Botulinum Toxin type A, (tradename BOTOX® or DYSPORT®) has been used since 1988 to treat muscular problems including squints, eyelid spasm and facial spasms. Ageing is associated with the development of wrinkles and furrows on the face. These lines may develop as a result of weakened dermal collagen from sun exposure and gravity, as well as facial muscle action on the skin.

Botulinum Toxin for Frown and Smile Lines

Botulinum Toxin reversibly freezes or relaxes the muscle. Therefore it may be used to treat lines caused primarily by action of the muscles on the skin. The ideal areas to treat are the deep crease between the eyebrows, crows' feet wrinkles and forehead lines.

Injection into frown lines has been shown to be very successful. Good results may be obtained after a single injection session and may last three to six months. The effect of the injection may take up to 21 days to work. Some patients with very powerful muscles may not see a complete relaxation of the targeted area, but subsequent injections will further weaken them. In rare cases, some patients need a repeat injection in three to four weeks time if there has been little response. The cosmetic use of Botulinum Toxin is not yet a fully licensed procedure in the UK. It is therefore the doctor's responsibility when giving the treatment.

Do the injections hurt?

Most patients find the injections cause only mild temporary discomfort.

How will I look after the treatment?

Immediately after the treatment there may be mild swelling which usually subsides within 24-48 hours. Application of ice for a few hours after the treatment will help reduce any swelling.

Possible side effects

Side effects of this treatment are rare. In one study, less than three percent of patients experienced any of these complications.

  • Occasionally (2% chance) temporary drooping of the eyelid or eyebrow may occur, but only lasts two to three weeks.

  • Rarely double vision may occur afterwards if areas very close to the eyes are treated, but this lasts only a few weeks.

  • Rarely a transient numbness may develop in the treated area.

  • Patients very unusually (1in 2000) may have or develop antibodies to Botulinum Toxin meaning it would have no effect.

  • Mild bruising may occur (especially if you have taken Aspirin up to three days prior to the treatment).

  • If you are prone to cold sores at the injection site, treatment may bring out another eruption.

  • Any injection carries a small risk of infection (so facial areas with active acne cannot be treated).

  • The treatment is not suitable for people who are Pregnant, Breastfeeding, have Myasthenia Gravis or severe coagulation disorders.

  • Post Treatment Advice

  • Do not lie face down (or fall asleep in this position) for at least four hours after your treatment.

  • Do not have any facial massages for at least 24 hours after the treatment.

  • Use ice packs to reduce any bruising (if any)

  • Contract the muscles injected vigorously for an hour after the treatment - this will help the muscles absorb the Botulinum extract and will prolong the effect.

  • Mild headache may occur after the treatment - paracetamol will help.

  • See Dr Campbell two to four weeks after the treatment for a free top-up if he feels this is required.

BOTOX® is a registered trademark of Allergan Inc.
DYSPORT® is a registered trademark of Ipsen Ltd.