Botulinum toxin is a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It works by paralysing nerves as they enter muscles. The muscle is then unable to contract and move. This relaxes and smooths the fine lines and wrinkles caused by repeated contraction of the underlying small facial muscles in the targeted area of injection.
Indications for treatment:
Botulinum toxin treats fine lines and wrinkles of the face most commonly glabellar “frown” lines (between the eyebrows), horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet. Botulinum toxin can also be used in other areas of the face and neck. It is used to treat hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in the armpits, palms or soles of feet.
Limitations of treatment:
Botulinum toxin will not eliminate very deep wrinkles or rejuvenate the skin surface e.g. sun damage or uneven pigmentation.
Contraindications for treatment:
You should not have botulinum toxin treatments in the following situations:
If you take medication or supplements that thin your blood you will be more at risk of bruising or bleeding after the procedure. Please inform Ms Nugent of all products taken.
Injections should not be done through or near any skin infection or irritation.
Botulinum toxin can be given in an outpatient setting. A very fine needle is used to inject the botulinum toxin into the treatment areas. It takes 10 to 15 minutes depending on how many areas are being treated. An ice pack may be used to soothe the area prior to injection and help reduce bruising. The injections can sting a little during the procedure.
Pre and post treatment clinical photographs of the treated areas are taken.
Avoid manipulating or massaging the treated area for at least 3 to 4 hours post injection as this can spread the botulinum toxin to surrounding areas. It is also best not to stoop over or strain. Cosmetics can be applied from 1 to 2 hours afterwards. Exercising the facial muscles afterwards (repeated smiling and frowning) can be helpful.
It takes 2 to 4 days for the effects of the botulinum toxin injections to be evident.
Ice packs may be useful to reduce any swelling or bruising. These can be placed just prior to injection. You will be able to continue your daily routine in most instances.
While most treatments go very smoothly and patients are delighted with the results, as with any procedure there are some risks associated with botulinum toxins.
Bruising, swelling and tenderness at the injection sites can occur.
Occasionally patients experience a mild headache.
If overtreatment of an area with botulinum toxin occurs or it migrates from a nearby area, unwanted effects such as weakness or drooping of an eyelid or eyebrow or facial asymmetry during facial expression may occur. Once given, botulinum toxin is irreversible but the effects will wear off over time.
If an area is undertreated, a “touch-up” treatment can be given 2 to 4 weeks later
Longevity of procedure:
Botulinum toxin injections are not permanent. The effects last 3 to 6 months. If you wish to maintain the effects of your treatment, it is usually necessary to have repeat treatments every three to four months.