Most people will have heard of Botox but do you know that Botox(botulinum toxin) is actually just one of the brand names of muscle relaxing injections.
Botulinum toxin is a naturally occurring protein that relaxes the muscles beneath the skin to help ageing skin, preventing the formation of dynamic wrinkles – the wrinkles that are caused by certain facial expressions. Botulinum toxin type A are Botox (the cosmetic version is called Vistabel), Dysport (Azzalure) and Xeomin (Bocouture).
The applications for Botulinum toxin are being expanded all the time and it can also be used to treat excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis, relieve migraine sufferers, help the look of ageing skin by relaxing the bands in the neck, sculpting the face, pouting the lips, and reducing the appearance of dimples in the chin.
Ageing skin: Am I suitable?
Suitable candidates have ageing skin; lines and wrinkles associated with the movement of muscles, such as frown lines on the forehead and crow’s feet around the eyes. A medical history will be taken at consultation and it will exclude anyone with a history of swallowing difficulties or certain muscular, connective tissue and neurological problems.
Ageing skin: What do I have to do to prepare?
No preparations are necessary, as such, but you should have a thorough consultation to ensure that this is the most suitable treatment for you.
Choosing the right practitioner is very important. As Botulinum toxin is a prescription only medicine it can only be administered by a qualified surgeon, doctor, dentist or independent nurse prescriber so ensure that your practitioner has the correct qualifications.
Ageing skin: What’s the treatment like?
The procedure is painless and takes about ten minutes. A topical local anaesthetic will be applied and then tiny amounts of the toxin will be injected into the treatment area.
Ageing skin: What about after?
The effects will become noticeable up to a week post treatment depending on which product you use and the results should last from three to six months.
Ageing skin: Are there any risks or side effects?
Side effects are rare with this procedure. The treatment area may be temporarily red, bruised or swollen and you may have a headache that lasts a couple of days post treatment.
A very small percentage of people develop a drooping eyelid or forehead but this is temporary.
The greatest risk is to end up with a frozen face, so it is important to have a thorough consultation and ensure that you and your practitioner understand what effect you wish to achieve.
Ageing skin: What will it cost me?
Most clinics charge from £175 to £300 per area.