An expert with five years’ experience of seeing the benefits of Botox answers some commonly-asked questions about this increasingly-popular beauty treatment
The subject of Botox treatment has a lot of myths surrounding it so I conducted a short interview with an expert who regularly administers the treatment.
I didn’t know that such a short appointment – about the length of a busy worker’s lunch break – is all that is required to have a treatment which can have a positive lasting effect for up to six months.
I found out more of what the procedure involves from Dr Glafcos Tombolis and also discovered who the typical Botox patient is and how Botox can help people who are self-conscious about ‘gummy’ smiles, flared nostrils and under-arm perspiration.
Question: When did you first start offering Botox?
Dr. Glafcos Tombolis (cosmetic dentist, London-based Ethicare): We’ve been offering Botox since the practice opened three-and-a-half years ago. But I’ve been administering the procedure for about five years.
Q: How much does it typically cost?
GT: The standard procedure normally costs about £250.
Q: How long does the treatment take?
GT: It normally only takes 15 to 20 minutes. You literally can have it done in your lunch-break and many people do!
Q: Do you need an anaesthetic?
GT: No, no anaesthetic is required as the needles used in applying Botox are so thin. If patients want it we are happy to apply topical cream and cold packs which can numb the area of the skin involved.
Q: Can you tell if someone has had Botox?
GT: If it is applied to the right area, using the correct amount of Botox it looks entirely natural. It really does look as natural as patients want. One of the great things about Botox is that it won’t just smooth the appearance of wrinkles in a natural way it will also make people feel more fresh-faced and fresh-skinned. It’s hard to describe until you’ve had it but it’s as much about the physical feeling of well-being as the cosmetic appearance.
Q: What is the typical age-range of someone seeking Botox treatment?
GT: The typical patient who comes through our doors asking about the treatment is a lady aged between 30 and 60. We are also happy to treat ladies between the age of 20 and 30. Botox is becoming much more sought-after and more and more men are having the treatment. Looking and feeling good and taking pride in your appearance isn’t a gender-specific need!
Q: Why do people seek the treatment?
GT: Often a special occasion, such as a wedding, is the trigger for people to seek Botox treatment for the first time. But the interesting thing is that people find the treatment so beneficial (and painless) that they nearly always return for further top-ups; regardless of whether they have a special event coming up in their diary. Seeing the same patients every six months or so – sometimes these people receive dental treatment at another surgery – is a ringing endorsement.
Q: Where is the Botox typically applied to?
GT: The area the Botox is applied to is decided on in careful consultation with the patient. These areas can include the forehead and above the eyebrows – anywhere where the inevitable stresses of daily life result in wrinkles. Smokers can benefit from having treatment applied to the upper or lower lip and the point of the chin. Not everyone knows that the neck is a popular ‘Botox area’ too.
Q: Are there any obscure uses for Botox?
GT: Well, you might be surprised to know that applying Botox just underneath the nose can help people whose smile has a gummy appearance. People with noticeably flared nostrils can also benefit from an injection. But I think perhaps the most unusual use of Botox is to help people with Hyperhidrosis – excessive perspiration. A 15-20 minute session can help stop you sweating under your arms – something a lot of people are keen to prevent.
Q: Can you tell me a little about repeat Botox treatments and top-ups?
GT: Different people respond differently to Botox but generally we find that certain time rules are fairly consistent. For instance, you can have a Botox top-up within a few weeks of an injection. Then, it is best to wait for about three months.
After between three to six months have elapsed, the wrinkle-producing muscle action should return – meaning it is the best time to have the treatment again. The more often you have the treatment, the more effective it becomes. For example, if you have had Botox treatment in the same area for about two years, you should only need to return for top-ups every six months as opposed to every three to five months. This is not always the case but more likely.
Q: What would you say to someone who is in two minds about whether to have Botox treatment?
GT: I would say that Botox can and does have fantastic effects on a person’s appearance, feeling of well-being and confidence. Remember, it is a reversible treatment and, as I’ve mentioned before, people do come back for repeat treatments – a sign that they liked the results of the initial treatment!