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The importance of understanding your Botulinum Toxin (Botox ™) treatment

The importance of understanding your Botox™ treatment

Reading, understanding and signing a Botox™ treatment consent form is important whenever having Botox ™. It sounds like common sense, but you might be surprised. Before considering Botox™, you require an assessment for suitability, quantity and where to inject on the face. At Clinica London, you will be given a detailed consent form. This form outlines the risks, the benefits (as it is a medical treatment), prescription drug, even if done for cosmetic reasons.

Benefits of Botox ™

The injections can improve:

  • the vertical lines in the glabella
  • the horizontal lines on the forehead
  • the crow’s feet (laughter lines), as well as improve the smile when injected into a little triangular area below the corners of the mouth.

Even injecting into the chin can help improve dimpling, or the horizontal line often found in that area. Occasionally we also use Botulinum to reduce early jowling, by injecting the platysma just underneath the chin on the upper neck. The platysma is a muscle found in the neck which causes visible bands.
In addition to the above cosmetic uses of Botox™, we use it for sweating in the armpits, the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. This medical use is invaluable to people who have hyperhidrosis. In some patients, Botulinum Toxin is also used medically into the forehead and scalp to help patients with severe migraines.

Potential risks of using Botox ™

There are risks and potential complications of Botulinum Toxin injections, despite it having a very good safety record and having been used cosmetically and medically for over two decades. There can be:

  • swelling and bruising
  • discomfort at the site of the injection
  • temporary redness and ache
  • headache.

Rarely there is a temporary under or over correction. It is also extremely rare there is numbness or permanent effect.
When used around the eyes there can rarely be a temporary drooping of one, or both, upper eyelids called ‘ptosis or blepharoptosis’, and when used on the forehead there can be an eyebrow drop. Although these side effects wear off completely, with no lasting effect, it can be very dissuading to the patient ever to have Botox again.
To reduce potential side effects of Botox™, drugs such as aspirin, aspirin-containing medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped before. Vitamin E, Ginkgo and Ginseng should also not be taken for at least 7 to 14 days before Botox™ injection. If the patient is on a blood thinning medication, then there is a much higher risk of bruising, and the treatment is not recommended. Neither is it recommended if there is neuro-muscular disease, such as myasthenia, or if there is a risk that the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding. Although no side effects have been noted in that latter group, it is regarded as potentially risky.
At Clinica London both the nurses and the oculoplastic surgeons carry out Botulinum Toxin injections for both cosmetic and medical injections. It is highly important that you have an assessment before your first treatment, and have an opportunity to discuss in depth the potential risks and benefits of Botulinum Toxin before proceeding with informed signed consent and treatment.


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