What is Botox? How does it work?

What is “Botox®” and how does it work?

One of the many things we can do in order to make our faces look younger and fresher is to soften the lines and wrinkles, shape the eyebrows and lift the lower face and neck.

“Botox®” has become a household word. It is a brand name which has been universally adopted to describe a medication called Botulinum A.

Interestingly, “Botox®” it isn’t the most widely used form of Botulinum A. One of the most widely used is called “Dysport®”, so there are lots different names, but they all essentially do the same thing ie they relax muscles.

This medication was initially used in much larger doses to treat medical conditions where large muscles in the arms and legs would stiffen (for example Cerebral Palsy). Its medical use has since been widely expanded, and it was whilst treating muscular spasm around the eye, that its beneficial effect on lines and wrinkles was noticed. The amounts used to treat the face are much smaller than amounts used in other medical conditions for many years, therefore we know that “Botox” is a safe medication if used in the correct way.

How does this work?

Wrinkle relaxation can be performed using a series of muscle relaxing injections. When a muscle contracts it shortens (like the bellow of an accordion), by softening the action of the muscle beneath the skin’s surface, the wrinkling of skin over the muscle is reduced.

Will it hurt?

The needles used for this type of treatment are very small and fine (like an acupuncture needle, and therefore often less uncomfortable than having eyebrows plucked for instance). Although generally not necessary cream may be applied in order to numb the area prior to treatment.

Is it safe?

The medication (Botulinum A), used for this has been used to relax muscles for over 50 years and is therefore known to be a safe and predictable medication when used by experienced and qualified individuals, (that is why when having this kind of injection it is imperative that you are seen by a professional with a prescribing license, usually a doctor.)

Although the medication is safe, visual outcomes will vary depending on the injecting practitioner.

It is therefore important to find someone you trust.

Many people think about having anti-ageing treatments, but are worried that the person treating them will not understand that they want to look younger and fresher without looking as if they’ve had “work done”.

An effective treatment with “Botox” will not only reduce lines and wrinkles but will also shape/enhance eyebrows, lips and jawlines.

Your initial consultation with Dr Sophie is free. As results vary between practitioners Dr Sophie will always assess and carry out treatments personally. She will discuss your concerns and results you wish to achieve, we will complete some confidential patient information together during the consultation and then Dr Sophie will then discuss various treatment options and how they can be tailored to suit your particular needs.

There is no obligation to continue with any treatment discussed; you need to be confident that the treatments proposed are right for you, before proceeding. However if you wish to have a treatment immediately then this is often also possible.

You will be offered a complimentary follow up session around 2 weeks after your treatment, in order to assess you results and a free “top up” should it be necessary .

How long will the treatment take?

My typical initial consultation may last up to 1 hour in order to ensure that I can asses your face thoroughly and tailor the treatment to your individual face.

When a patient has a “mini facelift” with Botulinum/Botox® with Dr Sophie the Botulinum/Botox® is diluted and drawn up in front of the patient so you can be sure that it is fresh and at its most potent. Dr Sophie will then use any remaining Botulinum/Botox® to treat any additional areas, this is generally free of charge.

Will I look different immediately?

The treatment tends not to leave any marks on leaving the clinic. The effect of these muscle relaxing injections is not instant, over the next few days you will begin to notice the effects which usually reach a maximum around 2 weeks after the treatment. The effect of the treatment may last for up to 6 months, and tends to be priced by the number of areas that are treated.

The aim of the treatment is to soften lines, so no one will be able to tell you have had such a treatment; you will just look fresher and lifted.

Will I look Frozen?

We often see pictures of people in magazines and on TV who have “obviously had work done” unfortunately this a little like having your hair dyed; if it done well, by an experienced talented hairdresser it will look natural, if that is the desired effect.

Everyone’s face is different; some people will frown more than others and the aim of treatment is to produce a natural effect ie not to completely paralyse the muscle, therefore careful assessment of the client is necessary.
 Over-injecting the muscles in the forehead can cause loss of the natural contour of the forehead and lead to lowering of the brow. (it is evident that the person has had treatment due to a flat, heavy looking forehead.) Many people are under the impression that if you completely “freeze” the forehead this will make the effect last longer and will prevent lines from forming when they are older. A responsible clinician would advise them that most lines can be treated as, and when they occur.

Other effects of muscle relaxing injections can be to change the shape of a muscle. This effect can be used to alter the shape of the eyebrows and reduce the downward pull on the face resulting in a lifting effect and refining the jawline. Treatment of the lips can reduce vertical lines and the in-drawing and thinning of the lips which often occurs with age, giving a fuller more pleasing effect, Botulinium/Botox can be used to soften a square jaw to give a more feminine “V” shaped jawline and to lift the corners of the mouth as well as many other uses.

How long will the effect last for?

Generally results last for 4-6months, however this may be a little longer or shorter.

There is often a much longer term “residual effect” and it would seem that this is cumulative (ie increases the more times you are treated with “Botox®”/anti wrinkle injections). This can be both highly advantageous and disadvantageous; Well positioned “Botox®”/anti wrinkle injections will in the longterm improve the position of your eyebrow and help to lift your face. Poorly positioned “Botox®”/anti wrinkle injections will initially often raise your eyebrow, but in the long term will cause loss of the natural contour of the forehead and lead to lowering of the brow. That is why Dr Sophie is committed to thorough consultation and treatment conducted by her personally.

The other major ways that lines and wrinkles can be treated is by using “Dermal Fillers” and/or “mesotherapy” which are made of a substances similar to those found naturally in healthy skin.

Ring 0203 556 1753 for your appointment with Dr Sophie is Conveniently Located in Wanstead and Stratford, East London with weekly clinics in Westfield, Stratford. So why not come along.

Dr Sophie’s Skincare, Westfield E20 1EJ, Stratford.

Beehive Lane, Gantshill, Ilford Essex IG1 3RD

Cranbrook Road, Gantshill, Ilford, Essex, IG2 6RE

2, Station Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4DP

Soon opening in:

High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6QA

High Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4LF

Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 5BD.