Botulinum toxin is a naturally occurring protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. In a purified form, as is the case with many drugs/medications such as Penicillin, Botulinum toxin is a very safe, effective treatment not only used in cosmetic clinics, but also for several medical conditions, including migraine and excessive sweating.
All botulinum toxins are prescription only medicines (POM) and can only be prescribed by doctors, dentists and nurses, midwives, and pharmacists with the prescribing qualification, following a face-to-face assessment and consultation with the qualified prescriber.
Botox® is a licensed brand of botulinum toxin A. Other licensed brands include Azzalure®, Dysport®, Xeomin® Bocouture®.
Botulinum toxins contain albumin, which comes from human blood. No cases of contamination of licensed botulinum toxin products with infectious diseases have been reported.
The toxin blocks the transition of chemical messages from the nerve to the muscle so that the muscle stays in a resting state for a period of 8 to 12 weeks on average.
This may be only a partial reduction in movement allowing some remaining movement or a full block in which case there is very little remaining muscular movement in the area – this very much depends on the amount administered and location of product placement –treatment may be tailored to suit your individual requirements. Your expected treatment outcomes and whether they can be achieved will be discussed at the time of consultation.
The aim of the licensed treatment is to significantly reduce the movement of the muscles causing expression lines (dynamic lines). Specifically the frown, crow’s feet and worry lines on the brow. Successful treatment may not cause the expression lines themselves to disappear completely. It may not ‘completely freeze’ the expression, particularly if extreme effort is exerted to make an expression.
Botulinum toxin is not always suitable for lines present without expression (static lines); your clinician will advise you.
Advanced and off-label indications include, lip lines, chin ‘poppling’, muscles on the lower face and neck, to lift the mouth corners, improve the jaw line and the appearance of the neck. The ‘chewing muscle’ may also be treated to soften a square jaw or to prevent teeth grinding or jaw clenching at night.
Results tend to last 3-4 months. Movement will begin recovering from 8 weeks. Frequent treatment at intervals of less than 3 months is not recommended. Repeating treatment when movement recovers will deliver optimum results over time. Frequency of treatments may be reduced according to the quality of your skin and your response to treatment. Should you choose not to maintain the results and not have further treatment, your muscles and skin will return to their pre-treatment state.
A very fine needle is used and generally this treatment is not described by most as painful and can be well tolerated with no anaesthetic. Please request an anaesthetic cream or ice if you are nervous about needles. Let us know in advance if injections make you nervous or faint.
It is important you tell your clinician about any medicines or dietary supplements you are taking; some medicines can adversely affect the way the toxin works or increase your risk of bruising.
If you are taking supplements such as Vitamin A, C or E, Gingko Biloba, Garlic, fish oils, St. John’s Wort or some pain killing medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen, then these can increase your risk of bruising and it may be advisable to stop taking them a few days before your treatment. It is also advisable that you do not drink alcohol the night before your treatment, for the same reason.
It is not advisable to have treatment if you are feeling at all unwell.
Make-up will need to be removed prior to the injections and you will be advised not to reapply it for 12 hours to reduce the risk of infection or irritation at the injection sites.
Be aware of the necessary after care advice and that your schedule allows for you to follow it.
Do read all the information provided to you and highlight anything you need to ask about. Check the clinic terms and conditions before attending.
All make up will need to be removed prior to treatment, so please come ‘fresh faced’ if possible.
Check medicines and supplements
Aspirin, Ibuprofen and a range of dietary supplements including St. John’s Wort, fish oils, Gingko Biloba, Vitamins C and E- may all contribute to bruising and are best avoided 24 hours before treatment.
Don’t drink alcohol the night before, it will increase your risk of bruising.
Healthy skin and feeling well?
Check with the clinic before attending if any of the following apply
- You think you may be pregnant
- Acne or eczema break-out in the area to be treated
- Feeling unwell- including colds, coughs, sore throats etc.
- New diagnosis or medicines
- New injury for which you are taking pain medicines
Bring your reading glasses with you.
Keep the target muscles active, use the expressions we aim to stop.
For 6 hours
Do not reapply make-up, make-up is contaminated and may cause infection or irritation at the injection points.
Do not wear tight head-gear such as bike or cycle helmets, or riding hats. These will not be clean and may increase risk of infection.
Until any redness, swelling or bruising has settled
Avoid extremes of heat or cold or vigorous exercise, until any swelling, bruising or tenderness has settled. Getting hot can worsen or prolong tenderness, swelling and/or bruising.
After treatment it is expected that you will start to see an improvement within 2 or 3 days. For some people this takes longer. The full result may be judged at 2-3 weeks. As it begins to work, you may notice asymmetry or tightness, be patient and don’t judge the result until 2 weeks.
You will be invited to attend a review appointment at 2-3 weeks where the success of the treatment may be assessed and adjustments to your personal treatment plan made, if necessary.
It is particularly important you attend for review in this time period if you are not happy with the result. We cannot make adjustments after 3 weeks. We recommend scheduling a review appointment when you book for treatment.
Should you experience any unexpected side effects or any that concern you, please contact the clinic.