What is Botox and how does it work?
Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a product which has been used in the health industry since the 1980s to treat muscle problems. From the 1990s onwards, Botox Injections have been frequently used in cosmetic and aesthetic contexts in order to reduce visible lines and wrinkles. Due to the very low concentration used it is, in fact, a very safe cosmetic treatment.
The substance, which is produced in laboratories, blocks nerve impulses to the tiny facial muscles, which normally cause lines and wrinkles when they contract. This prevents the muscles from contracting and the skin is smoothed so that lines and wrinkles disappear. Untreated muscles are not affected, nor are normal facial expressions.
How is it used?
Wrinkles best suited to this treatment are those caused by muscle use, i.e. expression wrinkles. Wrinkles between the eyebrows, horizontal wrinkles of the forehead and wrinkles around the eyes can all be treated with Botox injections. It normally only takes a few minutes to administer the injections and, as the needles used are very fine, it is not usually painful. It's very important that the person doing the injecting is an expert in facial anatomy, as the benefits of the treatment depend on their skill to treat the correct muscles.
Hyperhydrosis or excessive sweating can also be treated using Botulinum toxin.
How long do the effects last?
What does it cost?
If Botox Injections are not suitable for me, what other treatments are available?
Wrinkles that are visable even when the face is relaxed, ie. around the mouth and chin, may be best treated with dermal fillers. For further information, see Dermal Fillers.
Lines caused by aging or sun damage will not respond to Botox treatment either, and may be better treated by chemical peels or laser resurfacing. For further information on this, see Fraxel Laser.
If your wrinkles are too far advanced for Botox injections to work without preventing all movement, then you may be suitable for surgical procedures such as a facelift or browlift.