What is Botox™?

Botox™ is the trade name for Botulinum toxin type A, which is derived from the bacterium called clostridium botulinum. When used for cosmetic purposes, Botox™ is injected into the facial muscles where it blocks transmission between the nerve endings and muscles. This relaxes these specific muscles causing a "smoothing out" of established lines and wrinkles.

Botox™ is the ideal treatment for problem areas of the upper half of the face, including:

  • crows feet around the eyes
  • frown lines between the eyes
  • forehead creases

Botox™ is increasingly used to help prevent lines from forming.

How does it work?

A series of tiny injections are made in the areas to be treated. They are extremely small needles and are hardly noticeable so no anaesthetic is required. Afterwards, there will be some tiny red marks at the injection sites but these should settle within the hour. The effects usually start to become apparent after 3 to 4 days but it can take 7 to 10 days for the full effect to be seen.

Most people find that the injections last between 2 to 4 months, sometimes as long as 6 months. There is a gradual fading of its effect, at which time you may decide to book in for further treatments. It is recommended to have repeat injections every 3 months for the first year and then the effects tend to last longer, so treatments may only be required 4 to 6 monthly in subsequent years.

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Are there any side-effects?

Botox™ has been used successfully for many years and is considered to be extremely safe. Possible side-effects are usually mild and short-lived but can in some cases include:

  • redness at the injection site
  • bruising around the injection site
  • headache for a few hours
  • occasional flu-like symptoms
  • temporary eye-lid droop (ptosis) in 1-2% of patients but this can be corrected with eye drops.

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Is it right for me?

You should not have treatment with Botox™ if you:

  • are pregnant, think you could be pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • are allergic to any of the ingredients (human albumin, Botox™)
  • have a neurological disorder such as myasthenia gravis
  • are taking certain drugs that can interfere with neuro-muscular transmissions eg. aminoglycoside antibiotics, quinidine
  • have an infection at the injection site

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How much does it cost?

The cost of treatment depends on how much Botox™ is needed and how many areas are injected. Treatments start at:

  • £200 for 1 site
  • £250 for 2 sites
  • £300 for all three areas

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