We are often asked specific questions about skincare, skin conditions and the treatments we provide. That’s why we’ve decided to start a monthly Ask Jane blog where our managing director and registered nurse Jane Lewis, will answer some of your questions.
I’m really interested in getting some wrinkle relaxing injections to deal with the lines on my forehead, but my partner says it’s made of poison so I’m scared of using it. Is it OK to use and are there any alternatives?
This is a very common point that patients make; botulinum toxin, often known as Botox®, one of its many brand names, is a naturally occurring protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum.
This treatment works when a small amount of the protein is injected into a muscle. It blocks the nerve signals that tell your muscles to contract. The result is that it temporarily softens the movement of the muscle and helps to smooth lines and wrinkles in the skin for a few months.
Patients are often surprised to learn that botulinum toxin has been used medically since around 1822. The drug is used to help with excessive sweating, migraines and limb spasticity in children and adults, to name but a few indications. The use of the drug in medical-aesthetics came about because doctors noted that a side-effect of its treatment of blepharospasm (uncontrollable muscle spasms around the eye) was the reduction of “crow’s feet”, i.e. wrinkles around the eyes.
Botox® is not the first choice of treatment for everyone, whether due to anatomical reasons or patient preference. There isn’t a direct substitution for wrinkle relaxing injections You are able to effectively treat lines and wrinkles on the skin with topical products and various treatments such as lasers, but wrinkle relaxing treatments work directly with the muscles rather than the skin; reducing the muscular activity that causes these creases and lines. Patients who decide not to have Botox® but would like to treat wrinkles in areas caused by muscle movement – such as “crows feet” and glabella (the area between the eyebrows) – should understand that whilst those wrinkles can be softened, the reason why those lines are forming is still active.
If you have a question you would like Jane to answer in her Ask Jane blog post, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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