FAQ’s about Botox
What is botox?
Botulinum toxin is a chemical produced by the botulinum bacterium. Botox (Allergan) is a protein derivative of the toxin which, when injected into a muscle causes it to become weakened or inactivated. It stops the muscle from functioning by blocking neuromuscular transmission- i.e. it stops the chemical messages from the nerve to the muscle.
How does it work?
By using facial muscles repeatedly throughout a lifetime, the skin is creased in areas of greatest use. The ageing process causes the slow down of collagen and elastin production in the skin so that as we get older, these areas of over-use become damaged and the lines become permanent.
By reducing the movement of muscles in these areas, the skin stops being creased and is allowed to recover, causing the lines to soften or even fade away. In the areas treated, the muscles are temporarily inactivated (always reversible), during which time the patient can break the subconscious habit of overusing these muscles. Depending on each individual and the dose used, the response tom treatment can vary from a relaxation of the muscles to an inability to move the muscles.
How long has botox been in use?
As long ago as 1978, Botox was used as a treatment for eye squints. Since then it has been used in a variety of therapeutic areas such as spasmodic neck, tics, facial spasm, Parkinson’s Disease and cerebral palsy to name a few. In more recent times Botox for cosmetic therapy has become more widespread.
How safe is botox?
In high concentrations botulinum toxin is a potent poison. However, in minute doses, as in cosmetic therapy, has a very high margin of safety.
What happens during treatment?
The procedure takes about ten minutes. An extremely fine, short needle is used to inject the botox into the appropriate area. This may cause some slight but brief discomfort. The area may have some slight redness and swelling which normally resolves within an hour. The treatment normally starts to take effect between 4-14 days. The effects will normally last between 3-6 months, when you will start to notice an ability to move the muscles more freely.
Are there any side-effects?
Side effects of this treatment are rare. Occasionally a temporary drooping of the eyelid can occur. This may last a few weeks, but will always resolve. In extremely rare cases patients have developed an allergy to the treatment, while others have shown resistance, i.e. causes little or no effect on the treated area.
Who can perform botox treatments?
Doctors, nurses and dentists can all carry out botox procedures provided they have completed the necessary training. A doctor must complete an initial consultation prior to treatment and this can be completed by downloading the botox form (link to botox consent form) and forwarding to (my email). This should be done prior to any initial treatment of botox.