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botox Unpacked

Over the last few years, forehead-freezing injections have been in the papers more frequently than your average A-list star, so why are we still so confused by it?

Falling into the same category as many of those reading this; haven’t had it, but haven’t ruled it out either. Some reasons why you haven’t? Fear of pain, cost and the worry that should it be done at 30, how far will it go at 50? Most people tend to respond to this dilemma in a very man-like manner, i.e. “why would you contemplate injecting poison into your face for goodness sake?!” Fair argument, but one that was very interesting to hear challenged, at a talk held by Allergan, the healthcare company behind the infamous botox, so what is it?

Considering botox? Let’s sort the fact from the fiction!

It’s a great time to clear up some confusion. botox cannot be used as a general term for every botulinum toxin A injections. There are three brands of the toxin available here in the UK, and botox – owned by Allergan Inc. – is just one of them. Botulinum toxin A is a prescription only medicine, derived from a form of bacteria. When put into the muscle, it temporarily blocks nerve impulses that let it contract (and subsequently wrinkles the overlaying skin). This muscle paralysis lasts between one and four months, although you would hope the latter since it has around a £300 plus price tag. So is it a poison? To be frank, yes. But an aesthetic cosmetic surgeon and UK representative for Allergan, is very keen to point out that only a droplet of a highly-purified amount is used in each procedure. Just a gram of the toxin stretches across about six million treatment vials, which highlights how incredibly potent it is, right?

botox – Who and When?

This is in no way, urging everyone to go out and get injected immediately. We get young women in their early twenties approaching us for botox, where we try to educate them on skin, warn them about the dangers of unqualified practitioners, then send them away. However, if you’re still dead set on having some done, where do you find a practitioner with the integrity? Associations such as BAAPS and BCAM can direct consumers to trained and qualified healthcare professionals (and believe me, they won’t be recommending the local beauty salon or dentist!). The great news is, cosmetic injectables are subject to further regulations since 2014. This is following the Keogh report, which advises stricter regulations across the whole of the aesthetic industry. The report has had a big impact on dermal fillers. There are some fillers that are still available in the UK that remain unregulated, and as such, don’t fall under EU regulations or carry a CE mark. So, less reputable filler brands can be bought by anyone online, for home use. It doesn’t take a genius to work out just how bizarre and potentially extremely dangerous this is.

Do I? Don’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Still ‘intrigued’ by the idea of botox? Whilst the odd frown line does not justify a medical procedure, let’s keep an open mind, at least for now. People, or course, will continue to use, and be happy with, the results they get from botox, but hopefully younger generations don’t neglect their skin because they think there are quick fixes available. A healthy lifestyle and good skincare routine should always come first when fighting skin concerns.

At Bella Vou, botox is only administered by our consultant cosmetic surgeons who are best equipped to ensure that you receive the very best results having the highest degree of experience and training possible. Bella Vou only uses the most reputable and quality injectable products, we will never compromise on quality at the expense of cost.

Medically reviewed by

Amir Nakhdjevan Profile

Amir Nakhdjevani

Last Updated: July 13, 2016

Published On: July 13, 2016

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