There are several trade names used for cosmetic treatments made with botulinum toxin. Three brands are licensed in the UK for cosmetic purposes. They are Azzalure®, Bocouture® and Botox® Letybo, Alluzience and . There are other brands of botulinum toxin – including Dysport® and Xeomin® – but these are licensed for non-cosmetic purposes.
These are all PRESCRIPTION ONLY drugs.
However, today I am just going to talk about BOTOX®, which is the most commonly known and used as doses can differ from brand to brand.
The FDA first approved Botox for cosmetic use in 2002 for the treatment of glabellar lines (“eleven” lines between the brows). The regulatory body also requested the product be marketed as BOTOX® Cosmetic to distinguish aesthetic from therapeutic uses.
Since that initial FDA approval, Botox has been approved for use in 95 countries and has become the top non-surgical cosmetic treatment available for wrinkles and fine lines.
The UK licensing is the Medicines & Healthcare productsRegulatory Agency MHRA.
Some of the approved Botox cosmetic treatments in the UK include
- Excessive Underarm Sweating-Botox has been proven to be very effective in treating Hyperhidrosis and putting an end to the often embarrassing appearance of sweat-soaked/stained clothes.
- Facial wrinkles such as frown lines, “crow’s feet” and forehead wrinkles.
It states ‘Temporary improvement of moderate to severe upper facial lines in adults under 65 years (specialist use only). and also states ‘should be given only by a trained medical professional, even when used for cosmetic purposes’.
Botox Therapeutic has a different goal in mind. Instead of targeting crow’s feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles on your face, these therapeutic injections can directly address medical conditions such as chronic migraines, severe spasms affecting the neck and shoulder areas and overactive bladder.
Some of the approved Botox Therapeutic treatments in the UK include:
- Chronic migraine- effective treatment for patients with at least 15 headache days a month, with at least eight of those featuring migraine symptoms.
- Teeth grinding, or bruxism can be treated with botox.
- Upper limb spasticity-a common motor dysfunction arising from stroke and traumatic brain injury.
- Overactive bladder with symptoms of urinary incontinence
- Crossed-eyes, which is one of the earliest medical approvals for Botox.
Common Off-Label Uses of Botox
- While Botox is only approved for anti-wrinkle injections around the eyes and on the forehead, thousands of doctors across the world used it to fight wrinkles on other areas of the face. These areas include nose wrinkles and a pebbled chin.
- While Botox has been approved for excessive underarm sweating, doctors are also successfully using it for off label treatment of overly sweaty hands and feet.
- Botox has been shown to alleviate Bruxism (painful teeth grinding) significantly. This involves injecting Botox into the masseter muscle. The same procedure can be used for non-surgical jaw reduction for people with overly broad square jaws.
The three most common areas to treat with Botox
- Crows Feet
How many Units of Botox are licensed to be injected
These are the licensed doses which give the desired effect in most people.
Anything more than this is used ‘off’ licence.
At Flawless Aesthetic Clinic, I always give the licensed dose to all new patients. Botox can take up to 14 days to take full effect. You are then followed up 2 weeks later to make sure you are happy with the result. If more is needed it is then ‘topped up’. Top ups aren’t usually needed, however if they are it is done for free for first time clients and then the treatment plan for that patient is carried forward to the next future treatments.
It takes many years for clients to become resistant to botox, but in some cases a larger dose is needed which is charged at and extra £50 per treatment.