What is Botox?
Botox is the name almost everybody associates with anti-ageing injections provided around the world, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the face. Botox® is actually the registered trade name of the Botulinum Toxin Type ‘A’ manufactured by Allergan. You may find medical aesthetics clinic using other botulinum type ‘A’ drugs but referring to them as Botox.
Botox® is a prescription drug and as such should always be prescribed and administered by a medical prescriber.
What is Vistabel®?
Vistabel® is Botox®‘s little brother. You may see the name occasionally banded around in the press but they are exactly the same product simply in different size vials. Botox® is sold to aesthetic doctors in 100 unit vials and Vistabel® is sold in 50 unit vials – the product in those vials is the same product.
What does a Botox treatment involve?
Botox treatments involve a series of injections to the area being treated. Botox is injected directly into individual muscles using a tiny needle and in very small amounts.
How do Botox injections work?
Botox treatments relax the injected muscles, therefore reducing movement. This reduced movement prevents creasing of the skin, hence reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Botox treatments work only on the specific muscles injected, leaving surrounding muscles to function as usual maintaining normal facial expression.
Botox also works as a preventative treatment. If the skin is unable to crease, wrinkles are not able to develop. Over time the benefits of this treatment become more impressive.
How safe are Botox injections?
You may have heard some myths about Botox treatments but it is actually a very safe treatment. Botox has been used in medical procedures for over 30 years. Since the late 1980s, Botox has successfully been used for cosmetic treatments. With treatments of the forehead there is a small risk; (about 1%); of developing a drooping eyelid or eyebrow but the effects of the treatment are never permanent and any unwanted effects usually last a few days to a few weeks only. Because of it’s low risk, Botox is the most popular aesthetic treatment in the world. Note: Ensure you find a good, well qualified practitioner to keep your risks as low as possible.
How long does the Botox injection procedure take?
The actual Botox injections only take around 10-15 minutes, but any good practitioner will spend around 45 minutes to 1 hour with a new client providing a thorough consultation. During this time they will ask about your medical history and discuss you desires and expectations with reference to cosmetic treatments.
How long is the recovery time?
Following the treatment there may be minimal redness. Bruising is uncommon. Most patients continue with their normal day without anybody noticing.
It is important not to massage or rub the areas after treatment so we advise you not to have a facial or do vigorous exercise. We also recommend that you remain upright for 3-4 hours after your treatment.
Do Botox injection hurt?
The needles used for treatment are extremely fine and therefore Botox injections really do not hurt at all, many clients don’t even realise they have received some of the injections.
The upper half of the face is most commonly treated with Botox – around 95% of all Botox aesthetic treatments are administered here. Forehead lines, frown lines between the eyes and crow’s feet are the most popularly treated areas to reduce the signs of ageing.
What are Glabella lines?
Glabella lines is the medical name for frown lines between the eyes. The muscles which pull your eyebrows together often cause deep lines, sometimes appearing as the number ’11′.
Can clients of any age receive Botox treatments?
You are safe to have Botox at any age so long as you don’t have certain medical conditions. Your aesthetics practitioner should take a full medical history before treating you to ensure it is safe. However, Botox works best as a preventative treatment. The ideal time to start Botox is when you start to develop dynamic lines (these are lines that are visible when you make an expression such as frowning) but before you have developed static lines (lines that are visible when your face is relaxed).
How effective are Botox injections?
The effectiveness of Botox treatments can vary from person to person, that is why your treatment should be tailored specifically for you. A skilled practitioner should be able to adjust your treatment to produce the results you desire. In clinical trials by Allergan, nearly 90% of clients surveyed rated the improvement in the appearance of frown lines between their brows as moderate to better one month after treatment.
How quickly will I see the results?
While some clients report an almost instant improvement, there should be a noticeable improvement to the lines on your face within 5 days to 2 weeks.
How long do the effects of Botox injections last?
Again, results from Botox treatments will vary from person to person, due to:
- personal muscle structure
- which area has been treated
- the quality of the Botox (or other Botulinum Toxin) injected
- the skill level of the practitioner
Will I look unnatural after treatment?
One of reasons why Botox treatments are so popular is the subtle improvement it makes to your appearance. Friends may comment that you look more relaxed or fresher, but treatment will not radically alter your appearance; it will simply reduce muscle activity. A good treatment will still allow you to frown or smile as you normally would.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects of Botox treatments are rare. It is one of the safest cosmetic procedures available. There is the possibility, however, of the treatment being dispersed into an adjacent muscle which can cause a temporary weakness such as drooping of the eyelid. These effects are temporary, lasting a few weeks at most. All possible side effects should be discussed with you during consultation prior to any treatment.
Who regulates the Botox industry in the UK?
Unfortunately the aesthetic medicine industry is unregulated in the UK, which means that anybody can offer these treatments. As you can imagine this leads to a huge variation in skill and safety levels. There are no regulatory bodies overseeing clinics but you will see bodies such as IHAS who claim to be regulators. This is not strictly true as they simply charge practitioners an annual fee to appear on a register, creating the illusion of superior qualification or skill level.
How do I choose a Botox doctor or Botox clinic?
We suggest you find a doctor who is fully trained in the medical aesthetic treatments you are interested in and who is registered with the General Medical Council. This means that they have had full medical training and are obliged to follow certain standards, keep their training up to date and keep your treatments confidential.
Prices seem to vary considerably, how do I choose a clinic?
Due to the lack of regulation, skill levels and qualifications of practitioners vary tremendously, therefore so do prices. Never be tempted to choose treatment clinics due to their low prices or the deals they offer as these practitioners are often less skilled and usually use inferior quality or more diluted botulinum toxin. As with most things in life you get what you pay for.