What is it?
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) Type-A uses the toxin produced by the bacteria responsible for botulism in food poisoning. However, the level of toxin used is minimal and has been used since the 1980s to treat a variety of medical conditions.
More recently it has been used for cosmetic purposes and has become well-known for its use as an anti-wrinkle treatment. Bocouture® is a brand of BoNT Type A. It is used in the same way as Botox® but is not the same brand and therefore cannot be referred to as ‘Botox’.
How does it work?
BoNT is injected using very small, fine needles into the facial muscles beneath the skin surface. It works by temporarily weakening the muscles responsible for developing facial expression lines, thereby smoothing the appearance of wrinkles.
It is important to understand that static facial lines (e.g. those caused by sun damage, or that are present when the face is at rest) do not usually respond to treatment with BoNT, as they are not caused by muscle activity.
Are there any risks?
As with any medical procedure, you may experience some side effects.
It is common to experience some mild bruising, bleeding, swelling, redness, irritation, stinging or discomfort at injection sites, as well as headaches. These symptoms are usually mild and will occur in the first week. There is also a small possibility of slight drooping of the eyelid, facial asymmetry or visual problems, such as blurred vision. Very rarely, BoNT can cause muscle weakness away from the injection site. You should not drive or operate any heavy machinery should you experience blurred vision or muscle weakness.
If you are concerned about your symptoms you should contact the practice on 02920 883356. Seek urgent medical help should you experience difficulty breathing/swallowing/speaking or if your face swells up. Allergic reactions are extremely rare but cannot be entirely ruled out.
What should I expect on the day?
You will first have a consultation with Dr Aliesha Williams to determine what you would like treated, any previous treatments you have tried, the procedure, risks and the cost. You will also be asked to complete a medical history form to ensure there are no contra-indications to you having the treatment.
You will then be given the option of booking an appointment for treatment to be carried out, so that you have time to weigh up your options. At this appointment, Dr Williams will address any questions or concerns you may have. You will be asked to sign a consent form to confirm you have been fully informed about the risks and benefits and are happy to receive treatment.
Makeup will be removed and the area gently cleaned. BoNT is then injected into specific sites using very small, fine needles. You may experience slight discomfort for a few seconds.
The procedure usually lasts between 15 to 30 minutes and you will be given aftercare tips, although you can generally go about your daily activities afterwards.
As part of your treatment record, before and after photographs will be taken and stored with your clinical notes.
Facial Aesthetics FAQs
You may start to see early changes between 2-4 days after treatment, however, the full effect can take up to 10 days. A review appointment will be arranged 2 weeks after treatment and it is important that you attend.
The benefits of treatment usually last between 3-6 months but will vary depending on your individual response. If you want to maintain your results you will need to have injections at regular intervals.
You shouldn’t have treatment if you
· are pregnant or breastfeeding
· have a neuromuscular disease (e.g. Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis) or liver disease
· are under 18 years of age
· have had a previous reaction to BoNT or have an allergy to Albumin/egg
· surgery around the eye area in the last 6 months
· Avoid lying down for one hour and don’t lean on the area
· Avoid constrictive headwear (tight hats/hairbands etc)
· No heavy exercise for the rest of the day
· Do not rub/massage the area after treatment and remove residual make-up very gently that evening, to avoid spread of BoNT to adjacent muscles
· Avoid aspirin
· Avoid facials and saunas for one week
· Avoid exaggerated/excessive facial movements, but normal movements are fine!
YOUR FACIAL AESTHETIC EXPERTS
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