The Questions to Ask About Botox

28 August 2015

By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

Botox, image courtesy of guy_with_the_camera via FlickrBotulinum Toxin A, also known as Botox, is a hugely popular cosmetic procedure; it is non-invasive and produces fantastic results that last a significant amount of time. Used primarily to smooth wrinkles and reduce additional wrinkles from appearing, Botox is a popular procedure for those patients seeking more youthful, vibrant skin. Today, I'll be answering some commonly-asked questions about Botox to help you decide whether or not the aesthetic procedure is right for you.

Who should I trust?

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the unregulated nature of the cosmetic surgery industry, more and more people are going to cut-price plastic surgery clinics and suffering as a result. If you decide to have Botox - or any other cosmetic procedure for that matter -you should be sure that your cosmetic surgeon is a fully qualified doctor. As a member of the General Medical Council and a German Board Certified plastic surgeon, I have global experience in the field of plastic surgery. So, for London-based plastic surgery, I’m a surgeon that you can certainly trust.

What does a Botox procedure involve?

A thin needle is injected into contracting muscles which cause wrinkles by their movement. The injection relaxes the facial muscles, and wrinkle formation is decreased due to the reduction of skin movement; existing wrinkles are also smoothed.

A Botox procedure is very simply, and applications only take around a few minutes. As a result, Botox injections are typically performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you’re free to leave the hospital or clinic as soon as the procedure is finished.

What are the potential complications and side-effects of Botox?

Botox injections have been performed successfully for over two decades and, performed under professional conditions, (as it would be, here at Harley Street Aesthetics) the application of Botox is straightforward and usually free of complications, however there are slight risks that you should be aware of:

·         Adjacent nerves and blood vessels will be injured after a Botox injection (as with all injections), therefore, you may see small bruises under the skin which heal of their own accord;

·         You may experience temporary numbness or painful skin;

·         Infection is possible at the site of the injection;

·         There may be a temporary weakening of the muscles surrounding the injection area;

·         In rare cases, you may also suffer a mild allergic reaction which could lead to swelling, itching or skin rash.

All of these complications are usually temporary and are mild inconveniences at most. However, the consequences of getting the procedure performed by an unlicensed surgeon could be much more permanent and dangerous!

How long does Botox last?

Once you’ve had the treatment, you should begin noticing results after a few days, usually within a week. One of the main reasons Botox is such a popular treatment is its quick procedure time and how long its results last: usually between 3 and 6 months.

What else can Botox be used for?

Though Botox is primarily used for the reduction of wrinkles, it has several other practical applications.

Sweating

If you are embarrassed by overactive sweat glands, also known as hyperhidrosis, this problem can be solved by a Botox injection into the affected area, usually the armpits, hands or feet. Rather than redirect the sweat flow, or cause a backup, Botox blocks chemical signals from the nerves that trigger sweat glands; this treatment is particularly effective for people who suffer from excessive sweating in the armpit area(s).

Depression

Yes, Botox has internal benefits along with aesthetic benefits! In a 2013 study, it was demonstrated that subjects injected with Botox saw a 47% reduction in their MADRS (Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale) scores compared to those who were exposed to a placebo, who only saw a 21% reduction. It has been suggested that this is because of a link between facial expressions and mood; by being unable to frown, the patients’ moods were boosted. 

Asthma

Though inhalers are enough for most asthma sufferers, those with chronic asthma may not find them as effective. In a recent study, sufferers of chronic asthma had Botox injected into their vocal cords, resulting in them being better able to control their breathing. Even though Botox hasn’t been fully proven to help asthma suffers, initial trials are proving successful, reinforcing the message that Botox has far more uses than just smoothing out wrinkles.

If you have any further questions about Botox, please visit my Botox page. If you feel that Botox is the right procedure for you, please contact me today to arrange a consultation, or for further information on any of the procedures I perform, visit the procedures page.

Question?

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