What is “Botox” and how does it work?
The treatment Botulinum Toxin which is best known as Botox ® has been used in hospitals in the UK since 1977 and within the cosmetics industry for over 20 years. Botulinum toxin type A is a purified protein that works by relaxing muscles that cause expression lines and wrinkles by reducing the activity and strength of the muscles.
Lines and wrinkles develop on our skin, in particular, our faces, which makes us look older and more tired than we feel. These signs of ageing, are the result of sun damage and toxins.
Azzalure, Dysport, Vistabel, BoCouture and Xeomin are other brand names for Botulinum toxin type A and work in the same way as Botox.
They are all used as muscle relaxing treatments and can also be used to prevent excess sweating. Dr Sheila routinely uses BoCouture.
The use of toxin is a non-surgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily reduce the appearance of mild-severe lines and wrinkles, as well as reduce the amount of sweat produced (depending on the area treated).
During treatment, very low doses of the toxin are administered via a few tiny injections directly into the muscles that cause those stubborn lines (or sweat glands that cause sweating). The treatment is usually done in about 10 minutes, and no recovery time is needed. Within days, you may see an improvement.
The results typically last between 3-9 months depending on the area treated and may vary from patient to patient.
Your Questions Answered
Is Toxin it safe?
It has been proven to be very safe when administered correctly by a physician with experience in toxin injections. Botox Cosmetic is an approved drug used to treat patients for cosmetic wrinkles. Dr Sheila is highly experienced and specializes in the administration of Botulinum toxin, and in her experienced hands, the procedure will be done safely and result in significant cosmetic improvement.
Who should administer Toxin?
Healthcare professionals (Doctors, Nurse Independent prescribers and Dentists) should administer toxin. It is a prescription only medicine (POM) therefore beauticians, beauty therapists and other non-medics are not qualified to inject it. Always ask the healthcare professional if they have been trained and certificated to use Botox, are properly insured and how long they have been treating clients (in other words, how much experience do they have?).
When will I see results from treatment?
Within a few days, you may see a marked improvement. When treated for lines and wrinkles, results continue to improve over two weeks. For deeper lines, it may take several treatments to get a complete result, Dr Sheila will assess your full face a provide a comprehensive plan and will inform you what type of results you can expect. Results may vary.
How long does Botox last?
Results for wrinkle injections last up to 4 months. Initially, most people require a repeat injection every 3 months to maintain the effect. However, after 3-5 injections, the effect may last longer and repeat injections may only be required every 6-12 months. If you discontinue treatment, the lines gradually will look like they did before treatment.
Results for excess sweating typically last between 6-9 months. Results will vary from patient to patient.
How many sessions will I need?
It normally takes up to 2 weeks for the full treatment results to be seen. Dr Sheila believes in subtle natural results. She will arrange a follow-up appointment 2 weeks after your treatment for a review. If a top-up is required; this will be complementary within the two weeks after your appointment. After this point, there will be a fee depending on how much time has elapsed.
Treatment results are temporary and therefore treatment is ongoing. Patients usually have treatment every 3-4 months.
Is Toxin treatment painful?
Discomfort is usually minimal and brief. Cold packs or numbing cream may be used if you are nervous, though this is usually unnecessary. Treatment time usually lasts approximately 10 minutes. Most patients say the discomfort is no more than a little scratch, although everyone is different. We usually hear patients say, “is that all?”
Who should not use Botox?
Botox should not be used in the presence of infection at the proposed injection site(s) and in individuals with known hypersensitivity to any ingredient in the formulation. Botox is NOT recommended for:
- Persons allergic to human albumin or botulinum toxin;
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women; and
- Persons with neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome.
- Persons under 18 years of age
Will I experience any side effects?
Side effects are RARE and not permanent. The most common side effects following injection include temporary eyelid droop and nausea. Localized pain, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising may be associated with the injection.
Will my facial expression continue to look natural?
Although the results are visible, treatment with Toxin will not radically change your appearance. Dr Sheila focuses on natural and undetectable results and will discuss your personal desires for treatment result before proceeding. In her experienced hands, patients typically say no one knows they have had anything done, and friends say they look refreshed and great!
Will my face look worse when it wears off?
No! Your face will never get worse if you stop using Toxin or when it wears off.
Toxin “stops / slows” the clock of ageing.
When you stop getting treatments, the “ageing clock” resumes like normal. At the very minimum, you will simply return to where you started. If you use toxin for a number of years and then stop – your muscles learn to relax and therefore, you will end up looking a little better than when you originally started.
How much does it cost?
The cost of treatment varies by each patient and a personal consultation can give you a specific amount.
What happens after treatment?
You can carry on with your day as normal, although we advise that you avoid strenuous activity/saunas/other facial treatments for up to 24 hours.
After 4-10 days you will notice an improvement in your lines/wrinkles, and this result will last approximately 3-4 months.
When should I use Toxin?
Traditionally, the toxin is known for removing or reducing wrinkles but it is also excellent for the prevention of lines appearing. As you get older the skin loses elasticity which results in lines e.g. when frowning. The toxin can be used to prevent excessive frowning; the lines will not appear in the first place.
The toxin can be used from age 18 onwards.
What are the alternatives to Botox?
Dermal fillers such as Teosyal, Belotero, Juvederm etc may help eliminate deeper more stubborn lines.
How does Toxin treat excess sweating?
Excessive sweating, also known as ‘Hyperhidrosis’ can profoundly affect self-consciousness and be a seriously embarrassing condition. When severe sweating interferes with daily activities, it can cause a great emotional and psychological upset, especially when it is excessive sweating from the underarms.
Our patients seeking treatment for excessive sweating may be frustrated that antiperspirant just is not working; they may be constantly worried that people might notice their sweat stains, or they may refrain from buying certain clothes as they fear they will be ruined by their underarm sweat.
The underarm is injected with botulinum toxin which is an effective temporary solution for excessive sweating because resulting in significantly reduced sweating and in many instances, no sweating in the area at all, though results vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of sweating present, to begin with.
Results typically last 6-9 months
Medically reviewed & updated on August 17, 2021