0208 303 9579
15 Hook Lane, Welling, Kent DA16 2DH

Facial Rejuvenation

Botulinum Toxin Therapy for Wrinkle Correction

Patient Information

What is Botulinum Toxin?

Botulinum toxin is derived from a bacterium that blocks the release of acetylcholine, the substance responsible for transmitting electrical impulses that elicit muscle contraction. In medicine, botulinum toxin is injected directly into hyperactive muscles. It has been safely and effectively used for treatment of strabismus (cross-eye) and blepharospasm (lid spasm) since the early eighties.

How does botulinum toxin work?

Hyperactivity of the facial expression muscles often results in the development of deep frown lines, forehead lines and/or crow’s feet. Injecting botulinum toxin into the affected area temporarily paralyzes the underlying muscles responsible for wrinkling, giving the face a more relaxed and pleasant appearance. The wrinkles become smoother or disappear altogether.

When and how long does botulinum toxin work?

The initial effects of treatment become visible after 72 hours. The maximum effect is reached in about 1 to 2 weeks. Your facial expression will become more relaxed but by no means mask-like. The overall result is very natural. The effect of treatment generally lasts for 3 to 6 months. Re-treatment is then required.

Potential adverse effects (side effects)

Botulinum toxin injection is generally a safe and effective treatment method. Nevertheless, certain side effects can occur but, like the intended treatment effects, they are mostly reversible. At this appointment, you will be informed about the potential side effects of botulinum toxin therapy, contradictions to therapy, and potential drug interactions.

Potential side effects:

  • Bruising or swelling at the injection site
  • Slight feeling nausea
  • Pain in the arms and legs
  • Temporary drooping of the eyebrow or upper eyelid
  • Brief visual disturbances
  • Dryness of the eyes
  • Skin rash/itching
  • Allergic reactions
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle atrophy

Contradictions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast-feeding
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Lambert-Eaton syndrome
  • Blood coagulation disorders

Drug interactions

Drug interactions can occur when botulinum toxin is used concomitantly with other medications. Since these medications can alter the effects of botulinum toxin, you must ensure that your doctor is aware of any current medications you are taking especially:

  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics
  • Anaesthetics
  • Muscle relaxants

Aftercare

  • Do not have any facial treatments that may promote tracking of botulinum toxin to neighbouring areas e.g. heat treatments, facials or facial massage 24 hours before or after botulinum injections.
  • Refrain from touching the treated area for 6 hours.
  • Remain upright for 6 hours after the injection and avoid sleeping on your face for the first night after the injections.
  • Repeatedly tense the treated muscle groups as the agent works better in active muscles.
  • Avoid excessive bending down for the first 6 hours after the injections. (e.g. gardening).
  • Do not fly within the first 24 hours of the injections.
  • botulinum toxin may affect the ability to drive or operate machinery in some patients. This is rare but if affected our advice is not to drive, operate machinery or make important decisions.
  • Avoid overheating the area for 24 hours after treatment. (i.e. do not have a hot shower or sit in a sauna etc.)