Patients often complain of unsightly lines and wrinkles on the face, in particular the frown lines between the eyebrows (the ‘glabellar’ area), horizontal forehead creases and the smile lines at the outer corners of the eyes – the crow’s feet.
Ageing is a natural process but it is understandable how many people want to preserve a natural but youthful appearance as long as possible.
Although anti-ageing injections are widely available on the high street, botulinum toxin (Botox®), a prescription only medicine (PoM), should only be prescribed by a doctor, dentist or registered nurse prescriber before injection. The South West Dermatology team of experienced healthcare professionals are fully qualified to administer Botox® injections.
Everyone knows that regular exercise and a balanced diet are two important ways to help stay healthy, feel well and look good. But nothing can stop time passing and, whether we like it or not, we all grow older and it shows in our faces.
Frown lines and wrinkles are a normal part of the ageing process, but they can make you look more tired, angry or older than you really are.
The structure of skin changes with time and it becomes less elastic and flexible. There are fewer fat cells beneath the lower layers (the dermis) of the skin and it becomes more transparent whilst the oil and sweat glands, which help keep skin supple, become less active. Skin loses its elasticity and starts to sag whilst wrinkles develop due to repeated muscle contractions from frowning and squinting over the years.
Older skin is drier and it renews itself less quickly than younger skin. All these factors affect how facial skin looks.
Botox® contains a specially prepared naturally occurring protein that originates from bacteria.
The purified protein in Botox® has been used in clinical practice for over ten years. This extensive experience confirms the established safety profile of treatment with Botox®.
Other preparations are available to manage facial lines and you should discuss the various treatments and their differences with us so that the effect you get is the one you want.
Botox® is licensed in the UK for the treatment of several medical conditions including hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), blepharospasm and for the cosmetic treatment of laughter and other dynamic lines. The rationale of treatment with Botox® is to temporarily weaken the muscles that pull on the skin in these areas.
What happens during the treatment?
A minute quantity of Botox® is injected into the muscles that cause dynamic lines, for example frown lines. The injection temporarily prevents nerve signals from reaching the muscle and, as a result, the muscle relaxes. As the muscle relaxes, the skin smoothes out.
Treatment can take as little as ten minutes and most people return to normal activities immediately afterwards.
How long does the treatment last?
The smoothing effect of the first treatment usually lasts for up to four months. Botox® should only be injected by an experienced injector who can make sure that the correct amount is injected in precisely the right places. In this way the desired result with a natural look can be achieved.
What side effects might I expect following treatment?
Side effects, if they occur, are usually temporary and mild to moderate. As with all prescription medicines, Botox® can cause side effects and your doctor or nurse will advise you about these in more detail. Most side effects experienced by patients are short-lived and are linked to the injections e.g. pain on injection, redness, swelling etc.
Other side effects such as ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), while still temporary in nature can be caused by a spread of the injection into nearby muscles.
Choosing an experienced healthcare practitioner minimises (but does not eliminate) the risk of such side effects.
What else can I do to help with lines and wrinkles?
A few simple rules help encourage healthy skin.