It is necessary to adapt the dose for a tailor-made effect. (Photo: Reuters)
Al-Ahram Weekly : What is Botox? And what is its use in aesthetic medicine?
Dr. Dina Abdel-Hamid: Botox is a substance, botulinum toxin, used by doctors to make facial wrinkles that appear with age less visible. This involves injecting this substance into certain areas such as the forehead, the area between the eyebrows and the outer corner of the eyes. But the benefit of Botox injections remains partial, that is to say that its effect only lasts between three and six months, so the person goes to the doctor on average twice a year.
From a certain age, usually the sixties, Botox is no longer effective in removing wrinkles, so we resort to other facial rejuvenation procedures.
– What could be the side effects?
— There will be no side effects if the doctor knows the right dosage and the time between sessions. This is decided on a case-by-case basis, it is a question of adapting the dose for a tailor-made effect, but there are limits that should not be crossed. Otherwise, any overdose leads to side effects such as droopy eyelids, drooping in the mouth or around the mouth, pain, swelling or bruising at the injection sites, headache, flu-like symptoms. On the other hand, too low a dose will not give good results, in this case, a touch-up session will be offered two weeks later.
Likewise, hygiene rules must be observed, in order to avoid bacterial infection. The doctor must also know the medical history of the patient to ensure that he has no contraindications to the use of Botox.
— Who are the people authorized to carry out this type of intervention?
— Only use a specialist doctor, ie dermatologists or plastic surgeons, and avoid beauty centers that employ health professionals who are not doctors or who are non-specialist doctors.
— And who are the people for whom Botox is not recommended?
— Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as patients with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that results in muscle weakness. And as a general rule, certain medications such as aspirin, analgesics, vitamins, in particular vitamin E, must be stopped two weeks before the session, after consulting your doctor.
— What is the appropriate age to use Botox?
— Botox is approved from the age of 18. But the youngest start at 25, if wrinkles start to show.
— Is this an exclusively female concern?
— Men use Botox less than women. The male clientele is made up of actors, media celebrities and businessmen, while the female clientele is not limited to a certain social class.
— What is the difference between Botox and fillers?
— Botox is designed to relax muscles and make wrinkles less visible, while fillers, which are products based on hyaluronic acid, have a function of ” filling to compensate for the lack of collagen and the aging of the skin. Thus fillers are used to fill deep wrinkles, increase lip size, lift cheekbones, treat sunken temples or redefine facial contours.
Compared to Botox, the results are instantaneous and last for a period of six months to a year. But if it is missed, this intervention leads to much more serious consequences than Botox, which can range from itching, lesions and visual disturbances to blindness and death of skin cells…
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