What is Botox? How does Botox work?

We’ve all heard of Botox (Botulinum toxin) and although most people have an opinion about it they don’t really know what it actually is, or how it works.  So I wanted to briefly explain…

Cosmetically, Botox is used to temporarily improve the look of some facial lines and wrinkles.  When injected, Botox can have an effect on both muscles and sweat secretions.

Botox injections target one of the underlying causes of lines and wrinkles on the face; being the repeated muscle contractions from frowning and squinting over the years.

Botox injections will positively affect your lines and wrinkles more than any anti-ageing cream could ever do (If that’s what you’re looking to achieve of course).

Botox is injected into specific facial muscles to have a visual effect on the over laying skin.

Botox is a naturally occurring protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum (read more about the safety of Botox here), it is also a neurotoxin which means when it is injected its job is to interrupt the communication between the nerve and the muscle.

Before or without Botox injections, the nerve would normally tell the muscle to move/contract when required.  For example when we are shocked we usually raise our eyebrows to express surprise.

After Botox injections, the nerve cannot get the message through to the muscle because there is a blockage – the Botox; therefore the muscle stays relaxed, impacting the skin on top.

If the muscle can’t contract as strongly, the lines above on the skin cant form as easily.

For some people, the idea of purposely relaxing their muscles is absurd!  But for others, it makes them feel and look better so they are all for it – What matters is to know it’s a personal choice and whether you do, or you don’t, it’s perfectly acceptable.

The amount of Botox people have injected will impact the severity of the result.  In my opinion, less is more.  Most of my clients do not want to look frozen or expressionless; they want to look well and healthy which means that after Botox injections they will still have some expression.  I think this result is much more appealing and gives a more natural finish.  In my opinion, looking ‘plastic-fantastic’ isn’t really a sign of beauty.

It is important to know that Botox is a prescription only medicine, and like most medications when taken in excess can be toxic which is why it is vital to only allow a medical professional to prescribe and inject Botox for you, if it is suitable.

If you have any questions about this blog or Botox generally, do get in touch.

Best wishes

The skin Nurse x