Botox treatment at our Cardiff clinic
The Face Aesthetics Clinic - Cardiff Cosmetics - Skin Rejuvenation Cardiff - Medical Aesthetics Cardiff - Botox Cardiff - anti-wrinkle injections Cardiff

Everything you've always wanted to know about Botox - but were afraid to ask! It's the most popular cosmetic treatment in the World, but Botox continues to inspire fear and confusion in certain cautious corners. Is it right for you? That depends on your taste, pocketbook, and tolerance for needles. We explain all.

Cosmetic botulinum toxin therapy, aka neurotoxin injectables, work to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the muscles underneath. Typically used to help treat frown lines, crow's feet, and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), neurotoxin brand names include Dysport, Xeomin, newly FDA-approved Jeuveau, and perhaps the most well known of all, Botox.

Botox is an injectable neuromodulator that works to relax nerve-muscle imbalance, explains Los Angeles-based dermatologist Harold Lancer. In other words: Wherever its injected, Botox causes the underlying muscles to temporarily stop moving. When the muscles stop moving, the wrinkles stop forming. But is it really that simple? Not to mention, safe?

You've probably heard of people using it before they even have any fine lines, in order to prevent their development in the first place. Or, maybe you've seen images of unnaturally frozen-looking faces that have turned you off to Botox altogether. Perhaps you've even been invited to a Botox party (which, for the record, we'd recommend you skip). Despite the immense and continually growing popularity of Botox and other brand names, the cosmetic injectables industry still presents many unknowns and inconsistencies. As such, it's always wise to do your research before going under the needle. To answer all of our collective questions, we consulted a slew of experts to break down all things Botox.

The Face Aesthetics Clinic - Cardiff Cosmetics - Skin Rejuvenation Cardiff - Medical Aesthetics Cardiff - Botox Cardiff - anti-wrinkle injections Cardiff

Does Botox Prevent Wrinkles?
Absolutely. Botox (and competitors like Dysport, Xeomin and Jeuveau) are highly purified toxins that can temporarily erase or reduce horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines, and crow's-feet. "The injections slow muscles that contract hundreds of times a day, eventually etching lines in the skin," says New York City board-certified plastic surgeon Michael Kane, author of The Botox Book.

Basically, wherever Botox is injected in the body, it paralyzes the muscles underneath the skin. "Botox interferes with the nerve stimulation of the muscle causing excess facial expressions," Lancer explains. "When the muscle relaxes, the line diminishes." In addition to relaxing frown lines in between the eyebrows, Botox can also lift the corners of the mouth that sag with age, smooth out the "pincushion" look in some chins, soften smoker's lines around the mouth, and soften vertical neck cords.

Will Botox Make Me Feel Numb and Look Frozen?
"Botox is not designed to remove facial expressions," Lancer says. "It's designed to soften lines of excessive facial expression from squinting, frowning, and smiling." It does paralyze your muscles, but it will not affect the nerves that cause sensation, or make you feel numb. When it is used correctly, it can lift the brow to give an appealing and sincere look.

"But if too much is injected in the danger zone — the horizontal lines in the forehead — you can look Spocked, as in Spock from Star Trek," says Jean Carruthers, a Vancouver eye surgeon who, with her husband, Alastair, coauthored the first paper on the cosmetic benefits of Botox in 1989. That's why it's important to be treated by an experienced doctor who can judge the size of your muscles and how much Botox you will need.

The Face Aesthetics Clinic - Cardiff Cosmetics - Skin Rejuvenation Cardiff - Medical Aesthetics Cardiff - Botox Cardiff - anti-wrinkle injections Cardiff

What's the Ideal Age to Start Using Botox?
This also varies — and it's mostly up to you! You don't need it before you have wrinkles to hide, or you can use it preventatively. "To be clear, it is much more about anatomy (as a result of genetic and environmental factors) than it is about a stereotypical age at which to begin," Kolker says. "Prevention is the new mantra, [but] I have seen women in [their] 40s with few or no wrinkles who require very little [Botox], and women in their 20s who require more." Basically, a patient can have Botox safely whenever they are bothered by their wrinkles or simply want to prevent them from forming in the first place. There is no issue with long term use, either: "I've had patients who have used it repeatedly for over 20 years without bad effects," says Kane.

How Long Does Botox Last?
Everyone is different, so the answer varies from patient to patient. In general, "the results can be seen within four to five days, and [they] last for three to six months with no downtime or surgery, and little to no discomfort," Sobel says. As such, "some patients enjoy treatments every three months, [and] many will treat every 4 to 6 months," Kolker shares.

Will My Friends Know I Got Botox?
Yes and no. A good result will leave you looking fresher, more cheerful, and perhaps younger. Telltale signs of Botox that has been badly done are a smooth and shiny forehead, or crow's-feet that don't move when you laugh or cry. However, whether or not you've got the telltale signs of a recent neurotoxin appointment, as long as you're happy with the results, it shouldn't matter if your friends, family, or complete strangers on the street can tell the difference.