Botulinum Toxin A Fact Sheet
What is Botulinum Toxin, aka Botox?
Botulinum toxin, popularly known as Botox, 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 a number of medical conditions, including migraine and excessive sweating.
Licensed brands of botulinum toxin A include, Botox®, Azzalure®, Bocouture®, Xeomin®, and Dysport®
How does it work?
The toxin blocks the transition of chemical messages sent from the nerve to cause the muscle to contract. Without these messages, the muscle stays in a resting state until the ‘messengers’ recover. This recovery takes approximately 8 to 12 weeks on average.
The aim of this treatment is to significantly reduce the movement of the muscles causing expression lines (dynamic lines). It may not cause the expression lines themselves to disappear completely, this will depend upon the quality of your skin and may take time over a course of treatments.
Does it hurt?
A very fine needle is used and generally this treatment is not painful and can be well tolerated with no anaesthetic. Ice may be helpful in numbing the skin for nervous patients as well as reducing the risk of a bruise.
Most people will think of Botox. However there are several licensed brands of botulinum toxin A. Ask your practitioner which brand they will be using for your treatment.
What does it help treat?
- Frown Lines
- Worry Lines
- Crows Feet
- Lip Lines
- Nephertite Lift (Improve appearance of neck)
- Hyperhydrosis (Excessive sweating)
Am I suitable for a treatment?
Except in exceptional circumstances this is not a treatment recommended for those under 25 or over 65.
For best results skin should be in good condition and the target lines not too furrowed. Our practitioner will assess your suitability and advise.
- Botulinum toxin cannot be given to pregnant or breast feeding women
- Not suitable for patients with certain neurological disorders
- Not suitable if you are currently taking certain medicines
- Not suitable if you have previously experienced adverse reactions to any botulinum toxin treatment.
With any injectable treatment;
Treatment is not recommended if you are suffering from:
- Any skin infection in or near the treatment area or are unwell in any way (even a cold).
- If you are taking any medicines which affect bleeding, such as aspirin or warfarin.
- If you are currently or have recently completed a course of Roacutane (acne treatment) in the last 18 months.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are planning to attend a special event when a bruise, should it occur, would be unacceptable to you.
- If you are planning to attend an important event and any adverse event described would be unacceptable to you, discuss with our clinician in advance of having treatment.
- Some over the counter medicines and supplements can also affect bleeding (make you more prone to bruising) as can alcohol- which should be avoided the day before and after treatment.
- Vigorous exercise, sun exposure, sun beds, sauna should be avoided for 48 hours, or as advised by our clinician, after treatment.
- If you are at all concerned about symptoms you were not expecting or not happy with, please contact us for advice. If necessary an appointment will be made for you to be seen.
All treatments carry a degree of risk. All risks and complications will be discussed with you at consultation and prior to any treatment being agreed.
Side effects include, but are not limited to;
- Swelling at injection sites
- Redness at injection sites
- Asymmetry of expression
- Drooping of the brow, or eyelid
- Headache or a sensation of ‘tightness’ or ‘heaviness’
Adverse events are uncommon, usually occur within a few days of treatment and are expected to be temporary, usually resolving spontaneously within weeks.
Our practitioner will provide aftercare advice designed to minimise risk and promote speedy recovery from any expected side effects.
After treatment it is expected that you will start to see an improvement within 2 or 3 days. The full result may be judged at 2-3 weeks. You may 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.
You will be advised to keep the target muscles active for a few hours and to avoid extremes of heat or cold, vigorous exercise, lying down or leaning over for 4-6 hours.
How long will it last?
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.
Our clinic is situated in Gravesend town centre, opposite Gravesend Railway Station. The transport links available makes it very convenient for many of our clients who travel from London, Bromley, Longfield, Dartford, Chatham, Rochester and Maidstone, who visit us for dermal fillers, lip fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments.