Botulinum treatments are a common way to reduce signs of ageing, specifically lines and wrinkles. The most well-known form is probably Botox. Available in a simple injection, it is a less invasive alternative to surgery.
There are eight types of botulinum toxin. They are labelled from A-H and only the first two are used in medicine. As well as its cosmetic use, botulinum toxin can be used to treat muscle spasms. Most cosmetic treatments are for the head and neck area when a very fine needle is used to inject botulinum toxin. This toxin relaxes the facial muscles.
Specific treatment areas include:
Forehead – Wrinkles and frown lines on the forehead can easily be smoothed with Azzalure or Botox. As one of the most straightforward procedures, it can be done relatively quickly. You could even fit it within a lunch hour.
Brow lift – If your eyebrows are uneven or you just want to lift the brows, an injection of botulinum toxin can help.
Crows feet – Crows feet are lines around the eye. This is a sensitive area of the body, but advanced techniques make the application of botulinum toxin safe and painless.
Face slimming – A square jaw – sometimes caused by teeth-grinding – can make a face look more masculine. Botulinum toxin can reduce the size of the masseter muscles that cause this square look. It can also be used to reduce pain in these areas.
Marionette lines – Marionette lines run down from the corners of the mouth. They can be treated with botulinum toxin, though sometimes this needs to be combined with a dermal filler for the best results.
Lower face – Lines on the lips (often caused by smoking), dimples in the chin and sagging jowls can all be treated with botulinum toxin.
Neck – Botulinum toxin can smooth longitudinal platysma bands from the neck.
Excess sweat – One of the safest and most efficient ways to treat excessive sweating is to apply botulinum toxin just under the skin of the affected areas. This could include décolletage (upper part of the torso, including neck and shoulders) armpits, hands and lower back.
Most botulinum treatments take 7-14 days to show full effectiveness. After 4-6 months, the muscles will return to their original form. To repeat the effect, you can have the same injections again.
There are some risks associated with botulinum toxin. Most notably, if the wrong muscles are injected or if the botulinum spreads unintendedly, it can cause some drooping in other parts of the face. This effect is usually only temporary. There can also be some bruising at the site of the injection. You may have a headache or other flu-like symptoms during the first 24 hours after treatment. Serious problems are rare.
Treatment with botulinum toxin does have its limitations and side effects. However, it can be a simple and safe way to reduce signs of ageing in the face. If you are looking for an alternative to surgery, it is an option to consider carefully.