The cosmetic form of botulinum toxin, often referred to by its product name Botox®, is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic product. Delivered by injection it temporarily reduces or eliminates frown lines, forehead creases, crows feet near the eyes and thick bands in the neck. The toxin blocks the nerve impulses, temporarily paralysing the muscles that cause wrinkles, giving the skin a smoother, more refreshed appearance.
It can also help to correct facial symmetry and reshape features without surgery in the forehead, around the eyes and mouth and in the neck. For example, Botox can help to raise an eyebrow or prevent your mouth turning down at the corners by paralysing the muscles that drag features down.
The injections are usually painless, and unless you get a bruise, invisible. The Botox starts to work after the first few days and reaches maximum effect by 2 weeks. For most people Botox lasts for 3 to 4 months. As it wears off you will start to be able to frown more deeply again. By 6 months the Botox will have fully worn off. 98% choose to repeat the treatment.
It is often used in conjunction with an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) or fillers.
Before it was adopted for aesthetic procedures, Botox had been used for many years to treat tics and other medical disorders. As well as using Botox in cosmetic procedures, Mr Kamalarajah administers Botox in his minor ops sessions at the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he treats patients with:
Your initial consultation is crucial to the success of any treatment.
It is your chance to explain and discuss your hopes and fears, so it may help if you write down a list of ideas and questions in advance. You may want to bring along a friend or family member for moral support or to ask additional questions.
It allows Mr Kamalarajah to review your medical history and lifestyle, photograph you (with your permission), assess your suitability for treatment and explain your options.
Finally, you can discuss possible procedures together so that you have a thorough understanding of what can be achieved and what risks there might be.
After the consultation, Mr Kamalarajah will write to your GP summarising the consultation.
Botox is injected into a muscle with a fine needle, causing a temporary paralysis that allows lines to soften. Effects are usually seen between three and five days and last for approximately six months. Repeated injections lead to a gradual weakening of the muscles.
Cooling with ice packs helps reduce any discomfort.
The risks of Botox are minimal but include: