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All you need to know about Fillers & Botox

Botox and fillers is now a multi-billion pound business. It is widely used all around the world.

Some people feel the signs of ageing are catching up. Some intrigued to know what else is on offer beyond simply using creams.

Visible signs of ageing can be improved with injectable treatments, most commonly Botox – Botulinum toxin injections (aka Botox) and dermal fillers. Essentially, Botox is for treating lines and wrinkles and fillers work for loss of volume. The two can work well together, provided you find an experienced practitioner.

Botulinum toxin – AKA Botox – the wrinkle zapper

I’m definitely seeing more people coming to me for Botox now compared to a few years ago. Botox is a trade name for the active drug Botulinum toxin made by the company Allergan (there are other forms of Botulinum toxin including Azzalure and Bocouture and as Botox is the most widely used and I shall refer to this, for convenience).

Botox was in use by eye doctors from the 1980s to treat muscular disorders of the eye. It was noted that wrinkles around the eye were also disappearing following the Botox treatment and, by the end of the decade, Botox for cosmetic use had been born.

Its most basic action is to block nerve transmission to muscles causing temporary weakness. It was evident by using Botox wrinkles and lines become smoother or disappear altogether. It will produce results that are simply not possible with creams. I’ve had it done a few times myself to treat very early frown lines (for which it’s super-effective) and from a patient perspective, I’ve found it quick and painless.

What Botox can treat

Can be used for forehead lines: These develop over time, often due to repeated eyebrow raising and can be visible from your twenties onwards. Botox injected into key sites in the forehead will soften these.

Can be used for Frown lines: Frown lines, otherwise known as ‘number 11’, lines, are vertical creases that develop between the eyebrows. They occur due to repeated contraction of muscles. Often, Botox injected into three to five sites in the frown area will treat these lines.

Can be used for Crow’s feet: these occur due to the effects of smiling over the years; They become more prominent in your late 20s to early 30s and can also be effectively treated with Botox.

Other uses: Can help with ‘smoker’s lines’ around the mouth, jaw slimming and facial contouring, teeth grinding (bruxism) and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).

Preventative Treatments

There is also an argument for using Botox in a preventative way. If injections are started before lines are present at rest, many people get out of the habit of frowning and permanent fixed lines may take longer to develop. It is important to go to an experienced Botox practitioner who is able to show you other before and after photographs.

How long does Botox last? injections do not work immediately and initial effects can be noted between 48-72 hours later. Maximal Botox effects are reached at about ten days and effects last on average three to four months. Botox treatments need to be repeated regularly to maintain their effect.

Is Botox painful? The Botox injections themselves are done with fine needles and are not usually painful. They can cause some minor discomfort at worst, but nearly everyone tolerates Botox well without any problems. It is, however, still a medical procedure and a proper consultation should take place first including a thorough medical history.

Side-effects of Botox. These include bruising and swelling and a feeling of heaviness, but on rare occasions, problems with a droopy eyebrow can occur with forehead injections. These are not permanent and will wear off over time. It is actually a straightforward and very safe procedure in the right hands.

Keeping it subtle: Many people come to me worried they will look overdone and frozen, or concerned their partner will notice if they have treatment. Choose a reputable Botox clinic with good reviews and avoid cut-price deals. Personally, I think it is all about subtle results, and all my patients have the option to come back and see me two weeks after their injections to make any small adjustments. It is far easier to add more in two weeks; you can’t take it out once it’s in!

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