Botox FAQ’s – find out everything you need to know about Botox from HL Cosmetics
Muscle relaxants, otherwise known as the brand name Botox are talked about so much in our current world and more and more people are taking the step and having them. Before you have Botox or any muscle relaxing injections you should find out everything you can and our Botox FAQ’s will help you understand the benefits and the risks to help you decide if you want to go ahead as well as how to choose which clinic you go to.
What is Botox?
Botox is the brand name of a specific botulinum neurotoxin. Botulinum toxin is used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles. People also use Botox to treat excessive sweating, migraines, muscular stiffness/spasms or movement disorders, some bladder and bowel disorders, eye disorders such as crossed eyes (strabismus) and uncontrolled blinking (blepharospasm).
Botox is a brand of a prescribed drug prepared from botulin. Botulin is an organism found in the natural environment and is largely inactive and non-toxic. Botulinum neurotoxin is a complex substance produced by bacteria.
Botulinum toxin is an organism that has been known about for over 100 years and it has been used for medical purposes for more than 50 of these. Botulin was medically approved in 2002 for improving and relaxing frown lines in the area between and around the eyes and the forehead and has been used successfully for more than over 11 million people since that time. Botox was also approved for medical use for excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) in 2004, and in 2010 for the treatment of migraine headaches.
There are several brands of muscles relaxants on the market, always ask which one will be used and do your research beforehand to check they have been medically researched, tested and officially signed off before you book your procedure.
Where did Botox originate from?
Clostridium botulinum was first discovered following a botulism outbreak in Belgium when a scientist called Emile Pierre van Ermengem was testing the effects of botulinum toxin on monkeys. This was when researchers noticed that the botulinum toxin had reduced wrinkles in the glabella (the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose).
By the 1920s, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, first tried to isolate the botulinum toxin, however, it took 20 years before the botulinum toxin was finally isolated in crystalline form by Dr Edward Schantz. In the 1970s, scientists started using botulinum toxin to treat strabismus (i.e.crossed eyes). After botulinum toxin proved successful in the treatment of strabismus, Allergan licensed the treatment and branded it Botox. Subsequently, Botox received FDA approval for a variety of medical and cosmetic uses.
Botox Injection Therapy is a highly purified form of botulinum toxin Type A, which is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.
What does Botox do?
After the muscle relaxant is injected into the area, the botulinum toxin (muscle relaxant) blocks the signals from the nerves to the muscles by suffusing the nerve terminal and binding it which then prevents the release of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Without acetylcholine, the muscle activity stops in the area it has been injected into and the temporary paralysis smoothes the lines and wrinkles and stops spasms.
Botulinum toxin also interferes with the release of pain and inflammatory mediators including substance P and glutamine, which is why it is used to treat migraines, muscular stiffness, spasms and movement disorders.
Why is it called Botox?
Botox is the brand name of a specific botulinum neurotoxin.
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis. Infection with the bacterium causes the disease botulism.
Botulinum toxin is used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles. People also use Botox to treat excessive sweating, migraines, muscular disorders, and some bladder and bowel disorders.
Botulinum toxin is also used to treat certain eye disorders such as crossed eyes (strabismus) and uncontrolled blinking (blepharospasm), to treat muscle stiffness/spasms or movement disorders (such as cervical dystonia, torticollis), and to reduce the cosmetic appearance of wrinkles.
After botulinum toxin proved successful in the treatment of strabismus, Allergan licensed the treatment and branded it Botox. Subsequently, Botox received FDA approval for a variety of medical and cosmetic uses. Botox Injection Therapy is a highly purified form of botulinum toxin Type A, which is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.
How does Botox get rid of fine lines and wrinkles?
In simple terms, when injected the Botox (Muscle Relaxant) blocks the signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can then no longer contract which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. Muscle relaxants are now used most often for forehead lines, frown lines and crow’s feet (lines around the eye). Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond as well to muscle relaxant injections.
What size are the needles for Botox?
The needles used when injecting a muscle relaxant are really tiny and thin and normally just 0.5mm in width so you will hardly feel them when the procedure is taking place. The area the muscle relaxant is being injected into can be numbed with a topical anaesthetic cream 20 minutes beforehand to help prevent any discomfort if needed.
Does it hurt having Botox?
Any injection can hurt and the area being focused on can be numbed with a topical anaesthetic cream 20 minutes beforehand to help prevent any discomfort. The needles used for muscle relaxant injections are very small, just 0.5mm so even without the topical anaesthetic cream the pain and discomfort are minimal.
Is Botox safe for your face?
