Botox® is the trade name for Botulinum toxin, produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Botox acts by blocking acetylcholine, a chemical that is responsible for transmitting electrical impulses that cause muscle contraction. This results in temporary muscle paralysis. Botox was first used in 1978 to weaken over active muscles in the eye, which means that we have follow up for over 30 years. It can also be used to prevent and treat wrinkles, migraines and hyperhidrosis (excess sweating).

Botox is injected directly into the muscles that cause the wrinkles, using a very small needle. Several injections are usually needed at specific sites, depending on the area treated. When used to treat excessive sweating in the armpits, Botox is injected into the armpit skin. A slight sting and bruise can occur, as with any injection. Normal activities can be resumed immediately.

The use of Botox is contraindicated in people with neuromuscular disorders (such as myasthenia gravis), those who are taking certain muscle relaxants and antibiotics (such as aminoglycosides) and pregnant or breast-feeding women.

No severe complications after cosmetic use of Botox have been reported in the literature. Very rarely excessive weakening of the target muscles and paresis of adjacent muscles can occur, resulting in facial weakness. This will resolve itself with time. When injecting above the eyebrows, a small degree of upper eyelid drooping may occur. This can be corrected with a further injection or eye-drops, but will also improve as the effects of the Botox wears off.

All the risks will be discussed in detail at your consultation. However, if you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to discuss these with me. Decisions about cosmetic surgery should never be rushed.

Botox usually takes effect 24-72 hours after injection, with maximum effect at about 1 to 2 weeks. Its effects generally last for approximately 3-4 months.

When injected into the muscles that are responsible for expression wrinkles, it gives the face a more relaxed and smoother appearance. Sometimes longer lasting effects (9-12 months) are seen after treatment of excessive sweating. When a gradual fading of treatment effect is noticed you may return to have another treatment.

Anne Dancey

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or require a little more information then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Anne Dancey

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon FRCS(Plast), MBChB(Hons), MMedSci(Hons) and MCh(PASP)