Botox® is a purified protein that is isolated from a microorganism botulinum toxin type A. Many of the most important drugs we use today such as antibiotics were first isolated from microorganisms e.g. penicillin. It is manufactured in sterile laboratory conditions and sold as a finished prescription medical product.
In order for a muscle to contract it requires a nerve signal. Botox® blocks this signal at the junction between a nerve and a muscle. Botox® relaxes the muscles underneath the skin that cause undesirable wrinkles.
Facial wrinkles occur as we continually use our muscle to make repeated facial expressions. Botox®relaxes the tiny facial muscles that cause expression lines, leaving the overlying skin smooth and unwrinkled. Once the muscle is relaxed, you cannot contract it. Thus, the lines gradually smooth out from disuse and new creases are prevented from forming
Your doctor will determine exactly where to use Botox® to achieve the best results. No anaesthetic is required, although your doctor may use ice before injecting. Treatment takes around 10 minutes.
A small amount of Botox® is injected into selected facial muscles using a very fine needle. The discomfort is described as an ant bite sting for a few seconds. It takes 2-3 days for Botox® to begin taking effect and around 7-10 days to see the full effect. Your facial expressions will become softer and fresher, giving a more relaxed appearance.
Botox® lasts for up to four months, depending on the individual and will wear off gradually with expression lines returning slowly. Repeat injections 2-3 times a year will help maintain the look. Studies show that with repeat Botox® treatment, the effect can last longer, so you may require less frequent treatment in the future to maintain the result you have come to like.
In New Zealand Botox® is registered for use in the treatment of upper facial lines which include crow’s feet (which appear around the eyes and deepen on smiling), frown lines (which appear between the eyebrows) & forehead lines. These are the most common areas for treatment. Botox® is also registered for the treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Other areas can also be treated as assessed and discussed by the doctor. If you choose not to continue treatments your lines will gradually revert to their pre-treatment appearance. This may take 6 to 12 months.
Normal daily activities can be resumed immediately after Botox® injections as long as an upright position is maintained. However, you should not workout for 4 to 5 hours after your treatment. We recommend you avoid facials or massages for at least 5 days after treatment.
Botox® manufactured by Allergan, has a very good track record of safety in over 20 years of clinical use including cosmetic use and use in children with cerebral palsy to release tight muscles, blepharospasm (facial tics) and a wide range of other uses.
The most common side effects are temporary and localized to the area of injection. These include soreness or mild bruising, (which can be easily covered with makeup), headache and less commonly, you may develop a heavy eyelid lasting 1-4 weeks which your doctor may be able to treat. There have been no permanent side effects of Botox® reported.
Botox® is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding or for patients with neuromuscular disease. We discuss all the risks in detail during the consultation process.
Botox® is quite affordable. The cost is comparable to other appearance related investments such as facials, hair colouring and wrinkle creams. It is important to beware of “bargain Botox®” offers. If the price seems much cheaper it is likely that Botox® is not being used, or the Botox® dose is too low or the product has been diluted to give a weaker effect that may not last as long.
The cost depends on the amount administered and this can vary according to gender, strength of facial muscles treated, the degree of wrinkling and the effect of previous treatments. Our doctors will be able to advise you of the exact cost only at the time of the consultation, as each person requirements are different. As a guide, females will require about 12 to 30 units for the treatment of crow’s feet, and 20 to 30 units for frown lines, and from 5 to 20 units for the treatment of forehead lines. Males usually require larger doses than females – sometimes up to double the amount. The average price to have frown lines treated with 20u of Botox® is $400 per session.
Our doctors specialise in Botox® therapy and have extensive experience in its use to create natural looking results. At the initial consultation, our doctors encourage you to advise them of your aesthetic goals and use our expertise to help you achieve your desired outcome. As part of our service, we offer a free checkup two weeks after your treatment, to see if any additional top-ups are required.
Botox® is a prescription medicine for the treatment of frown lines , horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet round the eyes. Botox® has risks and benefits.Ask your doctor if Botox is right for you. If you have side effects, see your doctor. You will need to pay for Botox® and clinic fees will apply.For details on precautions & side effects consult your healthcare professional or the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) at www.medsafe.govt.nz .Botox® treatment lasts about 4 months and further courses of treatment may be necessary.Should only be administered by trained medical professionals.(contains botulinum toxin A 50,100 & 200 units) Allergan (NZ) Limited, Auckland.