Botox/ Dysport (Botulinum toxin A injection) freezes muscles and stops them from contracting. It relaxes muscles in the facial area and has a long safety record. Both its beneficial and side effects are temporary.
Before this preparation was adopted for cosmetic procedures it was used for many years to treat medical conditions such as excessive sweating, tics and spasms in many parts of the body and squints in the eyes.
Miss Vickie Lee uses Botox / Dysport to treat cosmetic conditions (wrinkles around the eyelids and forehead) and medical conditions in private practice. She also runs a NHS Eyelid botulinum toxin clinic at the Central Middlesex Hospital where she treats patients with the following medical conditions:
- Blepharospasm (involuntary blinking and closure of the eyes)
- Hemifacial spasm (repetitive twitching of the muscles on one side of the face)
- Aberrant facial nerve regeneration and gustatory lacrimation (crocodile tears)
- Corneal exposure (therapeutic ptosis)
Botox is injected just below the skin with a fine needle. This leads to a temporary paralysis of the muscle to stop it from forming wrinkles that pucker the overlying skin eg. crows feet in the eyelids. Effects are usually seen between three and five days after the injection and last for approximately three to six months.
Possible side effects
- Minimal bruising may occur and rarely skin irritation may occur
- If the Botox spreads this may lead to the weakness of the surrounding muscles – although since very small volumes are given this is not usual. Occasionally when Botox is injected deep around the eyelids it can spread to the muscles that move the eyes leading to temporary double vision.
- All the side effects improve rapidly over a few weeks as the effects of the Botox fade. Mostly the good effects last much longer than any side effects from this treatment.
Note: All treatment is preceded by a consultation and examination to establish the correct diagnosis.