relax after which wrinkles diminish significantly and become almost invisible.

What happens during the treatment?

After disinfecting the area to be treated, a measured dose of Botox is injected to alleviate the wrinkles while retaining a natural look. Our physicians adapt the procedure to suit the physiology of each patient’s face. There is no such thing as a standard treatment as each person has differing facial composition and requirements.

The results

Results normally start to appear within 3 to 7 days of the treatment (in some patients it may take up to 15 days). The benefit of Botox will last for 4 to 6 months and this period can be extended with further treatment.

If a client is not happy with the results, retouching will be offered after 15 days have elapsed.

Redness where Botox has been injected is normal and will disappear in less than an hour. After your treatment you can put your make-up on and go back to work immediately with no worries or concerns.

What are the contra-indications?

Understandably, before proceeding with a Botox treatment, the doctor will want to work with you to identify any medical conditions that might cause an adverse reaction. These include:

  • Pregnancy and breast feeding
  • Antibiotic treatment using aminoglycosides
  • Recent anticoagulants medication
  • Known hypersensitivity to Botox A
  • Myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disease)
  • Recent anti-inflammatory treatment
  • Lambert-Eaton syndrome (a rare disorder characterised by muscle weakness of the limbs)

Patients taking medication should advise the physician before treatment; medications containing aminoglycosides should be avoided. To avoid the occurrence of bruising you should not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs for 8 days prior to a Botox treatment.