Aesthetic practitioners will no doubt be inundated with requests for Botox in the run up to Christmas.
The festive season is a time of the year when many of us up the ante with our aesthetic appeal – and, these days, anti-ageing procedures are, for some of us as much a part of our beauty regime as a trip to the hair salon or nail bar.
But for those of us yet to find a trusted practitioner, what are the essential dos and don’ts?
DO look at the horror stories
The best place is to start with the worst-case scenario and ask if the person we’ve chosen to administer Botox is well equipped to handle things should the procedure go wrong.
All cosmetic treatments come with risk and Botox injections are no exception.
With daily news stories of botched jobs and bad patient reactions, it is important to realise that things can go wrong – sometimes, even in the hands of those best qualified and most experienced.
Is your practitioner clinically trained to respond quickly in a medical emergency?
DON’T go cheap
Opting for a cheap treatment in the hands of someone not medically trained is not a wise move.
Side effects can include allergic reactions, such as itching, a rash, shortness of breath, sickness and difficulty swallowing.
At the needle’s entry point, site reactions can involve profuse bleeding, pain, muscle weakness, redness, swelling and bruising.
It is very rare but there have been reports of anaphylactic shock as a form of severe allergic reaction, too.
Any good practitioner will explain the risks – and be trained (as well as have the equipment) to respond efficiently in any medical emergency.
If your chosen practitioner is not offering treatment in a clinical setting then think again.
DO follow the rules
You should ensure he or she is a qualified healthcare professional. Rogue practitioners continue to plague the beauty world and put unsuspecting victims at serious risk. No clinician will protest if you require proof of qualifications and experience.
No clinician will ever suggest you share vials with a friend either – sharing needles is a serious health hazard and can spread blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.
The Human Medicines Regulations Act 2012 states that anyone can inject Botox but only a doctor, dentist, nurse practitioner or registered pharmacists prescribe it following a face-to-face consultation that involves them taking a thorough medical history.
Botox works by freezing muscles to restrict movement, eliminating those crease lines that age us when we frown.
It blocks the signal from the brain to the muscle in order to inhibit muscle contraction.
DO compare practitioners and treatments
Dysport is an alternative to Botox that reportedly lasts a little longer (with results noticeable earlier), is administered deeper into the skin and spreads further.
With both, clinicians can control dosage for those of us seeking a more subtle effect. It is important to ask your chosen practitioner what they can achieve and which treatment suits you.
Consider more than one clinician and, if necessary, visit them all before settling on the one in which you have more confidence.
DON’T expect to see results immediately
You will see results – smoother lines and a more youthful appearance – within a few days and this continues to change over time, with results lasting three to four months.