The most common use of Botox is to improve the cosmetic appearance of the face and neck area by reducing wrinkles, crow's feet and frown lines. It can also be used to improve the appearance of the lips by giving them a more defined look, a treatment called Botox lips.
Botox is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that can be performed quickly and easily with very little recovery time needed. The Botox procedure typically only takes about 10 minutes and no anaesthetic is required. For most people there is minimal discomfort and Botox side effects are rare.
What Exactly is Botox?
Botox is a drug that is derived from a toxin released by a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. It is classified as a neurotoxin as it works by blocking the transmission of nerve signals along the targeted nerve. It is extremely toxic if not used in the correct dosage and by fully a trained individual. However, in the right hands, it is a drug which can be used safely and successfully to treat many conditions.
How Does Botox work?
Botox works by preventing the transmission of impulses along the injected nerve. By injecting Botox into the nerves that supply certain muscles within the face and neck, they can be prevented from contracting and consequently they relax. Botox can be used to relax all the muscles within the face and neck area and the most common muscle that is treated is the 'frown muscle' in the forehead. It is the contraction of this muscle that causes the deep wrinkles and furrowed brow appearance of the forehead. By preventing this muscle from contracting the forehead will become smoother and the lines and wrinkles will disappear. This same principle can be used to treat other lines and wrinkles of the face and the results are generally impressive.
How Quickly Does Botox Work?
The effects of Botox will typically be first noticed about 2 – 5 days after the initial injection. The results however will not reach a maximum until about 2 weeks after the initial treatment, at which point your appearance will be at its best. To read more about how quickly Botox works you can read the following guide: How long does Botox take to work?
How Long Does Botox Last?
On average the effects of Botox last for around 4 months but this can vary. After this time period in order to maintain the same results you will have to have the Botox injections repeated. Repeat Botox tends to have slightly longer lasting effects as there can be a thinning of the muscles that have been treated. There are various factors that affect how long Botox lasts for such as your age and the way in which the Botox has been mixed. For a detailed guide on all the factors that affect how long Botox lasts you can read the following guide: How long does Botox last?
How Much Does Botox Cost?
The starting price for Botox is usually around £100 per area but this does vary widely There are various factors that affect how much clinics will charge such as the dosage required and the area of the face being treated. To read more about the factors that affect the cost of Botox you can click here.
What's involved in The Botox Procedure?
The procedure itself normally requires no anaesthetic and typically only takes around 10 minutes to perform.
The following explains the key steps to the Botox procedure:
Your clinician will first assess where the optimum place to apply the Botox injection is by asking you to move certain muscles in face, such as your frown muscle. Everyone’s muscles work in different ways and they are located in slightly different parts of the face. This is where the skill and knowledge of the clinician is most important.
The Botox is then injected into the target muscles using a very fine needle which for most people involves very little discomfort at all.
No recovery time is needed and you can resume normal activities immediately after having had the treatment.
The effects of the injection are not immediate and they normally take around 3-5 days before you will be aware of the cosmetic effects. It can take up to 1 month for some people to see the maximum effects of the treatment. This does however vary from one person to another and depends on the extent of the wrinkles being treated, the person’s lifestyle and their medical history.
It is advisable to avoid alcohol for at least 1 week prior to treatment and to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirins 2 weeks before the treatment. This will reduce the bruising effects that Botox can cause.
What Else Can Botox Treat?
As well as the cosmetic uses described above, Botox is also used to treat other problems and the main ones are as follows:
Migraines: Botox can be used in certain cases to treat adults who suffer from chronic migraines. This is not a common treatment for migraines but can offer relief to those who have tried conventional treatments without success. You can read more about this at the following link: How can Botox treat migraines?
Eye muscle problems: Botox can be used to treat certain eye muscle problems such as a squint. A squint is a condition where one of the eyes turns either in or out, which can significantly affect a person's cosmetic appearance. It can also be used to treat severe eye lid spasm (Blepharospasm) which has not responded to traditional medication.
Cervical Dystonia: Botox can be used to treat cervical dystonia which causes severe shoulder and neck contractions.
Excessive underarm sweating: Botox is considered an option for excessive sweating when standard skin products and treatments have failed to address the problem. You can read more about this at the following detailed guide: Botox for sweating.
More Useful Information:
The following are more guides that you may answer some of your other questions about Botox:
Does Botox hurt?
Does Botox look natural?
Does Botox work on everyone?