Botox: for wrinkle reduction and crow's feet

A large number of people are having Botox injections to regain a more youthful appearance. It is now a widely accepted treatment that is as common as going for a haircut. In fact, the latest addition to the social calendar is the Botox party, a social event that focuses around Botox treatments.

Botox was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cosmetic use in April 2002. Botox is now commonly used by many cosmetic dentists for facial rejuvenation procedure, giving you non-surgical face-lift. Botox is great for the treatment of expression lines such as crow’s feet and forehead frown lines. These lines are caused when overactive muscle movement wears away the collagen in the skin, which in turn causes the skin to crease or wrinkle. Botulinum toxin works by relaxing the muscles, thus preventing wrinkles and smoothing out lines.

Botox is a safe-to-use bacterial toxin which, when injected into the facial muscles in minute quantities, relaxes the muscles and effectively improves the appearance of wrinkles that are caused by the movement of these muscles. The procedure is painless and takes about 10 minutes. Botox injections need to be repeated every few months, as the botox is broken down by the body.

Dermal fillers such as hydrafil, teosyal and restylane are frequently used to treat deep smile lines, smoker’s lines around the lips, cheek contour depressions and facial scars. Dermal fillers can also be used to “plump up” the lips, giving them a fullness.

Dermal fillers such as restylane are based on a degradable hyaluronic acid in the form of a clear gel. This gel is injected into the skin to create volume, smooth out wrinkles and restore fullness to lips. Due to its degradable nature, dermal fillers also need to be injected regularly.

Below are some FAQs about Botox.

What is Botox and what is it made from?

Botox is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. It is a non-surgical treatment that can temporarily reduce lines caused by overexpresion of certain muscles (such as frown lines between the brows and crow's feet). It is used in people between the ages of 18 and 65. During the treatment, very small amounts of Botox are administered using a tiny needle inserted directly into the muscles that cause the expression lines. Depending upon the number of areas that need treating and the experience of the Botox practitioner, treatments take about 10 to 20 minutes and are usually painless. No recovery time is needed, and you should begin to see an improvement within three to four days, and the results usually last up to four months.

How does Botox work?

Crow's feet and frown lines between your brows form over time as the result of muscle activity. The theory behind treatment is to reduce this muscle activity. Botox is injected directly into the muscles between your brows, and it works by blocking the signals between nerves and the injected muscles, thereby reducing the activity of the muscles (through temporary paralyisis) that cause those lines to form.

When will I see results from my Botox treatment?

Within two to three days, you may see a marked improvement in frown lines between your brows. However, the lines continue to improve for up to a month, and your skin appears smoother. The results from Botox last for up to four months; regular treatments are thus required to maintain a wrinkle-free look. In clinical trials, nearly 90% of men and women rated the improvement in their appearance as moderate to better one month after treatment.

How long does treatment with Botox last?

The results from treatment with Botox usually last for about three to four months. However, if you do not continue with regular Botox treatment, your lines (frown lines and crow's feet) will eventually come back to the level they were at prior to your treatment.

Who should administer Botox?

Anyone who is insured and has had the appropriate training can administer Botox. It is advisable to seek a practitioner who has a lot of experience in this field, as there are many people offering this service with little experience. Many argue that dentists are the best people for this procedure, since they are used to giving injections when administering local anaesthetic, so their injection technique should be more refined.

Does treatment with Botox hurt?

You may experience some discomfort during the treatment, but as the needle is so small, this is usually minimal. Some dentists numb the area with a local anaesthetic cream prior to injection, and if they're using dermal fillers in the lips - a rather sensitive area - local anaesthetic is used to numb them. Once you have had the treatment, you can get on with your everyday tasks.

Who should not use Botox?

Botox should not be used where there is local infection at the proposed injection site, or in individuals with known reactions to any of the ingredients in the injection formulation. Patients with neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome may be at increased risk of serious side effects and should avoid Botox treatments.

What side effects could I experience?

The most common side effects after botox injections include temporary eyelid drooping and nausea. Localized pain, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising may also be associated with the injection.

Will my facial expressions look natural after treatment?

Although the effects and results are visible after about three days, treatment with Botox will not dramatically change your facial appearance or make you look totally expressionless The muscle activity that causes the forehead frown lines is simply reduced, so you should still be able to frown or look surprised, just without wrinkles and creases between your brows.

How much does treatment with Botox cost?

Botox is quite an affordable treatment when compared to the surgical alternative. The price will depend on the person carrying out the treatment, as more experienced practitioners tend to charge more. Prices can start from as little as £125 per area, but your dentist should be able to give you an indication of the costs during a consultation.

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