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Botox treatment in London

botox forehead

The treatment of wrinkles with botulinum toxin injections

What is botox used for?


Botulinum toxin injections are known for their ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face. It tends to be more of a preventative treatment to facial wrinkles than being restorative. The most common facial areas for treatment are the crow's feet, bunny lines and frown line areas.

A botulinum toxin product can also be used in combination with fillers that are more useful for severe frown lines and folds in the face. Cosmetic procedures tend not to qualify for insurance coverage but please check your policy to make sure.They are also used in non cosmetic procedures to treat conditions such as eyelid twitching (blepharospasm), facial spasm, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), neck pain (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), an overactive bladder (detrusor overactivity), chronic migraines and a squint to the eye. Botulinum toxin is produced by bacterium clostridium botulinum.

How long does it last?


The injections typically last for a median duration 3-4 months although every person is different and there are some patients where it lasts much longer and others where it may last as little as 2 months. Those having treatments for the first time may have a shorter effect which lengthens the second time it is done.

What does the procedure do to your face?


The botox injections are used to relax the muscles of the face that cause wrinkles. As the muscles relax it gives the overlying skin to smooth out allowing the wrinkles to fade.

How bad is botox?


It is generally considered a safe procedure as the doses used in the injections are very small. Fortunately any serious side effects are very rare. Typical side effects around the eye area include drooping eyelids, uneven brows, dry eyes and a watery eye. Side effects around the mouth include an uneven smile or drooling. Fortunately these side effects tend to be temporary and usually settle if the recommended dose is given at each site.

Rarely botulinum-like symptoms can develop and immediate medical attention should be sought if you develop difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, general muscle weakness, double vision, urinary retention or urinary incontinence.

At what age should you start?


Cosmetic treatment with botulinum toxin isn't approved for pediatric patients (those aged 18 years or younger). There is limited clinical trial data to support its use in these younger cases. It is generally thought that those in their late twenties and early to mid thirties are good candidates for preventative treatment injections.

Who shouldn't do it?


Those who are pregnant or breast feeding should avoid it as there is very little data on how it can affect the unborn baby or the breast milk. Those who have a neurological condition such as Myasthenia Gravis or Lambert-Eaton Syndrome should not have botox cosmetic injections. If you have had a severe adverse reaction to treatment in the past should also avoid it.

Can botox ruin your face?


The use of muscle relaxant injections over many many years can cause the muscles to become weaker. It may result in fewer wrinkles long term but on the other hand can also cause the skin to appear thinner. Surrounding muscles may then be recruited to create facial expressions giving an abnormal facial change. Instead of wrinkling the forehead one may start to see wrinkling on the side of their nose for example when they are surprised.

Is 50 too late to start?


There is no upper age limit for this treatment. Many people in their 60's or older have botulinum toxin treatments as well as dermal fillers for a rejuvenated and refreshed look.

Does it make you look older after it wears off?


People do fear that they will age dramatically after stopping the treatment. The reality is that botox injections prevent the formation of wrinkles. As it starts to wear off you will start the normal process of wrinkle formation. Your skin won't develop lines overnight and you will still look relatively younger even after stopping; depending on how long you have been having the treatment for.

What should you avoid before Botox?


You should try to avoid the following:

  • Excessive alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure.

  • Avoid blood thinners like aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamin E for 7 days before to minimise bruising.

  • Cancel your appointment if you have an active urinary tract infection, blurred vision or a skin infection over the planned injection site

  • Inform your doctor or healthcare provider of any nerve conditions, medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus or prescription medicines you are taking before having the procedure.

  • Let your doctor know of any allergic reactions or vision problems you have had in the past.

What should you not do after the procedure?


You should not do the following after your injections:

  • Try to avoid any head down positions for 4 hours (like shopping for shoes).

  • Avoid any pressure or massage to the injection site including facials for 4 hours.

  • Avoid any headwear that fits tightly across the forehead such as sweatbands for 24 hours.

  • No strenuous exercise for 24 hours.

  • Avoid excessive alcohol for 24 hours.

  • Tell your doctor if you develop any immediate allergic reactions.

Can Botox lift the eyebrows?


A botox brow lift treats the frown lies between the brows by relaxing these facial muscles. It also elevates the height of the eyebrows. The injections can help smooth out the wrinkles in this area without the need for cosmetic surgery. It provides a subtle lift which is suitable for mild cases. More significant cases may need surgery.

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