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Ins and outs of Botox®
Skin Institute
March 1, 2017

Did you know that one vial of Botox® is only ¼ of a billionth of a gram and that one gram of Botox® is enough for the whole world for a year?

Botox® is by far the most popular cosmetic medical procedure available, with millions of Botox® cosmetic treatments performed each year and the numbers continue to rise.   With over 20 years of clinical history, Botox® is one of the most researched prescription medicine and can be used for many different medical conditions such as migraines and an overactive bladder.

We know that New Zealand women and men are wanting to look and feel good for their age – but we also know that making the decision to have treatment can be a big step.  So we’ve answered all the main questions we get asked about Botox® to help you understand more about the treatment, the benefits and if it’s right for you.

What is Botox®?

Botox® is a purified protein called Botulinum Toxin Type A, derived from an organism found in the natural environment where it is largely inactive and non-toxic. It’s an injectable treatment considered safe and effective for the reduction of facial wrinkles, especially in the uppermost third of the face (frown lines, crow’s feet and horizontal forehead lines).  Beyond aesthetic treatments, Botox® has also been found useful in treating a variety of conditions including migraines, excess sweating and eye muscle spasms. More than 95% of patients with Blepharospasm report significant improvement with the use of the toxin*.

What is the difference between Botox® and dermal fillers?
Botox® is a treatment to relax wrinkle causing muscles, by temporarily immobilising the muscle beneath the skin. Dermal fillers such as Juvederm® are used to plump up the skin and provide the structure needed to restore the contours of the face where volume loss has occurred.

As your skin ages, you may start to notice changes as your skin doesn’t produce natural structural elements like collagen as quickly as it used to.  This means you may start to notice a loss of volume around your eyes, reduced elasticity in your face and crepiness in your neck. Your laughter and expression lines can gradually become more obvious, with cheeks and eyelids beginning to lower and jowls forming.  Combining Botox® and dermal fillers can help combat these signs of ageing, ensuring you continue to look fantastic for your age.

How does Botox® work?
The treatment is done by a tiny injection into targeted key areas (usually the forehead, the brow between your eyes, and at the outer corner of your eyes), to temporarily relax those small muscles. It acts as a temporary time out which will smooth the skin, and your wrinkles will look less obvious.

How long does it take to see the results, and how long will it last?
Botox® takes one to three days to start working, two weeks to see your result and a full dose treatment usually lasts three to four months. Areas treated lightly for a natural effect may wear off more quickly. After two to three years of regular treatments, Botox® may start to last longer.

What is the downtime after getting Botox?
Botox® is truly a walk – in, walk – out lunch time procedure. Immediately after Botox® has been administered you may notice small red lumps at the injection sites, however these only last around 10 minutes, and can be covered with a little dusting of makeup before you leave.

Is there a “too young” or “too old” for Botox?
In your late 20’s, those with strong genetic tendency to frown might start to notice frown lines appearing. Botox® can effectively reduce frown lines whilst improving brow positioning.

As you age, you may start to notice more lines and wrinkles forming (frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines).  The number one concern for our clients is looking unnatural and overdone. These days Botox® can be used subtly without any tell-tale signs of treatment. Gradual treatments can achieve a beautifully rejuvenated, natural looking you.

Read more about the changing face of you here.

Can anyone perform Botox® treatments?
Botox® is classed as a prescription medicine, which means it can only be performed by a qualified practitioner. At Skin Institute, our Appearance Medicine team is made up of experienced, and highly skilled doctors and nurses who are trained in the most up to date medical techniques and treatments.

How much does Botox® cost?
As with any cosmetic procedure, there will always be an expense – as you’re not just paying for what is in the vial, you’re also paying for the experienced medical practitioner performing your treatment.

The cost depends on how much Botox® is used.  For example, a frown treatment is usually between $300 – $600, depending on how large and strong your facial muscles are.

Do men receive Botox®?
Yes, Botox® has been clinically evaluated in male patients to improve the appearance of wrinkles and help you look good for your age. The reality is, when you hit the age of 30, the lines start to appear and become increasingly visible as the years go on. In general, men can be treated with the same technique as women, but often require more units of Botox®.

Can anyone get Botox®?
Botox® is suitable for most people, with a few exceptions. We don’t recommend pregnant or breast feeding women having treatment, for example. A consultation with one of our nurses will tell you if Botox® is right for you.


 “The best part of my job is seeing how transformations make people feel. It’s incredible how improving someone’s appearance makes them feel better about themselves and often allows them to make other positive health choices. It changes how people see themselves when they look in the mirror and encourages them to take care of themselves in other ways. I’ve seen people take up an exercise programme, or go out more socially and connect more with their friends”.  Dr. Sarah Hart, Appearance Medicine Doctor.

If you’d like to find out more about Botox® and if treatment would be suitable for you, book an appearance medicine consultation with one of our experienced Appearance Medicine nurses today.