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What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a potent neurotoxin and originates from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. There are several types of Botulinum Toxins, and it is type A that is in Botox® and also the most commonly used.
Botulinum Toxin has been used extensively in clinical practice since the 1970's in medical conditions such as muscle disorders and facial asymmetry. Cosmetic use started a decade later as anti-wrinkle injections became popular. It has been FDA approved.
What does Botulinum Toxin treat?
Botulinum Toxin is used as an anti-wrinkle treatment. Typical areas targeted include the:
- Horizontal forehead lines
- Vertical frown lines between the brows (11's lines)
- Wrinkles around the eyes (Crow's feet)
- Prominent vertical neck bands
Botox can also be used reliably for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). There are many other applications, such as brow positioning or smile alteration, but the many muscles controlling each of these actions mean that results are more variable and risk of asymmetry is higher.
How does it work and is it dangerous?
Botulinum toxin binds to and enters nerve endings. Once inside the nerve cell, it interrupts signals and causes muscle paralysis. Wrinkles are caused by the pull of muscles crinkling the overlying skin. Therefore, when we reduce the muscle's activity, it will lessen the amount of creasing as well. Without constant creasing, the wrinkles will shallow over the subsequent weeks. With time, the toxin loses its effect and repeat injections are necessary to maintain a rejuvenated look.
Botox is diluted to be very safe. There is well documented evidence for efficacy and safety for the main indications of forehead, frown and crow's feet lines. It involves a few tiny injections into specific areas with a needle as fine as a human hair. This will have its effect on the underlying muscles within 2 weeks.
As in all medicines, there are side-effects. Significant adverse events in botulinum toxin injections are rare but the most important to mention is the temporary paralysis of an unintended muscle. Other effects are very minor, such as small areas of mild bruising. At Lumaesthetic, we are fully trained and experienced with our treatments so you will be in the safest hands.
What happens on the day of my toxin treatment?
On the day of your free consultation, you will meet with one of our surgeons who will explore what you have in mind. We will analyse your features and discuss which injectable treatments would most benefit you. We will also go over the risks of the procedure.
There is no obligation to undergo treatment from your free consultation and, as a principle in our clinic, we will always provide realistic expectations. After the Botox injections, which will take no longer than 15 minutes, you can carry on the day as normal.
What happens after my injection?
After all treatments with Lumaesthetic Clinics, you will receive an aftercare leaflet, detailing what to expect, things to look out for and how to contact us. We suggest that you do not have large events (e.g. weddings) planned within three weeks of Botox.
If it is your first treatment with us, then two weeks after the injections, you will be invited to come back for a follow-up. Occasionally, you may need a top-up for optimal anti-wrinkle effect. This initial follow-up and top-up is provided free of charge. We also suggest repeat injections every 3-4 months, depending on how you react to the Botox.