What Is Botox?
Botox is a popular - and often misunderstood - non-surgical cosmetic procedure famous for reducing the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. When injected in small doses Botox visibly smooths and improves the contours of the face, giving a more youthful look. Botox can be used preventatively to preserve a youthful complexion and delay the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines and wrinkles. Santi London is one of the UK’s leading Botox clinics - where you will always be treated by an expert.
Specifically, