What is Botox?
Botox is a highly purified preparation of a nerve paralysing toxin that is associated with Botulinum or food poisoning. Its application to treat facial lines has developed from initial use in eyelid disorders.
What areas are suitable for Botox treatment?
Botox is used on areas of the face such as frown lines and crows feet that are caused by the action of underlying tiny facial muscles. It is not used on the face lower than the eyes. Botox is injected to paralyse the muscles that are causing wrinkles. Once the muscle that is causing the wrinkles is relaxed, the lines soon become less pronounced.
After treatment the overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled while the untreated facial muscles contract normally. Botox does not produce numbness or disturbance of sensation as there is no affect on the sensory fibres.
How is the treatment performed?
Botox treatment is performed using a fine needle. A small amount is injected into the desired area. The sensation is likened to an insect bite and no local anaesthetic is required. Several injections are needed for each treatment.
Treatment takes approximately 30 minutes and is performed in the doctor's rooms. You can resume normal activities immediately.
How long does it last?
The effects last for 3-6 months. The results are usually evident about three days after treatment although can take up to 1-2 weeks.
Are there any specific instructions to follow after surgery?
It is important not to rub the injection site for several hours after treatment as this may cause the Botox to spread into adjacent muscles.
You must not lie down for four hours after treatment.
Are there any risks?
Theoretically, Botox can improve any wrinkle caused by muscular contraction, however, it is not used in areas other than the forehead and around the eyes as it can produce an unwanted effect, for example, droopiness of the mouth.
Rarely, drooping of an eyelid or altered facial expression can be experienced. This should return to normal. As the effects of Botox are not permanent, any side effects should be temporary.
Bruising and swelling may be experienced at the injection site.
Can other procedures be performed at the same time?
As Botox is only effective for wrinkles that are caused by muscle contraction, other treatments can be used concurrently, such as collagen or laser resurfacing, to achieve the results you desire.
Should there be any questions regarding Botox treatment, be sure they are answered in advance by Dr Drielsma.
Please note: The above information mentions only some of the benefits and complications of a Botox treatment. This information should not be regarded as a substitute for information and advice provided by Dr Drielsma during consultation.