Botox is a cosmetic injection (‘Botulinum Toxin Type A’) that relaxes facial muscles to treat wrinkles. Originally designed to treat neurological disorders, Botox is commonly and successfully used to reduce facial wrinkles, especially frown lines, ‘crow’s feet’ and forehead furrows.
Ideal candidates include younger people with facial wrinkles or those who are unable to undergo more extensive plastic surgery, such as a face lift. Certain medications (antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, aspirin, some vitamins and herbs) may affect the potency of injections and increase the likelihood of bruising and bleeding. Pregnant or nursing women or people with neurological disorders should not undergo Botox treatment as the effects on the fetus, breast milk and neurological disorders are unknown.
Using a very small needle, Botox is directly injected into specific facial muscles. Discomfort is minimal and lasts a few seconds. Once injected, Botox prevents nerve impulses from reaching selected facial muscles, (effectively immobilising them) so the skin can relax, smoothing facial lines and wrinkles in affected areas for the treatment period. Results are usually noticeable within a few days and last for three to four months. Botox injections are administered on an outpatient basis and may be repeated when the results diminish.
Risks and Side Effects
Botox treatment has few risks and is relatively safe for most patients. Common side effects include mild numbness, swelling, bruising or tingling in the affected area. You can further reduce the risk of bruising and numbness by refraining from rubbing or touching the treated area for the first day following your treatment. It’s important to note that some patients notice no improvement following Botox treatment. To minimise risk, you should be screened for allergic reaction to Botox before undergoing a full treatment.
Time required: Half an hour
Back to work: Immediately
More strenuous activity: Avoid strenuous activity on the treatment day and following days
Final appearance: Within four to seven days
Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.