The injectable, botulinum toxin, commonly referred to as Botox, works by blocking nerve impulses, causing short-term relaxation of muscles and in turn, tautens the overlying skin on sites where it’s been injected. It has a transient effect, so once it’s worn off, the muscle regains its normal strength over time. It’s been used successfully and safely in therapeutic and cosmetic medicine since 1980. Largely speaking, boticlinum toxin type A is the most common Botox used for cosmetic treatments. Trusted brands include BOTOX by Allergan, Bocouture by Merz Pharmaceuticals and DISPORT by Ipsen Pharmaceuticals.
Where can Botox be used?
Botulinum toxin delivers highly effective results on frown lines, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet. It can also successfully be used to minimise lines above the lip; counter the downturning of the mouth; create the appearance of fuller lips and make the lip line appear more defined; minimise the appearance of large pores; even out uneven skin texture; and can even be used to prevent underarm sweating. I find that I am now doing a lot more lower face and neck Botox treatments as I want to balance the face and neck instead of having a frozen forehead and a sagging lower face and neck.
It is worth noting that over-use of Botox can cause muscle wasting and it is important to target ‘depressor’ muscles, ie the muscles that pull the face down, in order to create an uplifted face effect.
Can Botox be used for the eye area?
When the frown area is treated, it results in a brow lift, which has a taughtening effect on the skin around the eyes, thereby minimising crow’s feet. It is FDA approved for treatment of crow’s feet in the US.
Who gets Botox?
It’s good to use the treatment when you notice lines are present at rest, ie when you’re not expressive. Patients present to me normally in their early thirties. The age indication is 20+ but I wouldn’t recommend it doe anyone under the age of 25. It’s also not suitable for pregnancy, breastfeeding, neuro-muscular disorders, bleeding disorders, and hypersensitivity to any ingredient in Botox.
Any tips on choosing a practitioner/clinic?
It’s best to go with word of mouth recommendations from trusted family and friends, and to only opt for doctors who have many years’ experience in cosmetic dermatology.
What can I expect from a Botox treatment?
At The Dr Mulrooney Clinic we specialise in a very light treatment, which only takes a few minutes per site to complete (some patients may have more than one site treated, ie frown, lip and crow’s feet etc). The treatment is relatively painless as tiny acupuncture needles are used for injection. Mild redness and bumps in the treated areas may occur for 15-20 minutes post-procedure. Bruising is rare with this treatment and there is generally no downtime, so patients can have the treatment and return to normal activities straightaway.
When injected, botulinum toxin type A takes two weeks to reach its full effect. So we begin with a light treatment, with a complimentary top-up treatment in two weeks. This ensures that patients are followed up, and if more botulinum toxin is required it can be then injected. This allows us to stagger the dose between two sessions, rather than overdoing it in one session. Remember – less is more – as there is no antidote to Botox.
How long the results will last varies, as the intensity of muscle movement differs dramatically from patient to patient, as does their metabolic rate. Therefore an expressive patient with high metabolic rate tends to break down toxins more quickly.
To learn more or book a consult with the author, visit www.drmulrooney.com!