Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens During My First Consultation and Treatment?
A face-to-face consultation with one of our nurse prescribers is a chance to discuss whether wrinkle relaxing treatment is suitable for you. We will talk you through the anticipated outcomes of any treatment and the possible side effects that can sometimes be experienced. Although these are rare, you need to be aware of all of the risks associated with wrinkle relaxing treatment so that you can make an informed decision before giving your consent to go ahead if medically suitable. We will need to have information about your current health, past medical history and any medications you may currently be taking. We also need to know about previous anti-wrinkle injection treatments with other practitioners, if any, and what product was used if you know this.
Following this consultation, and for each subsequent treatment with Serenity Aesthetics, we will ask you to read and sign a consent form. Photos of your face and the treatment areas will be taken and held on your file for future reference. Following any treatment, aftercare will be discussed with you and a review appointment will be booked for 2-3 weeks ahead, so that any adjustments can be made if necessary. Makeup needs to be removed and the treatment areas cleaned. We will then mark your face accordingly with white pencil, to ensure that any injections into the specific muscles are precise and will give you the best results. Injections take seconds and are generally not painful.
Following any injections, the treated areas will be cleaned once again, aftercare will be discussed with you and a review appointment will be booked for 2-3 weeks ahead, so that any adjustments can be made if necessary.
What Should I Do Before Treatment?
- Thoroughly remove any makeup to minimise risk of infection after treatment.
- Do not drink alcohol on the day before treatment as this can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising.
- Inform us of any medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter.
- Inform us if you have had any other aesthetic procedures in the past week (eg. dermal fillers, chemical peels, microneedling, IPL/laser treatment)
- Inform us if you have taken anti-coagulant medication, such as Warfarin or aspirin recently.
- If you have taken Roaccutane within the past 6 months we will be unable to treat you.
What Should / Shouldn’t I Do After My Treatment?
Immediately following your anti-wrinkle injections you will be asked to refrain from touching the treated areas for 4 hours and to avoid sunbathing or using tanning beds for 30 minutes. That evening it will be all right to complete your skincare routine as normal. In the rare event that something doesn't feel as it should or you have any further questions or concerns, it is important to contact the clinic as soon as possible. The day after treatment you can go about your daily routine as normal.
Do I Need to Come for Follow up Appointment?
If this is your first wrinkle relaxing treatment, you will be booked in for a review appointment before leaving the clinic. This should take place between 14 – 21 days later. Wrinkle relaxing treatments are often a two stage procedure so that the safest and most effective results can be ensured. The purpose of a review appointment is to check that you are satisfied with the results and that any adjustments can be made to enhance and prolong the results of your initial treatment. We have a 48 hour change/cancellation policy for all appointments and review appointments. Failure to adhere to this will result in the loss of any deposit that has been made or an additional £50 charge for further appointments or reviews. Please see our terms and conditions page for full details. (link this please to terms & conditions page)
What Is Botox?
Botulinum toxin (trade name Botox, Azzalure, Bocouture), when injected into specific muscles temporarily blocks the nerve signals to that muscle and reduces movement. Today botulinum toxin has many uses within medicine and anti-ageing, including the treatment of muscle spasms, excessive sweating and in facial muscles to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Botulinum toxin is a Prescription Only Medication and for your own safety, should only be administered by a suitable qualified medical professional after a thorough face-to-face consultation.
How Long Does Botox Take to Work?
As a general rule, results following a wrinkle relaxing treatment become gradually noticeable after 3-5 days, although this is different for everyone so you should not worry if your results are slower to appear. It may take 10-14 days for the full effects of any treatment to occur, so review appointments and adjustments will not usually be carried out before 14 days. This is safe practice and helps to minimise the risk of over-treatment and unwanted complications. The results from anti-wrinkle injections vary from person to person and if significant lines and wrinkles are present, or have been present for many years, it may take multiple treatments to achieve the best results.
What Is Botox and How Is It Different to Dermal Fillers?
Botulinum toxin (which is found under different trade names such as Botox, Azzalure, Bocouture), when injected into specific muscles, temporarily blocks nerve signals to that muscle and reduces movement. Today Botox has many uses both medical and anti-ageing, including the treatment of muscle spasms, and excessive sweating, and in facial muscles, to reduce the appearance & onset of lines and wrinkles. Botulinum toxin is a Prescription Only Medication and for your own safety, should only be administered by a suitably qualified medical professional. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in healthy skin which binds to water and creates volume. As we age, the production of hyaluronic acid slows down and volume becomes reduced. Although very different from each other, botulinum toxin and dermal fillers are sometimes used together to restore a youthful appearance to the skin.
