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Questions to ask your skin doctor before getting botulinum toxin type A

Questions to ask your skin doctor before getting botulinum toxin type A

Questions to ask your skin doctor before getting botulinum toxin type A

Botulinum toxin type A injections, or anti-wrinkle injections, are one of the most common cosmetic procedures in Australia. That’s thanks to their ability to reduce lines and wrinkles and other issues associated with ageing, and because it’s a quick and easy treatment.

However, before you undertake any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to arm yourself with all the facts.

Here’s a rundown on the most commonly asked questions about botulinum toxin type A, and the answers that will help you to make an informed decision about whether it might be right for you.

What is botulinum toxin type A?

Botulinum toxin type A injections are used to temporarily relax facial muscles, visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Although it is most commonly used in cosmetic procedures, it can be used to treat medical conditions such as cervical dystonia (a painful neck condition), lazy eye, muscle contractures caused by some neurological conditions, excessive sweating, chronic migraines, and eye twitching. Botulinum toxin type A injections are also highly effective in treating teeth clenching and grinding.

The drug used is widely called botulinum toxin type A, which is synthetically derived from the hall strain of bacteria clostridium botulinum. It is then purified into a crystalline form and reconstituted with sterile saline for injection.

Is botulinum toxin type A safe? Are there any risks or side effects?

Botulinum toxin type A injections are very safe when performed by an experienced skin doctor.

In rare cases, some patients may experience mild bruising or swelling around the treated area, temporary headaches and flu-like symptoms, or numbness and drooping around the eye or smile.

The injections should not be used in people who are allergic to cow’s milk protein, if they are pregnant, or if they have an active infection at the site of the treatment.

What is botulinum toxin type A made from?

Botulinum toxin type A injections use a toxin called clostridium botulinum to temporarily smooth facial wrinkles and improve appearance.

How long does it take for botulinum toxin type A to work?

When injected properly by a skin doctor or qualified nurse, you can expect to see results from your injections after your first treatment.

It can take two to four days before the weakening of the muscle begins and movement is stalled. You can see the maximum results of your treatment anywhere from 10 to 14 days after treatment.

How long does it last?

Botulinum toxin type A generally lasts between 3 and 6 months.

The dose administered and long-term users may experience prolonged duration of the injections, and metabolically active individuals, such as athletes, may need more frequent doses.

How often will I need anti-wrinkle injections?

This will depend on the individual, but patients normally schedule return visits when the muscle action in the treated area returns and lines and wrinkles become visible once more, normally around the 4-6 month mark.

Can you get botulinum toxin type A while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Doctors generally recommend against getting botulinum toxin type A when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Speak to your skin doctor about alternatives during this time, or how you can plan to have it administered around pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I don’t like my frown, should I get botulinum toxin type A?

Upper face lines occur due to frowning muscles and forehead muscles. By using a sterile, safe bacterial neurotoxin to paralyse facial muscles, botulinum toxin type A injections can get rid of forehead wrinkle lines that become most visible when we frown and can also make it hard to frown.

However, it’s important to have your skin reviewed by an experienced skin doctor before assuming that anti-wrinkle injections will resolve your frown. At Bass Coast Skin Doctors, we always adopt the philosophy that ‘less is more’, in order to avoid a frozen, fake-looking face.

I have saggy eyes, should I get botulinum toxin type A?

Botulinum toxin type A injections can be helpful in treating saggy eyes, a low eyebrow position or slight brow drooping.

When injected into the outer end of the eyebrow it can elevate the eyebrow slightly.

I have jowls developing, should I get botulinum toxin type A?

Jowls refer to the skin that sits along the jawline that can droop and sag as we age due to the loss of collagen and elastin in our skin. Jowls can also be caused by other factors such as smoking and sudden weight loss.

Botulinum toxin type A often won’t help jowls however, it is effective for assisting upturning of a downturned mouth that makes us look sad. It is also useful in redefining the neck-jaw angle in some patients and is an excellent treatment for those with a ‘masculine’ looking jawline.

In some instances, botulinum toxin type A can be very effective for slimming the jawline but it’s important to consult an experienced practitioner as administering the injections in the lower face is more complicated than other areas.

We recommend speaking with your skin doctor first to assess your jowls and determine the best treatment.

What things can’t I do after getting botulinum toxin type A?

The treated area will be slightly red immediately following botulinum toxin type A injections, and there are some things you should prevent doing in the days following, such as:

  • Avoid rubbing or massaging the treated area
  • Don’t wear make-up immediately after treatment, however you can apply skincare and make-up four hours after the procedure
  • Don’t lie down for four hours after the treatment
  • Avoid sleeping on your face on the first night after treatment
  • Avoid exercise for the first 12 hours (exercising the next day is okay)
  • Avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours
  • Avoid other skin treatments for two weeks after treatment.

What aftercare is required post treatment?

Botulinum toxin type A injections are quick and easy, and generally people can return to work immediately following their treatment.

However, on the day of your injections, it’s advisable to take it easy for the rest of the day and avoid exercise.

Also, leave your skin alone. That means no rubbing, touching or applying any physical pressure to the treated areas for four hours after the procedure, or until the next day.

Speak to your skin doctor first

Botulinum toxin type A injections treat specific issues and if you’re considering getting it you should speak with a qualified and experienced skin doctor.

These injections should only ever be performed by qualified nurses or skin doctors, and by law botulinum toxin type A injections can only be prescribed by a registered doctor. Our doctor-led skin clinic has practitioners that are extensively trained and experienced in delivering cosmetic injections.

Are you looking for a skin clinic that offers anti-wrinkle injections near San Remo or Phillip Island? Bass Coast Skin Doctors can help.

Get in touch to discuss how botulinum toxin type A injections can help treat your skin concerns. Call (03) 5618 7007 or book an appointment online.