Botox is probably the commonest drug used for cosmetic purposes.

The substance “botulium toxoid” (Botox ) has been around for almost 50 years – but has only been used for cosmetic purposes for about 20 years. It is administered as a small injection- in fact, special ultra thin needles have been invented to make it a painless, walk in/ walk out procedure.

It works by weakening or paralyzing small muscles – but also works on certain glands and can be used for
hyperhidrosis, (excess sweating-especially underarm ) where the effect lasts for 6-9 months, but requires a bigger dose.

Some really good news from recent research indicates that botox may actually prevent wrinkles from occurring!

It is particularly useful for the following;

1. frown lines (glabella )- especially those vertical lines adjacent to the eyebrows. (shown on frowning )

2. crows feet lines – this is by far the best treatment for crows feet lines

3. marionette lines – these are the sad lines around, or at the corners of the mouth

4. forehead wrinkles (worry lines ) – botox is a very effective treatment for forehead wrinkles

5. shaping the eyebrow – botox can be used to shape and improve the position of the eyebrows. As one ages, the brow descends, especially the outside of the brow giving a tired look

6. botox may be used to soften the vertical lines on the upper lip. These lines are more prominent in smokers

7. botox is less commonly used, but is also effective for the central neck creases – ie usually 2 lines in the middle of the neck which are morer obvious with talking or swallowing

8. bunny lines – these are little lines visible on the nose when you sniff, for example

Botox usually works within a week but may take even longer ie 10 days to 2 weeks to reach its maximum effect. Perhaps its biggest disadvantage is the need for repeated injections – as it only lasts about 3 months. However with repeated injections ( ie regular botox treatment for about a year ) the length of time between injections increase
Botox is administered with a very tiny needle, and if given correctly should not be painful. Bruising is an uncommon complication. About 5 % of patients need a touch up – performed 2 weeks after the initial injection.