Why Do We Develop Lines and Wrinkles?
During the natural ageing process of the body and its skin, fine lines and wrinkles start to develop which can make us look and feel older than we are. Over time the skin becomes less elastic and the production of important components of youthful skin, like collagen and elastin, begins to slow down. When this happens, the repetition of certain facial expressions creates creases and folds in the skin. Other external influences such as stress, smoking, dehydration, sun exposure and poor skin-care also add to the premature ageing many of us experience.
How Long Has Botox Been Around?
The non-surgical anti-wrinkle treatments often referred to simply as ‘Botox’ (botulinum toxin A) have been carried out since the 1970’s. More recently, botulinum toxin A has gained FDA approval (please see below to learn more about the FDA) for use in specific areas of the face. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, anti-wrinkle procedures for treating moderate to severe wrinkles were the most sought after of all minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in 2018, with an 845% increase in total treatments carried out between 2000-2018.
What Is FDA Approval?
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government agency which stringently reviews the results of scientific research carried out by product manufacturers. If a product has gained FDA approval, you can be safe in the knowledge that the benefits of that product are considered to outweigh any known risks for its proposed use. Botulinum toxin A has been approved by the FDA for use in the forehead (frown), between the eyebrows (‘11’ lines) and around the eyes (‘crow’s feet’).
Is My Face Numbed Prior to Any Injections?
It is not usually necessary to numb the injection sites prior to wrinkle relaxing, as is often the case for dermal filler injections. The injections for this treatment are very quick and usually painless. Numbing cream only works on the surface of the skin and needs to be in place 30-45 minutes to numb the skin. Speak to your medical practitioner if you have a phobia of needles.
Who Is Suitable for Anti-Wrinkle Injections?
Most people are suitable for botox treatments for reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. If you are or think you may be, pregnant or are nursing, you will not be able to undergo treatment. Other medical conditions which would prevent treatment include taking certain medications and diagnosed neuro-muscular conditions. Prior to any treatment with botulinum toxin you will have a full consultation in which we ensure that you are suitable and that you consent to treatment. If you are under 21 years of age we will happily see you for a consultation to discuss your concerns, but we would also respectfully ask you to go away and consider what was discussed in the consultation, allowing one week to pass before going ahead with any treatment.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The results from wrinkle relaxing injections with botulinum toxin can vary between individuals and with each treatment. Within 12 weeks the botox will have been completely metabolised and removed from the muscles. By then the full movement you had before any treatment will usually have returned. Any lines or wrinkles which softened or disappeared following the wrinkle relaxing treatment will also be returning. Movement in the muscles will have started to gradually return before this 12 week period as the botox is metabolised and excreted by the body. Repeat treatments are therefore strongly advised around the 12 week mark or when full movement has returned, in order to enhance and prolong the results of previous treatments. The age of the patient undergoing treatments can also have an effect on the end results and longevity of the treatment. Other environmental and lifestyle factors - including sun exposure, smoking, excessive exercise or weight training - may also affect treatment longevity.
Is Botox Safe?
Botulinum toxin treatments involve using a Prescription Only Medicine and for your own safety should only be carried out by a suitably qualified, trained and experienced medical professional. When carried out safely and professionally, the results from wrinkle relaxing treatments provide natural looking results which enhance your own natural beauty. This is something we pride ourselves on at Serenity Aesthetics and our outstanding patient reviews verify this. Though there are potential risks associated with any non-surgical aesthetic treatments these will be discussed at length during your initial consultation, prior to consenting to any procedure.
Are Anti-Wrinkle Injections Painful?
Any non-surgical aesthetic treatments will carry some degree of discomfort and this varies from person to person. It is always our aim to make procedures as comfortable as possible. One way we do this with wrinkle relaxing treatments is to use a special type of saline to mix the botulinum toxin, using the smallest needles available. We will also never rush your procedure.
Where Can Botox Be Used?
Serenity Aesthetics team of registered nurse prescribers have over 15 years combined experience in injecting botulinum toxin and dermal fillers. Our botulinum toxin treatments at Serenity Aesthetics are not just restricted to the forehead, between the eyebrows or around the eyes. We are safely able to treat other areas of the face with botox to restore youthfulness and slow down the natural ageing process. Additional areas of treatment include around the mouth, jaw (or masseter) muscle, neck lines and excessive sweating. We pride ourselves on achieving results which compliment your own natural beauty.
