Aesthetic Applications of Botulinum Toxin
Botulinum Toxin treatments have been used in medicine for many decades. In 1987 they were first used by the Carruthers in cosmetic medicine and have since revolutionised the treatment of ageing and have now also increasing numbers of uses in many fields of medicine. For the first time we were actually able to prevent wrinkles and not just improve them.
It is the no.1 cosmetic treatment in the world today. It has proven to be a very safe and effective therapy indeed but gets bad press because it is frequently incorrectly administered and over used. At The Centre for Restorative Dermatology we very much take the ‘less is more ‘ approach, softening dynamic lines rather than eradicating them altogether, the so called frozen face.
Facial lines are caused by the repeated use of the facial muscles in a particular manner. Just as a freshly ironed shirt will become severely creased at, for example, the inner elbow, as a result of the bending arm, so likewise our facial lines form wherever we frown, squint or smile. Some people have a distinctive facial habit – grimacing, raising eyebrows, using one side of the face more than the other etc. – and they will, in time, see a set of facial lines appear which reflect this individual habit.
Lines can be further softened, or in some cases, erased, by means of ‘filler injections’ , lasers, or chemical peel. These processes vary in how effective they are and how long they last; however, they all have one common characteristic – the EFFECT is being treated, rather than the CAUSE. The damage has already been done, and continues to be done.
Botulinum Toxin injections are different in that it is a PREVENTATIVE treatment. Injections are given, for example, to the forehead frown area, which temporarily put the frown muscles to sleep for a period of 3-4 months. This freezing of the muscle is always temporary and can never be permanent. The exact duration of the effect varies from patient to patient and may be different for different muscle groups.
Medical Applications of Botulinum Toxin
Other frequent medical uses for botulinum toxin injections include:
- Hyperhidrosis, eg armpits
- Temporomandibular Dysfunction, ie grinding resulting in jaw muscle overgrowth
- Facial pain and teeth breakage
- Localised Migraines
- Flushing of Rosacea
- Bell’s Palsy
- Hidradenitis Suppuritiva
- Hailey-Hailey Disease
- Eccrine Hidrocystomas
- Frey’s Syndrome
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon
- Dynamic scars and recently androgenic alopecia!