How does ‘Botox’ paralyse your muscle? Find out how it works…
Botulinum toxin injections are top of the list for most popular non-invasive and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Why? Because they can be used to virtually wipe away those dreaded forehead wrinkles, or deep crow’s feet lines, which often develop with age.
What is botulinum toxin?
Firstly, you need to know that much like Hoovers, which are regularly used to describe any type of vacuum cleaner, Botox is a brand name for botulinum toxin type A. Other brands available in the UK include Azzalure and Bocouture.
Botulinum toxin (simply known as toxin to medics) is actually one of the most poisonous biological substances known! But don’t worry, the toxin injected for concerns such as facial wrinkles is administered at significantly lower doses so is not lethal to the body.
Toxin is injected directly into the muscles by a medical professional using a needle. In simple terms, toxin works by stopping your nerves from letting your muscles contract, causing muscle paralysis for a short time. Without muscle contraction, wrinkles can’t form as easily which results in lovely smooth skin!
A huge misconception is that toxin is the same as dermal fillers, but they are completely different! Your medical practitioner will know what treatment is best for your individual concerns.
What results can be achieved with botulinum toxin?
Once the toxin is injected, it will take around four to seven days for the treatment to take full effect.
At this time, you may notice that you might not be able to move the muscles in the area that has been treated.
For example, if you were to have your glabellar lines treated (the lines between the brows is a huge concern for many) then you will find that you cannot frown as you normally would. This will not only help your dynamic wrinkles (the wrinkles you get when you move your muscles) but will also help your static wrinkles (the types of wrinkles that are set in place without expression).
There is also a huge scope for botulinum toxin to work in helping to prevent ageing, if people also follow other good lifestyle habits such as diet, not smoking and wearing daily SPF.
Toxin can benefit women and men of all skin colours and results will usually last around three months. After this, you can either choose to get the treatment again, or wait some time in-between treatments.
Botulinum toxin can help to improve: frown lines, forehead lines, crow’s feet, neck lines, jaw definition, as well as conditions like excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), migraines, bruxism, an overactive bladder, squinting eyes, severe neck spasms, and more!
What are the risks of botulinum toxin?
Toxin injections are generally well-tolerated and side effects are rare. Your medical practitioner should always clearly explain the potential risks to you before your treatment, and you must sign that you acknowledge these risks and consent to receiving the treatment.
The side effects of botulinum toxin may include: undesired aesthetic result, asymmetry, allergy, injection site pain, eyelid drooping, muscular weakness, flu-like symptoms, infection, itching, headaches or excessive or unwanted weakness.
A highly trained medical practitioner will know how to limit the risk and prevent botulinum toxin complications. You should always contact your injector if you become aware of any side effects of complications.
Who can perform botulinum toxin injections?
In the UK, the unregulated market means that it is legally allowed for virtually anyone to inject botulinum toxin after just a short day of training! However, it’s important to remember that all toxin brands (Botox, Azzalure and Bocouture) are classified as ‘drugs’. This means that they are only available via a prescription from a suitably-qualified medical professional with a prescribing license (such as a registered doctor, prescribing nurse, dentist or prescribing pharmacist).
Practitioners who are not prescribers are forbidden to inject toxin if their patient has not had a face-to-face consultation with a registered prescriber.
At Beauty Uncovered, we only endorse medical professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists) who have valid insurance and are registered and regulated by the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Dental Council or the General Pharmaceutical Council to inject botulinum toxin.
To learn more about the reputable organisations in aesthetics that can help you choose a medical practitioner, click here.
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