What Are Advanced Treatment Areas?
Advanced procedures using wrinkle relaxing injections are carried out by more experienced and suitably qualified medical practitioners. The advanced areas we usually treat include:
Drooping tip of nose - Just below the tip of the nose between the nostrils is a muscle called the depressor septi. The function of this muscle is to lower the tip of the nose and flare the nostrils. It is more active in some people than in others and can cause the tip of the nose to droop more or appear to twitch when speaking. Relaxing this muscle with botox can help to reduce this.
Lip lines - Often termed ‘smokers lines’, even when you may never have smoked. These fine vertical lines which can cause lipstick to bleed and give a more aged appearance, can be reduced through the administration of botox.
Gummy smile - Some people have more active levitator muscles, causing more of the gums to be shown when smiling or laughing. With a simple technique using botox it is possible to reduce the exposure of the gums and restore confidence in smiling.
Dimpled chin - When the muscle of the chin is contracted it can create a dimpled appearance. This effect can be softened by the injection of botox directly into the muscle.
Drooping corners of the mouth - Sometimes a downturned appearance to the corners of the mouth make people feel they look sad when in fact they are not. Using botox it is possible to help lift the corners of the mouth back into a neutral position. Sometimes this technique is combined with strategic placement of dermal filler to obtain the desired look.
Bunny lines - These lines are horizontal lines on the sides of the nose which can become visible during laughing, frowning and other facial expression. Bunny lines may become more visible with age and leave fine lines or creases in the skin when no facial expression is being made, these lines may also become slightly more visible when botulinum toxin is used to treat the forehead and between the eyebrows. Careful placement of botox into the ‘bunny lines’ can help to soften their appearance.
How Can I Prevent Lines Developing or Getting Worse Without Botox?
Not everyone is suitable for treatment with botox and there are many healthy lifestyle habits and non-surgical treatments which can help reduce the amount of fine lines and wrinkles, preventing their premature onset. These include:
- Use sun protection - wearing a hat, loose fitting clothing with long sleeves, sunglasses and limiting the amount of time spent in direct sunlight will protect your skin. Always wear a mineral based broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+ which will protect you from both the sun’s ageing UVA rays and burning UVB rays. Mineral based sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and reflect damaging UV light like a mirror, whereas chemical sunscreens contain synthetic chemicals which are absorbed through the skin and are now being proven to cause hormone disruption, allergic reactions and other undesirable effects in the body. They also lead to environmental damage such as ocean pollution and accelerated coral bleaching.
- Do not smoke - Smoking causes blood vessels to contract and spasm, which in turn reduces circulation of the amount of oxygenated, nutrient rich blood which can be delivered to the skin and the rest of the body. Over time the results of this will show as dry, prematurely aged, sallow skin.
- Exercise regularly - Completely opposite to the detrimental effects of smoking, regular cardiovascular exercise increases the blood supply to the skin, thus increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients needed by skin cells to function, detoxify and reproduce.
- Eat a healthy diet - Although it is the largest organ in the body, the skin’s distance from the heart and other essential organs, makes it often the first organ to show signs of internal imbalance. More colourful, plant-based diets (‘eat the rainbow’) loaded with essential nutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, and healthy fats - not to mention water - will provide the body with everything it needs to make you glow from the inside out.
- Take collagen supplements - Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, making up around 80% of the skin. Collagen provides strength, elasticity and hydration to the skin and sticks everything else in the body together like glue. Levels of collagen in the body drop by 1.5% per year from the age of 25-30 and so adding hydrolysed collagen peptide supplements to your diet is a great way to improve the appearance of your skin.
- Use medical grade skincare - Botox can’t always remove every single line, so it is necessary to use the correct skincare to start with. Medical grade skincare is the only type of skincare scientifically proven to give anti-ageing results.
- Chemical skin peels – The controlled application of lactic acid, salicylic acid & resorcinol in our AlumierMD Glow Peel helps to remove the dead outer layers of skin. By doing this, brighter, younger skin is revealed and skin cell regeneration is increased while stimulating collagen and elastin synthesis.
- SkinPen microneedling - Medical microneedling, using SkinPen Precise technology, is an FDA approved collagen induction therapy which is used to treat a variety of skin concerns. Fine lines, wrinkles, collagen scars and pigmentation are all reduced, helping to maintain a youthful complexion.