Over the last 20 years Botox has become a household name, generating more magazine headlines than the celebrities that have received the wrinkle reducing injection.  The procedure has seen a huge growth in use and popularity in recent years and is considered a miracle cure to maintain youthful looks. But what is Botox? And how does it work?

What is Botox?

Botox is made from a toxin that is produced by food poisoning causing bacteria. The bacteria can cause the serious sickness called botulism, but when the isolated toxin is used in very small doses it can be a wonder treatment for certain medical and cosmetic concerns.

•    Smoothes wrinkles to give a youthful appearance
•    Stops excessive underarm sweating
•    Helps to control overactive bladder conditions
•    Treatment of severe neck and muscle contractions caused by the neurological disorder cervical dystonia

How Does Botox Work?

Botox is injected into the affected area and temporarily blocks the nerves to weaken specific muscles for a period of months, up to a year depending on the treatment. The most common use of Botox is to treat lines and wrinkles that are caused by the facial muscles contracting when a person frowns, squints, or concentrates.

After years of muscle contractions the lines and wrinkles eventually become permanent facial features. Botox interrupts the nerves to stop the message sent from the brain reaching the contraction causing muscle, leaving the muscle unable to crease the skin and form wrinkles.

Are Botox Injections Safe?

Botox has been used by medical and cosmetic professionals for over 20 years and there are no reports of any serious harmful effects. As with any cosmetic procedure there can be some side effects, mild bruising can occur at the site of the injection and about 1% of patients can experience a temporary droopy eyelid. These unusual side effects are short-term and can be minimised by receiving treatment from a qualified professional in a safe clinic environment.

Will it Freeze My Face?

Nobody wants the frozen face look that has unfortunately become associated with anti-wrinkle injections. In the early years of Botox, the overzealous use of the toxin by inexperienced practitioners left some users with the frozen look, but the use of Botox has progressed a great deal since then. Botox injections are targeted on particular muscles that cause lines and wrinkles and, when used moderately, produces desirable and youthful results. It will not affect your ability to smile or be surprised.

Where can Botox be Applied?

Botox injections are primarily used to treat facial lines and wrinkles. The lines around the eyes, known as ‘crow’s feet’, are a very popular area of treatment and it can also be applied to remove lines on the forehead and around the corners of the mouth or to lift the eyebrows.

What Happens After Receiving Botox?

Botox is a non-invasive procedure and, while it’s advised to avoid any strenuous activity for a day after receiving treatment, you can return to work and your everyday activities as soon as you leave the clinic. 

Are there any Botox alternatives?

One newer treatment that has potential to be an alternative anti-ageing treatment uses low temperatures to stop wrinkles - it's been nicknamed Frotox.