Yes, Botox and other muscle relaxants are safe to use on the face and other areas of the body as well as using it in the long term. As an example, after botulinum toxin proved successful in the treatment of strabismus, Allergan licensed the treatment and branded it Botox and they received FDA approval for a variety of medical and cosmetic uses as did other muscle relaxant brands.
How quickly do you see the effects of Botox?
You can see the effect of muscle relaxants almost immediately after your treatment and the results will continue to improve for 1-2 weeks after your procedure.
How long does Botox take to work?
You will see the full effects after 1-2 weeks but you will start to a change as soon as the injections have been done.
How long does Botox last?
The effects of Botox will last anything from 3-6 months and this is dependent on the person, the average time is 4 months. As the muscle relaxant fades the muscle action gradually returns and the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear, this is when you should treat them again. The lines and wrinkles will seem less severe as they return after a few treatments as the muscles will shrink each time.
How often can you have Botox?
You can have muscle relaxants as often as you want in different areas of your face and body. The effects of muscle relaxants will last anything from 3-6 months, therefore, it is recommended that you only have a treatment once every 3-6 months in the same area. The facial muscles begin to train themselves to contract less and the more treatments you have over time reduces the time between your treatments.
What part of the body can you have Botox?
Frown Lines – Frown lines are the two vertical lines between your eyebrows which can be reduced having muscled relaxant injections in the area
Forehead Lines – Muscle relaxant injections can smooth the frown or laughter induced lines that create the horizontal creases along your forehead
Bunny Lines – Muscle relaxants help to relax the nasal muscles existing lines as well as stop new creases from occurring
Eyebrow Shaping – Muscle relaxants will raise your eyebrows when injected in the right area and can give you a beautiful and flattering arch to your eyebrows
Crows Feet – Muscle relaxants reduce the appearance of the noticeable lines on the side of your eyes that can be tiny and just starting to form, or more noticeable after years of sun exposure
Lip Lines – Muscle relaxants eliminate lipstick lines or smoker’s lines which are the little vertical lines that form on the lips as we age
Marionette Lines & Sad Smile – describes the lines that run from the corners of the mouth downward which often worsen as we age. Muscle relaxants will help to reduce these
Dimpled Chin – Chin muscles that pull too hard can result in small irregularities known as a dimpled chin. If the chin muscle is treated with a muscle relaxant the muscles will relax and many of the irregularities and small dimples disappear
Platysmal Bands – Platysmal Bands are the lines that form around the bottom of your jaw and neck. Muscle relaxants can be injected into several locations along the lower jaw and into the neck which reduces the downward pull
Muscle relaxants can be injected into other areas of the body to treat other symptoms such as; over-sweating of armpits or back, to reduce muscle stiffness and pain as well as reducing migraines
What are the benefits of Botox?
- A softened appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Improved skin tone
- Fresher and younger looking skin
- It is a non-surgical and non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require hospital admission or stay
- The treatment lasts just minutes
- Immediate results
- No anaesthetic
- No visible and lengthy recovery time
- No scaring
- The results can last anything from 3 to 6 months
- The treatment can be repeated in the same area after a few months
- The procedure can be carried out on multiple areas during the same treatment
- You can go back to your normal activities immediately after your treatment and because of this, it is commonly known as a “lunchtime” procedure.
What are the risks of Botox?
Muscle relaxant side effects are rare but can include; pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising. Some of these symptoms can indicate an allergic reaction so you should always consult with your doctor or clinician if you experience any of these.
Is Botox bad for you long term?
Although botulinum toxin is life-threatening if given in large doses, small doses as the ones you have in the application of muscle relaxants are safe and have been signed off medically worldwide. Botulin was medically approved in 2002 for improving and relaxing frown lines in the area between and around the eyes and the forehead and has been used successfully for more than over 11 million people since that time. Botox was also approved for medical use for excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) in 2004, and in 2010 for the treatment of migraine headaches.
Botox injections are safe when performed by an experienced clinician or doctor.
How often do you need Botox?
Muscle relaxants can last anything between 3 and 6 months so to maintain a line and wrinkle-free looking you should have another treatment as the lines and wrinkle reappear. Studies have shown that after two years of treatment you can maintain a good result with less frequent treatments.
Can you stop Botox once you start?
You can stop having muscles relaxants at any time but be aware that when you do the fine lines and wrinkles will reappear as it is a temporary procedure.
What should you do after Botox?
- Leave the area where the muscle relaxant has been injected and try not to touch it for the first 24 hours
- Avoid excessively rubbing the area for up to a week
- Avoid physical activity for a couple of days after
- Avoid consuming alcohol for a couple of days after
- Avoid facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion for 24 hours.
