Botulinum Toxin – commonly referred to as ‘Botox®’
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Botulinum Toxin, commonly referred to as Botox®, has been the most popular cosmetic treatment globally, and in fact it’s the most popular treatment we offer at The FAB clinic.
There are plenty of misconceptions about the world’s most popular cosmetic treatment so these are our responses to the most commonly asked questions about this ‘hot topic’.
What is the best age to start Botox® treatments?
The issue of the optimum age at which to start Botox® treatment is a controversial one. In our clinic, we have a rule that we do not treat teenagers, but beyond that each case is judged on individual merit, after a face-to-face consultation with one of our cosmetic doctors as everyone’s face ages differently.
The best time to consider having a consultation about Botox® is when you begin to notice that your dynamic lines (frown lines) have become static. This usually happens in your early 30’s, however it differs from person to person, thanks to genetic and lifestyle factors such as sun exposure. There are people in their late 30’s who are not at this point of ageing and others in their mid-to-late 20’s who are. Botox® works best at this stage, rather than with deeply etched lines, which are more difficult to smooth the appearance of later down the line. The longer you wait, the more invasive the treatments for wrinkles become – for example dermal fillers are used when Botox® will not suffice.
If I stop getting Botox® will my lines be worse?
No. Think of having Botox® treatment as pressing the pause button for your lines. We often use a piece of paper to demonstrate this to our own patients in clinic. Let’s use frown lines as an example: when you frown it causes a line on the paper, if you then have Botox® for the duration it is effective – you will be unable to keep reinforcing that crease, therefore the paper is held apart and not repeatedly folded. When the Botox® wears off, you can start making the crease again i.e. start folding the paper along the line again – just as you did before, but in the 3-4 months your Botox® had been working, you had not been able to keep reinforcing the crease so your lines have not been able to worsen. Your lines will just go back to how they were before you had the treatment. Botox® will not make wrinkles worse.
Is Botox® used just for wrinkles?
Botox® was actually first developed as a treatment for neurological disorders, not as a cosmetic treatment. It has been commonly used for medical conditions such as migraines, neck pains and in children for squints and club feet.
Is Botox® something only women get?
At the clinic, the majority of our patients are still female, but we are treating an increasing number of men, and a fair amount are getting what we like to call “Bro-tox”. Our typical profile of the males we treat are professional workers who work long hours, are quite successful, often have little sleep and are in competitive work environments where they feel appearing fresh, energetic and youthful could enhance their career prospects.
Is Botox® dangerous or harmful?
Botulinum toxin is derived from a bacterium called clostridium botulinum, which can become harmful to humans by causing a form of food poisoning called Botulism. Rest assured, the tiny amounts used for medical and cosmetic procedures do not cause any harm.
Botox® is a safe prescription-only medication, which means it has been through extensive safety testing. Approximately 17 million Botox® treatments have been performed since it was first introduced in the marketplace, with studies showing no damaging long-term side effects. Not many people know this, but the NHS has used Botox for decades to treat a variety of medical conditions, and it is now licensed for cosmetic use to treat lines between and around the eyes. At the FAB clinic we only use registered BOTOX®, don’t be fooled by clinics and salons advertising Botox for cheap prices when they are not actually using the registered product. There is a lot of inferior and copied product in the market place…
Is having Botox® painful?
The needle used to inject Botox is tiny and most find the procedure, at worst, slightly uncomfortable –it’s less painful than eyebrow waxing or threading. The injections themselves take only a minute or so, and we only tend to use numbing cream on our patients who are scared of needles.
Will Botox® will stop me having any facial expression?
Botulinum toxin works by freezing individual targeted muscles in the upper face, and although these muscles do move when a person forms an expression, the other muscles are not affected so your face still does move. The ‘frozen’ look is very 1990’s, and nowadays a natural, soft look where the patient can still move the muscles but the lines and wrinkles are not as pronounced is the desired effect. We use a personalised injection technique for our Botox patients, which gives a subtle look where they are able to retain natural-looking expression. A natural, subtle, refreshed look is what works best and a good cosmetic doctor should be able to achieve this.
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“Felt very comfortable, Lucy and all the other therapists I spoke to were lovely, very informative, friendly yet professional, I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my treatments.”
“Lucy is extremely professional and carried out my procedure with patience and care.”