In the beauty world, there are few procedures more divisive than Botox . With connotations often associated with frozen muscles, immovable foreheads and permanently quizzical eyebrows, the publicity surrounding it seems to focus on what goes wrong rather than its potentially impressive results when cleverly carried out by a sufficiently qualified practitioner.
In order to clear our confusion, we sought the help of Advanced Cosmetic Doctor Dr Dan Dhunna aka ‘The Michelangelo of BOTOX®’ in order to shed light on its untold story - the basics of this type of wrinkle reducing injection, its broad spectrum of uses and some interesting myth de-busters.
Less black and white than its ‘toxin’ label implies, perhaps it’s time that its administration, rather than the actual product be put under greater scrutiny. Interested to find out more? Here are 8 facts you need to know...
1. What is Botox?
The active ingredient in BOTOX® is called Botulinum Toxin Type A. It is one of 7 proteins (A-G) derived from the Botulism germ and was first used for therapeutic purposes in the 1960s by Dr Alan Scott in the USA as a muscle relaxant to improve blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking) and strabismus (crossed eyes). It now has over 20 recognised uses and is licensed in over 85 countries.
2. Its anti-ageing journey
Its use for cosmetic purposes was discovered by accident. In the late 1980s, Dr Jean Carruthers, a Canadian Ophthalmologist was inundated with patients she was treating for eye spasms asking her to treat the unaffected eye. The product had relaxed the crow’s feet and made them look younger on one side! Luckily for Dr Carruthers, her husband was a dermatologist and the two of them are now regarded as pioneers of the cosmetic industry.
3. Its potency
It takes just 1g of the pure Botulism germ to make the world’s entire supply of BOTOX® for a year. A secret jet leaves California once a year under armed guard to deliver it to Westport, West Ireland - home to the world’s only BOTOX® factory.
4. Its not-so-fatal attraction
Despite being a toxin, BOTOX® is actually one of the safest drugs recognised. With over 4,000 research papers and over 6 million injections per year in the US alone, it has been estimated that you would need to re-mortgage your house to pay for the amount of BOTOX® that would actually be fatal to an adult human being.
5. Its pit potential
BOTOX® has a license for excess armpit sweating, which is popular for many actors and celebrities who don’t want to get caught out by the paparazzi with wet patches on the red carpet. However it can be used just about anywhere to knock out the sweat glands and is being increasingly used on the face to reduce oil production and sweating, improving breakouts and minimising pores.
6. As a migraine aid
It can be used to help chronic migraines and painful trigger points, not just by relaxing tense muscles, but by actually affecting the pain receptors and the release of pain transmitters involved in the migraine process.
7. As a slimming aid
An increasingly sought after procedure is the slimming of calf muscles in the legs. This may be able to get you squeezed into a nice pair of £1,300 Christian Louboutin Lamadone boots, but shouldn't be taken lightly. Remember BOTOX® is a prescription only medicine and new rules dictate that it should only be injected after a face to face consultation with an experienced medical prescriber such as a Cosmetic Doctor or Surgeon within a clinical environment.
8. Jaw dropping abilities
Gum chewers take note! First trending in Korea, jaw slimming with BOTOX® is really taking off in the West. Too much of your favourite gum or nocturnal teeth grinding can cause an enlargement of the large muscle in the side of the face, creating a square jaw appearance. BOTOX® treatment to the Masseter muscles can restore a natural oval to the lower face and improve painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ) jaw problems.
Dr Dhunna, Harley Street, London & Midlands, UK. www.drdandhunna.com