Botox is a brand of botulinum toxin. The toxin is created from a bacteria and then highly purified for medical use.
Treatment with Botox is one of the most common cosmetic procedures worldwide. It has been used medically for over 30 years.
Botox reduces the signs of aging by blocking the nerve pathway and preventing muscle contraction. Treatment targets the muscles causing wrinkling or creasing of the skin. It relaxes the muscles, thereby reducing activity and resulting in reduced or even removed lines and wrinkles.
Botox can be used to treat existing lines and wrinkles. It can also be used preventatively to avoid wrinkles forming.
Botox is most commonly injected to relax muscles of the face to reduce the signs of aging.
Botox also has medical uses. We use it in our clinic to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) by injecting it into the armpits.
Botox can also relax the muscles of the jaw in the case of teeth grinding (bruxism).
Botox has many potential benefits, including:
- relaxing existing lines and wrinkles
- preventing lines and wrinkles
- lifting – for example, lifting eyebrows or the corners of a downturned smile
- dropping – for example, dramatically improving a gummy smile by lowering the top lip
- narrowing a masculine jaw line
- improving skin quality by reducing sebum production in the skin
- decreasing teeth grinding
- decreasing excessive sweating
Botox has been used extensively for over 30 years. It is approved for use in over 78 countries. Its safety and effectiveness have been evaluated extensively.
In skilled hands, Botox is a safe and effective treatment. Generally, side effects are non-existent or very minor and short-lived.
Allergic response to Botox is extremely rare.
Treatment doses are very small. Good and safe Botox requires knowledge of facial muscles, skill and technique of injection.
Botox should not be used in those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Those with neuromuscular conditions such as myasthenia gravis or motor neurone disease should not have Botox.
Certain antibiotics (called aminoglycosides) would exclude someone from having botox for the duration of their antibiotic treatment. They are not used commonly for routine medical problems, though can sometimes be found in ear drops.
Blood thinning treatment (such as aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel, apixaban, rivaroxaban, etc.) do not exclude treatment but can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Please discuss this with us.
Botox is a prescription only product. GMC guidance states that a doctor (or other prescriber) must assess the patient in a face-to-face consultation before issuing a prescription. Your doctor will assess you in clinic to determine your needs.
In this clinic, only your doctor, trained in aesthetics, will perform your injections if you wish to proceed after your consultation.
It is important that an experienced and trained professional understands your face and your treatment goals.
Good Botox is dependent on good technique. In-depth knowledge of your facial anatomy is essential to tailor your treatment.
Your consultation will involve a discussion about your concerns and goals.
A medical history will be taken to ensure that treatment is safe for you.
If you wish to proceed then your written consent will be obtained once the procedure has been fully explained to you.
Photographs will be taken of your face before the procedure. These are stored securely and will not be used without your consent.
Make-up is removed from the treatment area.
Your face is marked with a surgical crayon for accurate and precise injection sites to ensure facial symmetry.
Precise injections are then made using small volumes via a tiny needle. This causes minimal discomfort and most people report no more than a pinching feeling.
The number of injections varies depending on the area treated. For example, treating horizontal lines on the forehead requires 4 injections. Crows feet require 3 on each side. A brow lift needs only one injection on each side.
You will be reviewed in clinic after 2 weeks.
Your appointment will be approximately 30 minutes. The actual injection takes only a few minutes but it is important to assess your face and treatment goals as well as suitability for treatment.
Botox requires an injection with a tiny needle. This ensures minimum discomfort. Most people tolerate this easily and describe no more than a slight pinching sensation. Afterwards, it is common to have a slight ‘bee sting’ appearance but usually this settles in a couple of hours.
You will be fine to return to activities (with a few exceptions – see aftercare) straight after your treatment. Some people have Botox in their lunch break and return to work without anyone being aware of their treatment!
There is no down time.
Botox starts to work on the muscles immediately but results are not usually seen until after 72 hours. It can take 2 weeks for the full effect to be seen. Top-up injections would not be done before 2 weeks for this reason.
Treatment with Botox relaxes the muscles causing wrinkles and creasing. Often these muscles are involved in facial expression.
The effect of Botox is dose dependent and the aim is always to start with a conservative and natural look. You will then be reviewed to assess the response and adjust your treatment to suit your goals. Some like to retain expression, some like to remove frown lines but retain some expression and others like a frozen look. This is tailored to the individual.
Botox needs to be administered by a professional as it depends on skill, injection technique and a knowledge of the muscles of the face.
You will be reviewed 2 weeks after your initial appointment.
50% of people will require a top-up with Botox to achieve their desired result. This process avoids over-doing things at the first injection and reduces the risk of unwanted effects.
The result is tailored to suit you. Some people like to retain expression but reduce skin creasing. Others like a frozen look. Often, people like to remove or reduce their frown but retain the ability to show surprise.
