A Botox injection is a non-surgical, medical procedure that reduces the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. Botox is injected into various areas of skin on the face.
What is Botox?
Botox is an artificial substance. It is a brand name for a laboratory-produced chemical called botulinum toxin. It relaxes and ‘freezes’ facial and other muscles.
Traditionally, Botox has been used to treat people with eye and facial spasms. Botox is also used to treat people with excessive perspiration. There is evidence that it also helps in the treatment of headaches and migraine.
Unlike collagen, Botox is not used to enhance lips or cheeks. It is used to get rid of lines and wrinkles. Like collagen, its effects are long-lasting. The effects of collagen are immediate. With Botox, however, although you may be able to see some results straightaway, the effects usually take a week or so to develop fully.
What is Botox good for?
Botox works in two ways.
Firstly, it irons out existing lines and wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, nose and forehead.
Secondly, it works on the muscles in your face, putting them to sleep. This process usually takes place about a week or so after it has been injected. After it takes effect, you are not able to frown, or "crease up" when you laugh. This prevents further lines from forming by paralysing your facial muscles.
Before you go
If you're going to let anyone inject something into you, wherever it is, you need to be confident that they know what they're doing. Find out as much information about the treatment, the therapists and the clinic before you go.
Treatment takes about 15 minutes and results are visible in 4-10 days.
The effects last for 3-5 months.
The effects of Botox are only temporary, and this includes the side-effects.
Public perception at the moment tends to be that you can tell when people have had Botox because their face doesn't move - there is a certain amount of bitchiness about Hollywood actresses with no facial expressions. It can also have the temporary effect of causing the corners of the mouth to turn down.
The procedure itself is more uncomfortable than painful, although some people say that there is a slight burning or stinging sensation when you are having the injections. It tends to be more painful around the nose and mouth.
If you are, or think you might be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, it is recommended that you don't have Botox injections. Similarly, it is not recommended for anyone with a neurological disease.
Ask your GP if you have any concerns.
The person giving you the injections should ask, and you should provide, any and all information about your health, and details of any medical conditions you have, medication or treatments that you are receiving.
Make sure you go to a qualified professional. This may not be a surgical procedure but it is a medical procedure and any time you let anyone inject chemicals into your face, you need to feel confident that they really know what they're doing.
You may have some spots of redness where the needle has been inserted; you may even have some slight bruising after the procedure. As mentioned, immediately after having a filler injection, your skin may feel a bit tender and a bit strange. However, this will wear off within a few days.
Occasionally, people have a mild allergic reaction to the treatment afterwards: itching, puffiness or slightly bumpy skin. People who are prone to cold sores may get one afterwards. A very few people experience red lumps under the skin a few months later.