Created on 25th September 2008
This issue, beauty editor Sarah Hedley tries Botox with a twist
Botulinum toxin (Botox) was originally developed to treat muscular spasms and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
For around the last ten years it has also been used to treat frown lines, making Botox a household name. As experts become more adept at administering Botox, it's now used in different parts of the face to not only smooth wrinkles, but also to help balance facial features.
Dr Sach Mohan, Clinical Director of Renew Medica and leading Botox expert, is currently developing an injectable technique that he calls ‘browtox'. "There are a group of muscles that work in opposing directions to help elevate and depress the eyebrows," explains Dr Sach. "The natural tone of these muscles determines how the brow sits at rest and by selective injection we can recontour the shape of the brow, so that we can arch, flatten or elevate as per the client's requirements."
Firstly, there's a consultation; it's up to your doctor to tell you whether you will benefit from the treatment, so always choose one with a proven track record whom you know you can trust. Dr Sach and I agreed that I was developing a vertical line between the brows (most likely from frowning at a computer screen all day), and that one eyebrow was slightly lower than the other.
I agreed to have the injections and signed a consent form, accepting that I was aware of possible side effects, which include bruising and ptosis, a temporary drooping of the eyebrow or eyelid that can be corrected with lopidine eye drops. Still, it's best not to have Botox too soon before a major event, like your own wedding for example - just in case.
I was expecting more pain when Dr Sach inserted the needle into the flesh above and below my eyes, but the injections are shallow and the needles are thin so I felt just a short, sharp prick; uncomfortable, but bearable. There were around eight injections in total and the whole process was complete in less than ten minutes.
Immediately afterwards, there were tiny red dots and slight swelling around the injection points. The following day all that remained was a slight blemish beneath one eye, which faded after five days and was easily concealed with powder. Dr Sach recommended Auriderm cream (£28, from Renew Medica), which works to minimise blemishes and bruising.
Whatever you do postinjections, don't rub the treated area for 12 hours - this can move the Botox around beneath the skin, sending its paralysing capabilities to all the wrong parts of the face. Instead, delicately pat cream where needed.
Two weeks later, the results were in: the vertical line between my brows had completely vanished making me look far less stressed than usual, and my eyebrows were more symmetrical. I'll definitely repeat the treatment, and I'm due for my first top-up in three months. After subsequent treatments, many patients find they don't need another top-up for up to nine months, making the procedure almost as easy on the wallet as it is on the face. CSMUK