Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment
Botulinum toxin is not only the most popular medical aesthetic treatment but also one of the most useful medications to be introduced in recent years. Botox® can stop some of the chemical messages that are sent from nerves to the muscles, preventing them from tightening up.
In the 1980s, Botox® was used in ophthalmology for squint correction and spastic eyelid disorders. Even today, the toxin is still the most effective treatment available for blepharospasm.
How does Botox® help facial appearance?
Tightening of muscles underlying the skin can form wrinkles. Botulinum toxin can relax facial muscles and therefore flatten the skin on the face. It is used to eliminate worry and frown lines, “crow’s feet,” laugh lines and other wrinkles on the eyelids, nose or lip. Botulinum toxin has been very popular as an aesthetic treatment for rejuvenation of the face. The ease of application, high safety profile and impressive results has led to its rapid acceptance by many doctors.
How can this help me?
A naturally occurring substance, Botox® causes muscle relaxation, typically lasting three to four months. In high doses, however, Botox® will weaken muscles substantially and can even be fatal. In lower doses, relaxation and weakening are subtle, and the use of the toxin is safe. Given its relaxing effects, Botox® can improve frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes, horizontal lines in the forehead, and eyebrow height and shape. Additionally, Botox® can be used to treat vertical lip lines, down-turn at the lips and twitching or spasm of the eyelids, cheeks and face.
How is the Botox® injection given?
Botox® is injected into the muscle with a very small needle in a small amount. Sedative or local anaesthetic is not used due to the minimal pain associated with the procedure. Numbing cream can be applied 45 minutes before the procedure to decrease the sensation if the patient has time.
Typically, when we start a patient on Botox®, we begin with conservative injections designed to minimise risks and assess the individual response to the treatment. The treatment can then be tailored at subsequent visits to develop an individualised dose and treatment pattern.
What can I expect after the treatment?
Injections of botulinum toxin weaken muscles in the area of injection. You may experience a headache or have some soreness at the site of the injection. If your injection sites are painful, you can take ibuprofen to help manage the pain. You can also put an ice pack on the painful area. It is best that you do not lie down for 3 to 4 hours following treatment and try to exercise the injected muscles (like smiling, frowning) because the medication soaks into muscles better if they are active.
The treatment starts to take effect after 3 days and reaches peak effect at one to two weeks post-treatment. A touch-up is occasionally performed 1 to 2 weeks after the initial treatment. The typical response lasts about three months. You will notice a gradual fading of the effects, but the wrinkles are usually not as deep as the original ones. At this point, you will return to Dr Mustak for more treatment. He will decide the duration of the treatment, as it varies from person to person and over time. In most cases, 3 to 4 rounds of injections each year maintain the desired results.
Risks & Side Effects of Botox
Because Botox® is made by the same bacteria that causes food poisoning, high doses of the substance could be fatal, just as food poisoning can be fatal. However, the dose given in injections is so small that it is extremely unlikely you’ll have any harmful effects from the toxin. Botulinum toxin has been used safely in thousands of people, stretching into millions of injections over the years.
Most patients will only have a small amount of bruising or weakness in the muscles that were injected. The bruising is caused by puncturing a tiny blood vessel happens in 1 out of 20 injections. This disappears in a few days.
Facial fillers are also a popular alternative for non-surgical facial rejuvenation. While fillers can be employed alone, they can also be an adjunct to Botox®.
Facial fillers restore lost volume under the skin, commonly at the lips and creases around the mouth.
How can facial fillers help me?
Hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring substance already present in your skin), collagen, and synthetic microspheres are some of the most commonly used facial fillers.
Dr Mustak mainly utilises hyaluronic acid to improve under eye hollows and bags, improve lip volume, and improve cheek and jaw line contours. The effect of this treatment usually lasts six to twelve months.
How are facial filler administered?
Dr Mustak will review your specific concerns and medical history and advise you about the best uses for facial fillers in your situation. Fillers are injected with a tiny needle or cannula directly into the area of concern. Anaesthetic cream is usually applied prior to treatment to minimise discomfort. Though the effects are visible immediately, mild local swelling also occurs and lasts for about 24 hours. Bruising is uncommon but fades within a few days.
In general filler treatments last between 9 and 12 months.
“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty”
- Coco Chanel