Treatments with Botox usually last 3-4 months but it can last longer. In order to maintain the anti-aging look, Botox will require regular administration, usually 3 to 4 times per year.
- Do not rub the treated area.
- Avoid strenuous activity same day.
- Avoid alcohol same day.
Avoid facial treatments such as peels, dermabrasion etc. for 24 hours.
- Remain upright for 4 hours after treatment.
- Do not apply heat to the affected area same day.
- Use facial expression to exercise the treated muscles same day.
- Bruising, tenderness and headache can occur and are usually brief
If you have any concerns then contact your doctor.
Dermal fillers are made up of a soft, cross-linked gel made from hyaluronic acid (HA) which closely resembles naturally occurring HA.
Dermal fillers are used to fill out creases, add volume or create definition. Their effects can be smoothing, plumping or lifting.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring molecule vital for cell growth and renewal. It binds water and maintains elasticity. It has an instant volumizing effect and longer term it binds water and increases hydration.
Dermal fillers have a number of uses. Without affecting facial expressions, they can:
- Fill lines and wrinkles. For example, nasolabial creases (from the nose to mouth), marionette lines (at the sides of the mouth), and perioral lines around the mouth (smoker’s lines).
- Add volume and definition to cheeks. Depending on the placement of the filler, the desired look can add volume (often popular with older ladies) or definition (more popular with younger ladies). Both of these will have a lifting effect on the face.
- Enhance lip definition and volume. Lip filler is very popular and a range of looks can be achieved ranging from definition to volume or both.
Botox is used to relax muscles (see above) causing wrinkles.
Dermal filler is used to add volume, fill creases, define or plump areas. The two treatment techniques are often combined. Please speak to your doctor to discuss suitable options for you.
The effects of fillers are seen immediately with an instant volumizing effect. Over the longer term, the filler binds with water, increasing hydration.
The most common places where dermal fillers are used are:
- Nasolabial lines – these run from the nose to mouth and increase with age
- Marionette lines – at the sides of the mouth
- Cheeks – for volume or definition
- Lips – for volume and/or definition
- Perioral/smokers’ lines
- Hands – hand rejuvenation with a longer lasting filler
Dermal fillers last between 6 and 18 months.
The duration is influenced by a number of factors including injection site, age, skin type and lifestyle.
The lips have a rich blood supply and lip filler usually lasts approximately 6 months.
Cheek and hand filler can last up to 18 months.
Most dermal fillers will cause minor discomfort and some products contain local anaesthetic.
The lips are an extremely sensitive area to inject. Most clients prefer to have local anaesthetic cream applied at least 30 minutes before the procedure to reduce the discomfort.
It is vital that dermal fillers are injected by a professional trained in aesthetics. Your doctor has detailed knowledge of facial structures and where to inject and equally importantly, where not to inject!
Dermal fillers are safe when used by skilled hands. They are long lasting and not permanent. They bear no resemblance to the silicone injected into a well known actresses top lip in the year 2000! This was a permanent filler and we do not use this type of product.
Our products can be dissolved and the effects reversed if the desired result is not achieved or if there are any complications.
Any injection can cause bruising and swelling. This is particularly common after lip augmentation with swelling starting to settle after 48 hours.
Anyone who has reacted to a dermal filler in the past should avoid further treatments. Hyaluronic acid (HA) in dermal filler closely resembles naturally occurring HA and as a result, allergic reactions are extremely rare.
Those pregnant or breast feeding should avoid treatments.
Please advise your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medications. This does not prevent you have treatment but may increase your risk of bruising.
During your consultation, we will discuss your concerns and aims of treatment.
If you wish to proceed then we will obtain your consent after fully explaining the procedures and risks.
We will take photographs of your face before treatment.
Local anaesthetic cream may be applied (usually for lip treatment) for 30 mins+.
Make up will be removed and if necessary, surgical marker will be used to define injection sites.
Dermal filler will be injected by the doctor into specific areas. The depth and number of injections will be customised to your treatment goals.
Your consultation will be approximately 30 minutes but the injection time is often only a few minutes. The important part is assessing your needs and determining your safety for the procedure.
Yes. Treatments are increasingly popular for men. Please get in touch if you have any specific concerns you wish to discuss.
- Do not rub the area. Leave it alone for 48 hours.
- Avoid make-up same day.
- Avoid applying heat same day – this includes hot drinks and smoking.
- Avoid alcohol same day.
- Avoid other facial treatments for 2-3 days.
Bruising, redness and swelling usually settle after 2-3 days but the full result will not be seen until 2 weeks.
A review will be arranged at 2 weeks but if you have concerns in the meantime then please contact the clinic.
A review appointment is arranged after 2 weeks. Swelling will have settled at that point.