|Mr Shunil Roy, Medical Director, Excellence Clinic|
Botox is the world's most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment - and yet it's still a pretty controversial topic. As with everything in life, if you’re going to take an opinion on something it’s best if you’re armed with the facts. So I checked in with Mr Shunil Roy, surgeon and Medical Director at Excellence Medical Clinic in Dublin, about its uses, side effects and more.
1. How does botox work and what areas can it be used to treat?
Botox works by temporarily relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkle lines, typically on the upper face - the forehead and smile lines/crow's feet. On the lower face, it is used to relax the associated muscles to soften marionette and peri-oral lines. It is also used to treat a gummy smile by relaxing the upper lip, slightly lowering it on the gums during smiling. Where someone has a rounded face shape, it can be used on certain lower face muscles to gently elongate the face. On the neck, it is used to relax and soften wrinkle lines formed by muscle bands. It is also used and is very effective to treat underarm and forehead excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) as it blocks the nerves innervating the sweat glands.
2. How safe are wrinkle-relaxing injections?
They are very safe in the right hands, as the dose of botox used for facial rejuvenation is miniscule. Nevertheless, it being a needle treatment, it can occasionally cause bruising; this settles without any treatment in a few days and can be covered by make-up in the meantime. Also, as it is a muscle relaxing medicine, it can very rarely cause temporary eye-brow or eye-lid droop. The contraindications are pregnancy, lactation and muscular disorders.
3. How popular is botox in Ireland?
Botox is very common and very popular in Ireland – it’s the number one non-surgical cosmetic treatment the world over, and Ireland certainly wouldn't be any different in this respect.
4. Does botox always have to be performed in a doctor's office? Who is certified to inject botox?
Botox treatments should be carried out in a clean, clinical environment. A doctor's office would hence be ideal. Doctors who have undergone specific training for carrying out botox treatments are certified to inject Botox.
5. We've all heard horror stories about droopy eyelids and frozen eyebrows; how common are these and why do they occur?
Droopy eye-lids is a rare side effect of botox. It occurs because the botox inadvertently relaxes the muscle of the upper eye-lid, causing it to droop temporarily. In the rare event that it occurs, it tends to get better in 3-4 weeks and usually goes away completely in 3-4 months. Frozen eye-brows can occur due to the over relaxation of the horizontal frown lines as the same muscle is associated with the movements of the eye brow. Hence the horizontal frown lines should be treated less aggressively.
6. What other side effects could occur?
Other side effects are related to it being a needle treatment, so there could be mild swelling and bruising. Also, rarely there can be hypersensitivity to botox.
7. Are there any other treatments or products that can provide similar results?
Botox is considered to be unparalleled in its effectiveness for treating expression or movement lines. Dermal fillers can cause an improvement, but as they are mainly meant for static/deep lines, they don’t provide as good a result as botox for movement lines.
8. How long does it take to kick in and how long does it last?
It varies from person to person but on an average takes 3-4 days to start working and 2-3 weeks to work fully.
9. How much does it cost?
The prices vary depending on the expertise and qualification of the doctor and the particular clinic it is carried out at. The old saying is true here that you get what you pay for.
10. What questions are you frequently asked about Botox?
Apart from the questions above, I am often asked:
- Are my wrinkle lines bad and which areas do I need botox treatment for? The answer would depend on an individual consultation.
- Would it adversely affect my wrinkles if I started but didn’t continue having botox treatments? The answer is no - the wrinkle lines could actually be less pronounced than at the starting point.
- During subsequent treatments, would the effects of the botox treatment last longer? This depends from patient to patient. In some patients the effects can last longer with subsequent treatments, but paradoxically in others it might last for a lesser duration.
If you’re interested in trying botox or an alternative cosmetic treatment, I have a €250 voucher to give away for a treatment at Excellence Medical. Check out the treatments available on the clinic website and pop in your details below for a chance to win. This is open in Ireland only and you must be available to travel to Dublin for your consultation, and to avail of your prize. If you have further questions about botox, do leave them below and Mr Roy will be happy to answer them. And if you’re wondering would I try this myself, then check out this post for my personal experience.
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