Muscle Relaxant Treatments - Botox
Muscle-relaxant injectables are used to treat moderate to severe lines associated with muscle activity. These are known as dynamic lines produced by dynamic movements. Botulinum Type A (for example Allergan’s Botox®) is an FDA approved treatment indicated for the glabellar complex (frown lines), lateral canthal lines (crow’s feet) and forehead lines.
Botox® was initially introduced in the medical world over two hundred years ago, and is now used to effectively treat excessive sweating, headaches, bladder control and squints. The work with Botox® and ophthalmology revealed a side effect; a reduction in the appearance of crow’s feet around the eyes and as a result is now licensed to use in aesthetics and remains the most popular non-surgical aesthetic treatment for both male and female patients in the UK.
How Does It Work?
Botox® is a naturally occurring protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. The toxin blocks the transition of chemical messages sent from the nerve to cause the muscle to contract. Without these messages, the muscle stays in a resting state until the ‘messengers’ recover. The physical effect is that movement in the area is temporarily reduced creating a softening effect on lines and wrinkles within the area treated. Over time the body creates new connections and movement will gradually be restored, effects last 3-4 months depending on the individual.
Licensed brands of Botulinum Toxin A include Botox®, Azzalure®, Bocouture®, Xeomin®, and Dysport®. All Botulinum Toxins are prescription only medicines (POM) and can only be prescribed by doctors, dentists, prescribing nurses and pharmacists with a prescribing qualification, following a face-to-face assessment and consultation with the qualified prescriber.
After treatment it is expected that you will start to see an improvement within 2 or 3 days. The full result may be judged at 2-3 weeks. You may be invited to attend a review appointment at 2-3 weeks where the success of the treatment may be assessed and adjustments to your personal treatment plan made, if necessary. You will be advised to keep the target muscles active for a few hours and to avoid extremes of heat or cold, vigorous exercise, lying down or leaning over for 4-6 hours.
It may not ‘completely freeze’ the expression, particularly if extreme effort is exerted to make an expression. Botox® is not suitable for lines present without expression (static lines); your practitioner will advise you further at your consultation. There may be only a partial reduction in movement this very much depends on the amount administered and location of product placement. This is not a one size fits all treatment and may be tailored to suit your individual requirements and expected treatment outcomes – discuss this with your clinician at the time of consultation.
Am I Suitable For Treatment?
Your practitioner will take a detailed medical history and an assessment of your needs and expectations to ensure this is an appropriate treatment for you. Botox® is a prescription only medicine. This means that you MUST * have a face-to-face consultation with a licensed prescriber to assess whether you are suitable for treatment. * This MUST be with a doctor, nurse prescriber, dentist, or a prescribing pharmacist.
- Except in exceptional circumstances this is not a treatment recommended for those under 25 or over 65.
- For best results skin should be in good condition and the target lines not too furrowed. Your practitioner will assess your suitability and advise.
- Botox® cannot be given to pregnant or breast-feeding women.
- Not suitable for patients with certain neurological disorders.
- Not suitable if you are currently taking certain medicines.
- If you have previously experienced adverse reactions to any Botulinum Toxin treatment.
With any injectable treatment:
- Treatment is not recommended if you are suffering from any skin infection in or near the treatment area or are unwell in any way (even a cold).
- If you are taking any medicines which affect bleeding, such as aspirin or warfarin.
- If you are currently or have recently completed a course of Roaccutane (acne treatment) in the last 18 months.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are planning to attend a special event when a bruise, should it occur, would be unacceptable to you.
- If you are planning to attend an important event and any adverse event described would be unacceptable to you, discuss with your clinician in advance of having treatment.
- Some over the counter medicines and supplements can also affect bleeding (make you more prone to bruising) as can alcohol, which should be avoided the day before and after treatment.
- Vigorous exercise, sun exposure, sun beds, sauna should be avoided for 48 hours, or as advised by your clinician, after treatment.
Is It Safe?
All treatments carry a degree of risk. All risks and complications will be discussed with you at consultation and prior to any treatment being agreed. Botox® should be administered by a healthcare professional with specialist training. Side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Swelling at injection sites
- Redness at injection sites
- Asymmetry of expression
- Drooping of the brow, or eyelid
- Headache or a sensation of ‘tightness’ or ‘heaviness’
Adverse events are uncommon, usually occur within a few days of treatment and are expected to be temporary, usually resolving spontaneously within weeks. Your practitioner will provide aftercare advice designed to minimise risk and promote speedy recovery from any expected side effects.
Does It Hurt?
A very fine needle is used and generally this treatment is not painful and can be well tolerated with no anaesthetic. Ice may be helpful in numbing the skin for nervous patients as well as reducing the risk of a bruise.
How Long Will It Last?
Results tend to last 3-4 months; movement will begin recovering from 8 weeks. Frequent treatment at intervals of less than 3 months is NOT recommended.
For further information or to book a consultation please contact Karen Hunter Aesthetics –