What is Botulinum Toxin?

Most people have heard of Botox®, the most commonly used brand of botulinum toxin. Botox is a purified protein produced by bacteria in laboratory conditions. Botox works at the point where the nerve connects to the muscle, stopping the muscle from working. Other brand names of botulinum toxin are available such as Xeomin® and Azzalure are available. Dr Mayoni has chosen to use Botox® as she believes it gives the best results.

How long has BOTOX® been in use?

In 1978, Botox was first used to treat squints by weakening the overactive eye muscle. Since then it has been used to treat a wide range of medical problems such as tics, facial spasm, cerebral palsy to name but a few. In more recent years, Botox for cosmetic therapy has become more widespread.  It is used in very small doses.

Where is botulinum toxin used?

It can be used on many areas of the face:

  • Horizontal forehead lines
  • Frown lines
  • Droopy eyebrows
  • Crows’ feet
  • Bunny lines
  • Undereye wrinkles

Will it be able to get rid of all wrinkles?

Botulinum toxin is an excellent treatment for fine lines and wrinkles that are associated with movement (dynamic lines). However when a wrinkle is more deeply engrained it cannot be erased with a single treatment. Regular treatment over a period of 12-18 months will help to iron out these creases, but for a more immediate result other treatment options such as dermal fillers may be a better option.

Other treatments such as chemical peels and E-Dermastamp (EDS) micro-needling will provide more benefit in treating wrinkles resulting from sun exposure and UV damage.

Does botulinum toxin have a preventative effect?

It makes sense that it can help prevent wrinkle formation if it is started before wrinkles establish. However there is a careful balance to be struck when deciding to treat younger patients. Premature treatment can make someone look older rather than the more youthful look desired. Whether or not treatment is appropriate is always decided on an individual patient basis, and this would be discussed in full at your initial consultation.

What should I expect during the consultation?

Dr. Mayoni will take a detailed history from you and discuss in detail your desired outcomes. She will talk about the various treatment options available and which she would recommend for you, based on her skills and experience. You will have plenty of time to ask questions and to think about what you would like to do.

Do botulinum injections hurt?

Most people describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful, but this will depend on your own pain threshold. Some factors may make it feel more painful such as stress or hormonal fluctuations. The use of an ice mask prior to injection, numbing the area can make treatment more comfortable. The treatment is administered using an extremely fine, short needle. The area may have some redness and swelling, which normally resolves within an hour or two. You will also be given full after care instructions.

When will I see the effects?

The treatment normally starts to take effect after 4-14 days. This can vary between individuals. The effects last between 2-6 months. After this time you may notice your face muscles move a little more freely. You will be offered a complimentary two-week follow up appointment to check you are happy with the results.

Who should avoid having this treatment?

  • Pregnant women or breast feeding mothers
  • Patients with certain conditions affecting the connections between nerves and muscles (such as Myaesthenia Gravis and Eaton-Lambert Syndrome)
  • People with a previous allergic reaction to botulinum toxin, or with allergies to egg or human albumin
  • People taking aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as gentamicin)
  • Anyone with a skin infection in the area to be treated
  • Caution should be exercised in any patients taking blood-thinning medication such as Warfarin and Clopidogrel, simply due to the possibility of severe bruising

Is there anything I should avoid doing after treatment?

You can resume your normal activities immediately after treatment. Avoid bending forwards or lying flat for prolonged periods in the first 4 hours after treatment.

Do not massage the treated areas as it is possible to spread the product to other areas causing unwanted effects. This also means being cautious during your normal skincare routine, and avoiding any other facial treatments for two weeks following treatment.

Avoid extremes of heat for the first two days after treatment – no strenuous exercise, saunas, steam rooms or sun exposure.

Avoid alcohol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or aspirin) for 24 hours after treatment, as these can increase your risk of bruising.

What are the side-effects?

Most people find the injection causes some mild discomfort and local swelling which subsides after 48 hours. Bruising around the injection sites is also common. Some people experience a headache which is related to having injections into the facial muscles. Paracetamol will help ease this but avoid ibuprofen or aspirin since they can increase bruising.

If Botox migrates to unwanted sites it can cause weakness and drooping of the eyebrow or eyelid, or facial asymmetry. This is very rare.

How long do the effects last?

In most people the effects last for three to four months. Some patients find the effects last longer. Different factors such as sun exposure, dietary factors and activity levels can all affect the duration of results.

How much does treatment cost?

The treatment cost is dependent on the number of areas being treated. There are three areas of the face that can be treated: horizontal forehead lines, frown lines between the eyebrows, and laughter lines (also known as crow’s feet). Please also note that treatment prices for men may vary according to muscle tone. For up-to-date pricing information, please visit our online booking portal. You can also book your initial consultation here.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.