Whether you’ve tried it or not, we’ve all heard of Botulinum Toxin and its wrinkle-reducing abilities. But what actually is it and how does it work? What conditions does it treat and how long does it last? We’ve tapped up the experts in the business to answer every question you could ever have about the popular cosmetic treatment.
WHAT IS BOTOX?
Botox is actually a trade name for Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein that temporarily paralyses muscles when injected. When Botulinum toxin is injected into a muscle underneath the skin surface, it relaxes the muscle and causes a smoothening of the overlaying skin, making it a popular anti-wrinkle treatment in the cosmetics industry.
WHAT IS BOTULINUM Toxin USED FOR?
Alongside its strong association with the cosmetics business, Botulinum Toxin has many other uses within modern medicine.
Botulinum Toxin is approved for the treatment of Bruxism (teeth grinding) by relaxing the jaw muscles, and excessive sweating, known as hyperhydrosis, by blocking the nerves that control the sweat glands and many, many more medical conditions. Recenetly, Botulinum Toxin was also approved to treat chronic migraines, too.
But by far the most common use is as a non-surgical cosmetic treatment, to smooth wrinkles as well as prevent new ones from forming, known as preventative Botox.
“The aim is to subtly lift key points using small amounts of Botulinum Toxin to create a fresher appearance,” says aesthetic doctor. “All the muscles and structures of the face are linked, so you have to consider how they move together in order to create a natural look.”
As well as wrinkles, doctor note that Botulinum Toxin has further cosmetic abilities that you may not be aware of. “Botulinum Toxin can be used to raise the eyebrow, the lip and the tip of the nose. It is also used for the treatment of a gummy smile and to slim the jawline by treating masseter hypertrophy [a condition where the jawline muscles are enlarged].”
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
While Botox has been deemed safe to treat all of the above conditions, no medical or aesthetic procedure is without risks.
“Some are purely due to the needle such as bleeding, bruising and infection,” explains doctor.
Other risks involve undesired effects on the surrounding muscles, for example, a droopy eyelid when Botox is injected into the forehead. While these results would be disappointing, they wouldn’t be permanent, as Botox is a non-permanent treatment.
HOW LONG DOES BOTOX LAST?
The results of Botulinum toxin start appearing only a few hours after treatment, with the full effect setting in at around the 14 days mark. These results last around four to six months.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Depending on where you have the Botulinum toxin injected, which clinic you attend and how much is used, the prices can vary dramatically.
As a rule of thumb, you should not automatically choose the cheapest clinic – a low price shouldn’t be the deciding factor when considering where to go. Your decision should be based on finding a qualified practitioner with adequate medical experience.
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