- Avoid taking the blood thinning medication for a week before and after your treatment
- Use arnica in the injection area before and after your treatment as this will reduce the likelihood of you bruising
- Go back for touch-ups if you need to or if you are not satisfied with your results
- Speak to your doctor or clinician or seek medical attention if you experience any side effects or complications from the treatment
Is there any medication I cannot take before having Botox?
Muscle relaxants cannot be carried out if you are taking antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or some other medication, therefore, it is really important you let your doctor or clinician know everything you are and have been taking previously.
What are the side effects of Botox?
Potential muscle relaxant side effects can include; pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising. Some of these symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction so you should speak to your doctor or clinician or seek medical attention if you are concerned.
What should you think about when you are deciding whether to have Botox?
- Although a muscle relaxant treatment is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment it should not be taken lightly and you should always go to a medically trained cosmetic doctor or clinician
- Always do your research carefully and go to a clinic or to someone who has been recommended to you if you can
- You should ensure the doctor or clinic you choose is fully trained, qualified and has the experience of carrying out muscle relaxant procedures
- You should be offered a free, no-obligation consultation and feel under no pressure to go ahead with the treatment until you have had time to consider if it is for you
- During your consultation, the doctor should review your full medical history and any medication you are taking as muscle relaxants cannot be carried out if you are taking antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or some other medication, therefore, it is really important you let them know everything you are and have been taking
- You should have an opportunity to discuss your concerns and the areas you want to focus on
- They should explain the results you will see, any side effects and any risks so you are really clear about the procedure. It is also a good idea to ask them to show you before and after photos of their work
- After your consultation, go online to look for reviews for the doctor or clinic you are considering and always search their name, clinic or business name as well as looking at their website
- Check they have public liability insurance
- If you felt comfortable with the person who you have had your consultation with and you have researched them and the clinic they work in then, and only then should you book to have your treatment done.
What should you do before you have Botox?
A week before and after you have muscle relaxant injections you should stop taking: aspirin, ibuprofen, Excedrin, Motrin, ginkgo, ginseng, flax oil, cod liver oil, fish oil, vitamin A, vitamin E and other essential fatty acids. Also, avoid drinking alcohol.
For your safety, tell your doctor as much about your medical history as possible so they can determine if a muscle relaxant treatment is safe for you to have.
- Any medication, supplements, herbs, etc. you are taking
- Any allergies you have
- If you have any medical conditions, illnesses, or diseases
- If you have had any medical procedures before (recent botox, fillers, surgery and other treatments)
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive
If you have never had a muscle relaxant treatment before most doctors and clinicians will be conservative with the amount they inject to see how you react to it so remember it can always be topped up at a later date.
Make sure both you and doctor/clinician are clear about the areas you want to treat and the result you are looking for
Have realistic expectations about what muscle relaxants can do. Always remember muscles relaxants will not remove deep lines and wrinkles but they may improve them.
Make a list of questions you want to ask at your consultation and this way you won’t forget anything. Ask how much the treatment will cost, how many units of muscle relaxant you will need, how long they have been giving muscle relaxant injections and will they be the one doing them. If they don’t tell you, then ask about side effects, risks, and how you should take care of your skin before and after. This should be part of every consultation so if it isn’t discussed by them you may want to consider if they are right for you.
Who should you have Botox with?
A reputable and experienced muscle relaxant doctor or clinician. You may be better off getting fillers instead of Botox for certain wrinkles on your face, so always make sure you and your doctor discuss the best procedure for your skin concerns.
What is the difference between Botox and Fillers
Facial fillers are also known as dermal fillers and they are also used to prevent or eliminate signs of ageing.
Muscle Relaxants: Freeze muscles to stop creases and wrinkles caused by facial expressions
Dermal fillers: Hyaluronic acid and similar substances “fill in” or plump areas that have lost volume and smoothness over time
About HL Cosmetics
Dr Natalya Quandt is a practising Cosmetologist and has been working in the beauty industry for over 15 years providing exceptional and safe non-surgical beauty treatments.
Dr Quandt has a huge amount of experience in muscle relaxant treatments and will be able to advise you if they will give you the results you are looking for and how. She offers free, no obligation consultations and will listen to the areas you want to focus on and offer you the appropriate non-surgical treatments, explaining the benefits and any risks you need to consider. She will discuss your medical history with you to ensure the treatment she advises is suitable for you and explains if you need to do anything prior to and after your treatment.
The products utilised for muscle relaxing can vary and Dr Quandt uses safe, tested and reliable products such as; Dysport, Botox and Xeomin. If you are looking for Botox, a non-surgical facelift, dermal fillers or thread lifts give her a call on 07557 237480 and she will be happy to answer any questions you may have and book your consultation. Dr Quandt is based in Bristol and also works in Bath and London.