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Is Botox safe?

Botox has an outstanding reputation for reducing the appearance of frown lines and wrinkles and is used worldwide by women and men to achieve a healthier, more youthful appearance. It also has a wide range of medical applications.

But are there risks involved? Is it safe? We asked Dr Tim Beazleigh MBChB, BMSc, MLCOM, our lead medical practitioner, for his view on the use of Botox.

What is Botox?

Botox injections are made up of purified proteins derived from the Clostridium Botulinum Bacterium. Botox is a prescription-only medicine and therefore can only be administered by trained healthcare professionals.

How does it work?

The Botox proteins temporarily reduce the activity of muscles in the treated areas. They do this by blocking signals from reaching the nerves in the muscles, so they no longer contract.

The procedure only takes a few minutes and no anaesthetic is required. The results are usually noticeable within three days.

Botox is eventually broken down by the body (hence its effects only last for three to four months).

What is it used for?

We all know about Botox’s use to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. However there are a huge number of other medical applications of Botox, many of which are now available through the NHS. These are just some of the conditions which Botox can be used to treat:

  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Masseter jaw
  • Migraine
  • Eye conditions including crossed eyes and excessive blinking
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Muscle spasms, including those caused by MS
  • Tennis elbow
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Essential tremor

Who can have Botox?

Most people can have Botox, however we recommend avoiding Botox if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, as there has not been sufficient research into the possible effects on the baby.

You should also discuss any underlying medical conditions and any medication you are taking with your practitioner before you receive treatment.

Before any Botox procedure at Melior Clinics you will receive a free consultation to ensure that the treatment is right for you. We will discuss your medical history and the results you’re hoping for. If Botox isn’t right for you then we’ll recommend alternatives.

Who can administer Botox?

Any authorised consultant can administer Botox for cosmetic purposes. However we recommend that you only receive treatment from qualified dermatologists, plastic surgeons or physicians who specialise in non-surgical aesthetic treatments. Always ensure you have a face to face consultation before agreeing to treatment (this is a regulatory requirement) and ask your practitioner about the aftercare offered. This will ensure safer treatment with better results.

At Melior Clinics your treatment will always be administered by fully trained doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners, all of whom have tried the treatment for themselves, so they combine medical expertise with a real understanding of the patient’s experience.

What are the possible side effects of Botox?

You may experience a small amount of redness or bruising at the site of the injection and a few people have flu-like symptoms, including a headache, for the first 24 hours after treatment.

When used for facial lines and wrinkles, occasionally the treatment can cause a temporary drooping of facial features near the area treated, for example your eyelids if the Botox injection was to treat crow’s feet. If this happens you should speak to the practitioner who administered the Botox for assistance.

In very rare cases more serious problems can occur such as blurred/double vision and breathing difficulties. These cases are often associated with patients who have a pre-existing medical condition. If you experience these then you should seek immediate medical attention.

We provide every Botox patient with a free post-treatment review to discuss how the treatment went and ensure that the desired results have been achieved.

So, is Botox safe?

Any medication has risks, but Botox is very safe. So long as you use a suitably experienced and qualified practitioner, and ensure that you have a full discussion of your medical history prior to treatment, then the risks of using Botox are very small indeed.

If you would like to discuss how Botox could help you reduce wrinkles, manage hyperhidrosis, treat migraines or improve masseter jaw then please book in for a free consultation.