The most commonly treated areas with Botulinum toxin are the Glabella (Frown lines) between the eyebrows, the Forehead and also Crows Feet (Laughter lines) around the eyes.
Other less treated areas are the Lips (smokers/kissing lines)
Hyperhydrosis, (Excess sweating in the armpits and hands)
Botulinum Toxin has long been used in facial aesthetics and has become widely used as a way of delaying plastic surgery.
Most people have heard of Botox, a trade name which is manufactured by Allergan. This is because it was the first one to be used in this way back in the 1980's.
Botox was first regulated to be used in Blepharospasm (Uncontrollable blinking) and Stabismus (Crossed eyes) and indeed this is what it was formulated for. It has also been found greatly effective for other medical conditions like excessive sweating in the underarms and hands and to reduce involuntary spasms.
In 2010 Botox was medically approved for use in reducing symptoms in Chronic Migraine sufferers
In 1992 a Canadian husband and wife, both Opthalmologists, found that the Glabella (frown lines) were greatlky reduced when using it for eye twitching and crossed eyes and so it's use in Cosmetic procedures was born and then became widely used for the treatment of other lines and wrinkles.
How does it work?
Most of the lines and wrinkles in our face are caused by
the constant contraction of the muscles that lay underneath them.
Botulinum Toxin works by reducing this contracture by relaxing them.
The injections take 4 to 5 days to start having any effect and the greatest results will be seen 2 weeks after treatment by which time the lines and wrinkles will appear greatly reduced.
Very small amounts of the solution are injected using a fine needle that causes little discomfort.
Repeat treatments will be needed every 3 to 4 months in the first year but it is often required less in subsequent years as the lines seem to be able to repair themselves naturally once the muscles aren't able to contract any more.
The lines do however re-appear if treatment is stopped and the muscles start contracting again.
Is it safe???
Botulinum toxin has been used both medically and cosmetically for many years and has been found to come with very few risks and these risks are drastically reduced by administration by a qualified practitioner.
In the UK it is prohibited to give Botulinum toxin by anyone that isn't a trained Doctor, Dentist or Nurse that have had the appropriate training in facial aesthetics.
Even with the above qualifications and training, some risks can occur but these are usually minor and always temporary.
Risks include allergic reaction (very rare), eyebrow ptosis (dropped eyelid), headaches, flu-like symptoms, blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, bruising, swelling or redness at the injection site.
Botulinum toxin should not be given to anyone that is pregnant, breast feeding or allergic to eggs.