Botox injections are used to smooth out the skin in order to reverse some of the visible signs of the ageing process. Botox relaxes underlying muscles, which makes lines and wrinkles on the surface of the skin less prominent. Botox is the name given to the substance used in the injections, which is made in labs with a bacterium called clostridium botulinum.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Whilst Botox injections are safe, effective and fast-acting, like any surgical procedure, they're aren't without risk or a level of discomfort. Before your appointment with a trained Botox specialist, you should be prepared for what lies ahead.
What are botox injections?
Botox is a substance that is engineered in labs with clostridium botulinum bacteria. It works by temporarily weakening the muscles that contribute to lines and wrinkles on the face. Although the bacteria used to cultivate Botox is dangerous to human health, the substance created is completely safe.
Botox is only meant to deliver temporary results. It can give facial skin a more youthful appearance for up to six months. After this month, a further treatment is necessary to continue visible results. However, many people develop a resistance to Botox, which means the results become increasingly disappointing.
How do botox injections work?
- Before you undergo Botox treatment, you must attend a consultation with a qualified specialist. This is your opportunity to discuss your specific medical history. You will also be asked about the areas of your face that are giving you cause for concern. Not everyone is eligible for Botox treatment, as it can exacerbate certain underlying health conditions. By the end of the consultation, you'll know whether or not Botox is the right cosmetic procedure for you. And if you're happy to proceed, an appointment will be made for the injections.
- Before the first injection is administered, you'll be asked again about any medications you're taking. You will also be asked about your current state of health. If the specialist is happy to proceed, your injections will begin almost immediately.
- The Botox specialist will clearly identify the areas of your face that require treatment. A cleansing agent will be applied to these areas in order to minimise the chances of infection. At this point, you might be offered something to numb the target areas before the injection is administered.
- Once you're comfortable, the specialist will use a thin needle to inject the Botox directly into your facial muscles. Up to three injections may be required in certain areas of your face. You might feel some swelling and pain immediately after each injection. The specialist may relieve this with a combination of pressure and ice.
Are there different types of botox injections?
Botox is the brand name given to the substance injected into the facial muscles. Over the years, it has become a generic term for the treatment itself. However, there are now other agents in use.
For example, Dysport was first approved for use in 2009. AbobotulinumtoxinA (the clinical name for Dysport) works in the same way as Botox. However, some patients report less swelling and discomfort when contracting facial muscles immediately after treatment.
In 2012, a product called Xeomin was introduced to the market. Although initial results were promising, some clinicians reported that its effects don't last quite as long as those delivered by Botox.
What should I expect?
- Botox specialists know how to put patients at ease. While any invasive procedure can be daunting, you'll be in safe hands. But it's important to be fully aware of what lies ahead - particularly if you are scared of needles. You might require three injections in each area, so prepare yourself as much as you can.
- Don't worry too much about side-effects and potential risks. Botox injections are very safe, and complications are exceedingly rare. But if you have any concerns, it's best to raise them with your specialist before the procedure.
- Apart from a little swelling and some mild pain, your Botox injections shouldn't cause you too many problems afterwards. Indeed, many people attend their appointments during their lunch hour. However, if you experience major swelling, breathing difficulties or an allergic reaction, you should see your doctor immediately.