How does Botulinum Toxin work?
Botulinum Toxin, generally known as ‘Botox’, blocks impulses from the nerves to the tiny facial muscles that create expression lines. Botox relaxes the muscles so that they don’t contract. After treatment, the overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled while the untreated muscles contract in the usual fashion, allowing normal facial expression to be unaffected.
Are Botulinum Toxin treatments safe?
Botox injections have been used safely for over twenty years to treat many neurological and ophthalmological disorders. Each year tens of thousands of patients use botox for relief from a variety of conditions and it is quickly becoming a popular treatment for reversing the visible signs of ageing.
What’s the treatment like?
Cosmetic “regeneration” with Botox is a simple and safe procedure at Sunnyside. Using a tiny micro-needle, a very small amount of Botox is injected very precisely into several locations on the face. The needle is extremely fine and only a small amount of Botox is used. That means any pain associated with the injection is minimal – in fact most patients compare the sensation to a mosquito bite! No sedation or local anaesthetic is required, you can resume normal activities immediately afterwards and even drive yourself home or back to your place of work.
Are there any side-effects?
Some patients occasionally experience a slight temporary bruising at the injection site – this can easily be covered with make-up. In very few cases, the toxin can migrate and cause temporary weakness to nearby small muscles. In rare cases there can be drooping of an eyelid or asymmetry of facial expression. The risk of any side-effect depends upon the muscles injected. Your doctor will discuss this with you in detail before the treatment. Because any effects of Botox are completely reversible, any side effects are temporary, lasting only a few weeks.
What results can you expect?
If dynamic wrinkles are making you look older cosmetic “regeneration” with Botox at Sunnyside’s Thurrock clinic will smooth them out and give you a more youthful appearance. However you should note that even at Sunnyside Botox treatment cannot improve wrinkles due to ageing and sun-damaged skin since they are unrelated to facial muscle contractions. Muscle relaxing injections cannot improve sagging skin or replace the need for a facelift or brow lift.
What are the limitations of Botox?
Unfortunately Botox treatment is a temporary solution for dynamic wrinkles and the effects of injections last from three to six months. That means you will need Botox injections at Sunnyside’s Thurrock clinic about two to three times a year. Clinical studies indicate that the duration of the treatment benefits is increased over time. That means you should require fewer injections in future years. The duration of the effect varies from patient to patient and may be less effective for those over 65 years of age.
Is Botox used to treat other symptoms?
Yes, Botox has been used for over twenty years on thousands of patients to treat blepharospasm in the muscles around the eyes (often rapid blinking) associated with dystonia.
Is Botox safe long term?
Botox® has been used in patients to manage various conditions for over 10 years in the UK, and for well over 15 years around the world. Sunnyside has a successful record of Botox treatment in Thurrock and Essex.
A recent analysis of Botox® studies has followed over 2000 patients for an overage of 12 years of treatment and has concluded that Botox® has a favourable safety and tolerability profile. Dr Patrick Bowler, our Medical Director, has written a retrospective study on Botox® which was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Volume 4, Number 2 dated June 2005.