14 Apr Spotlight on Botox – Part 1
We all know it as Botox*, but that’s really just a brand name. It’s actually a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin. It’s still a relatively taboo subject, but it shouldn’t be. Botox has been used for over 25 years in medicine and there are very few serious side effects – it’s quick and almost painless now. Of course, Botox isn’t the right treatment for everyone, but I encourage people to look at it like they would any other sort of beauty maintenance like colouring their hair or painting their nails.
Five things you need to know…
- It’s reversible
For those that aren’t familiar with the procedure, it’s a reversible blocker of muscle contraction and it can be used anywhere there is a wrinkle or pull caused by muscle contraction, most commonly in the face (forehead, frown and laughter lines), neck and décolletage. It stops the muscle from moving, which eliminates pull on the skin.
- It’s versatile
When I inject my patients, I like to do a full-face approach which includes the upper and lower face, and the neck too if appropriate. Botox is brilliant; it can be used to treat acne, to improve the overall texture of the skin, to reduce excess sweating from the armpits, to prevent migraines and tooth grinding, and even to slim the jaw.
- There is zero commitment
It prevents fine lines and wrinkles taking hold and if you start early enough, the wrinkle will never appear. It is possible to simply have the treatment done once and, if you don’t like the results, there is no problem with not having it done again. The effects will usually last around three to four months the first time, although I will say that in my experience the satisfaction rate with this treatment is very high.
- It’s quick and easy
There is very little downtime, just the potential for some bumps on the skin for about 20 minutes afterwards. It’s important to bear in mind that it doesn’t kick in until five to ten days post-treatment on average, and you may need an adjustment to get the best results. Some brands will start to work more quickly, such as Dysport, although that can sometimes have an implication on the longevity of the treatment. So, if you want to have it ahead of a special event or wedding, then make sure you organise your appointment accordingly – at least a month in advance is best!
- There are many different types available
Research is key to finding the right procedure for you, especially as there are so many different types of botulinum toxin. I mainly use Onabotulinumtoxin Type A (Botox/Vistabel) in my clinic, but you may also have heard of Abobotulinumtoxin Type A (Dysport/Azzalure) and Incobotulinumtoxin Type A (Xeomin/Bocouture). In my experience, they all have slightly different properties, for example I like to use Dysport/Azzalure for excessive sweating as it spreads a little more through the tissues and affects a wider area – exactly what is needed to get to all the sweat glands! It is also good for treating younger women. For most clients, I prefer to use Botox/Vistabel because it’s possible to be extremely precise with these injections and they have good longevity.
Make sure you adopt a thorough at-home anti-ageing regime alongside receiving professional treatments. Keep your eyes peeled for the new botulinum toxin launched by Teoxane, made in Korea and coming to the UK next year. You can visit their Twitter feed at @TeoxaneUK.
Botox is one of my most popular treatments at The Lovely Clinic. Many people, when they start looking into non-surgical treatments, opt for Botox as a way of dipping their toe into the water. Find out more at https://www.allergan.co.uk.
* Botox is a brand name of botulinum toxin, but to make it easy to understand I refer to botulinum toxin as Botox throughout the article.
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