Monday, October 21, 2013

What to consider before you have Botox

Botox remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the UK. But with new products, which claim to offer similar benefits to Botox popping up each month, which factors should we take into account when considering targeting those dreaded frown lines?
Have you thought through having botox injections properly?Here, Dr Dennis Wolf, Joint Medical Director at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, gives us five pieces of advice about what we should consider when investing in wrinkle injections.
 1.       Choose your practitioner wisely
If you are considering investing in Botox or any form of anti-wrinkle injections, firstly you should ensure that the person treating you is a qualified practitioner. This rule applies to any form of cosmetic procedure. Research the practitioner online, ask questions and ask to see examples of their work. If you are not completely sure that the practitioner you are seeing is right for you, visit another.  Remember if it the treatment is being delivered in a back-room salon and the price seems too-good-to-be-true, then it usually is!!
2.       Choose the right product
You would be surprised how many patients I treat who do not pro-actively ask what the product is that I will be injecting into their face. Few people know that ‘Botox’ is the product name for Botulinum Toxin A (the product which is injected into the muscles of the face). This product has been around for more than 30 years and so we know a great deal about its capabilities and performance. There are, however, newer alternatives available, which some practitioners out there will be using. But while alternative products like Azzalure or Bocoutur, which can be injected to achieve similar results as Botox, do contain a lot of the same ingredients and are, in theory, a viable alternative if administered by a qualified practitioner, they are newer to the market and there might be less scientific evidence as to their efficacy.  Medical practitioners are, however, fully aware of the abilities of Botox, as well as the potential side effects, and so it remains arguably the most predictable, reliable product. As the patient, it is unlikely that you will know the precise differences between these competitor products, so it is important that you ask for clarification. Ask your practitioner to show you the product bottle and if they are using an alternative product to Botox, find out why and how that product differs.
3.       Be aware of the risks
Despite the fact that Botox is one of the safest non-surgical cosmetic treatments available, there remain potential risks associated with any procedure of this kind. While it is uncommon, a small number of people do not respond to Botox injections, while others experience some redness. Most side-effects are injector and dose related and the vast majority of patients never experience any side effects at all. Nonetheless it is important that you ask your practitioner prior to undergoing the procedure to discuss all of the potential drawbacks; only then will you be in a position to proceed fully informed.
4.       Be realistic in your expectations – don’t try to replicate a celebrity
Think carefully about why you are opting to undergo Botox and what you are hoping to achieve. Discuss with your practitioner your objectives and ask them to explain what you can expect from the procedure. Decide which areas to target and allow your practitioner to take a closer look at these areas. If you visit a practitioner having never undergone Botox before, then you should expect a full consultation, which outlines precisely how the procedure will work. And remember, every patient is different so trying to emulate the look of a celebrity or somebody else is never wise nor realistic. Your body is different to anyone else’s and while Botox will help to reduce the signs of lines and wrinkles, it will not transform you into a celebrity overnight.
5.       Remember ‘less’ is ‘more’
While Botox is one of the best methods of targeting lines and wrinkles, it is still important that your face looks natural and that you have a moderate range of movement and expression.  No-one wants a 'frozen' face!  Follow the practitioner’s guidance on the period of time to leave between procedures and do not ask for additional Botox to be administered against their guidance. The desired result is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to make you look healthier and well rested; it should not be immediately evident to other people that you have had any form of cosmetic procedure. 

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