Botulinum toxin type A is what's known as a neurotoxin. It is a protein molecule that blocks electrical signals from nerves to muscles at the neuromuscular junction. By doing so it stops a muscle's ability to react to the normal nerve impulse, therefore stopping the muscle from contracting. It is produced in nature by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum and one could ask what the evolutionary reason for its existance is, seeing that it is a toxin that causes paralysis and death in high enough doses?
Regardless of the evolutionary question, botulinum toxin has a great many positive uses in the controlled medical field. It has been successfully used to treat muscle spasms in cerebral palsy, after a stroke, bladder spasms and other conditions such as migraine and facial twitching.There is new emerging evidence that botulinum toxin is also effective and safe in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The results of further clinical trials are awaited.
Botulinum toxin is the most poisonous substance known to man and it is, therefore, right and proper that its use in any medical condition, including as an anti wrinkle treatment, is carefully regulated.
All of the commercially available forms of botulinum toxin, including Botox and Azzalure used at EdenMed Aesthetics and Rejuvenation clinics, are only available after a consultation and on prescription only. Because of the nature of this medication it is strongly advisable to consult with a qualified doctor who has lots of experience in the use of botulinum toxin (Dr. Sam has over a decade of experience in its use, both within the NHS setting and within the aesthetics industry). Your safety and the effectiveness of the treatment is the top priority.
There is increasing general awareness and acceptance of botulinum (Botox, Azzalure) toxin treatment in the aesthetics and beauty fields and an increasing scientific body of research suggests a positive link between its use and improved personally felt social confidence.
There are also questions about the increasing use of social media and the selfie culture having a negative impact on individuals and social expectations to look a certain way, well debated for women, but men are also feeling under increasing pressure for a host of associated reasons of our time. The ethical use of botulinum toxin for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons will be debated for decades to come, but one thing for certain is that its use in aesthetic rejuvenation and the treatment of age associated skin changes is here to stay. At EdenMed Aesthetics and Rejuvenation, we strongly believe this is a personal choice, but like all prescription treatments, members of the public may ask for it to be used. However, the responsibilty of whether a prescription medication, just as botulinum toxin is, lies with the prescriber. Hence the vital importance that it can only be used after an appropriate consultation, which includes discussing the reasons for its request, the options of alternative treatments including doing nothing and the potential risks as well as benefits. It is very important that anyone considering this treatment do as much research on it as they can.
Important potential risks include, but are not limited to, infection, bleeding, bruising, allergic reaction, facial droop including eyebrow and eyelid drooping, double vision if the substance migrates to the muscles of eye movements and potential distant spread to say, the respiratory muscles. Thankfully these risks are incredibly rare when administered by experienced hands and botulinum toxin use in the treatment of age related skin and muscle changes is considered a very safe option.
If you would like to book a consultation with Dr. Sam to discuss whether botulinum toxin (Botox, Azzalure) might be an approapriate treatment for you, please use the Bookings tab above.
Read more from the British National Formulary Online.
Highly personalised aesthetic treatments exclusively by Dr. Sam Ghazawy MB.ChB. MRCP. MRCSEd (Ophth). MRCGP. GMC no. 4536044
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