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 elbow, as a result of the bending arm, so likewise our facial lines form whenever 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 – and they will in time see a set of facial lines appear which reflects this individual habit.
Lines can often be softened, or in some cases erased, by means of “filler injections” or surgical peeling treatment. These processes vary in effectiveness and duration: 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.
The Hibernation treatment is different in that it is a PREVENTATIVE treatment. Injections are given, usually 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, this is why the treatment is called “The Hibernation Treatment” – the muscle temporarily “hibernates”.
The aim is to break the habit of frowning and educate the patient in his or her facial movement so that one “forgets” how to frown. Usually patients have several of these injections over a year or two until the frowning habit is broken.
Apart from the “habit breaking” aim, other positive benefits are that:
- While the muscle is temporarily immobilised, the forehead is “at peace” and the frown line is not being created or reinforced.
- Most patients notice that their existing frown lines do soften out because the forehead is completely relaxed.
- Many would agree that frowning is an unpleasant habit which tends to spoil the serenity and beauty of the face. After the treatment, although all the many other facial muscles can be used normally, the forehead is still and calm and thus the face appears more serene. Patients have commented that they feel the calmness within themselves.
What is Botox?
BOTOX is the commercial trade name for Botulinum Toxin Type A , which is derived from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum.
When injected into muscles, Botulinum Toxin Type A has a local effect, blocking transmission between the nerve endings and muscle fibres around the injection site to cause weakness of the nearby muscle.
What is Botulinum Toxin used for?
Botulinum Toxin Type A is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines. It is typically used in people aged 25 to 65.
Botulinum Toxin Type A works by blocking nerve transmission to temporarily reduce the contractions of the facial muscles that cause frown lines. It has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for wrinkles, and Botulinum Toxin Type A injections are becoming increasingly popular.
The Botulinum Toxin Type A Injection procedure
Several tiny injections will be administered directly into the muscles of your face. Prior to injection, we will determine where to administer the injections by examining your ability to move certain muscles in your brow area.
The entire injection procedure takes approximately 10 minutes and does not require anaesthesia. Discomfort is usually minimal and brief.
After the injection
- You should notice an improvement in your frown lines within 3 to 7 days, the effects of which can last up to 4 months.
However, results can vary.
- After a period of time, your frown lines will begin to reappear as the effects of Botulinum Toxin Type A wear off.
- With repeated injections, thinning of the muscle may occur, which produces longer lasting results.
Possible side effects of Botulinum Toxin Type A
- flu-like symptoms
- temporary eyelid droop
- squint/double vision
- redness at the injection site
- temporary muscle weakness
- occasionally patients become “immune” to Botox after repeated injections
Do not have Botulinum Toxin Type A treatment if you:
- Have a skin infection where the Botulinum Toxin Type A will be injected
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients ( Botulinum toxin Type A, albumin, salt water )
- Are pregnant or breast feeding
- Have a neurological disorder ( e.g. Myasthenia Gravis, Bells Palsy )
There are also a number of medicines that may interact with Botulinum Toxin Type A. These include some antibiotics ( tetracyclines and aminoglycosides ), anticoagulants such as heparin or warfarin, Aspirin, gingko biloba and St Johns Wort.
It is important that you tell us if you are taking any medication.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The vast majority of people who undergo the treatment are extremely pleased with the result. There are times however, when the final appearance may not be what you are wanting or expecting. The aim of a Botulinum Toxin Type A treatment is just for an improvement, not perfection, and it is important to maintain you expectations at a realistic level.
Botox is licensed for cosmetic use by the regulatory authorities in the United States, France and Switzerland, as well as a further 17 countries worldwide. It is licensed as VISTABEL for the cosmetic treament of glabellar creases (the vertical frown lines between the eyebrows) in the UK.
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to ask.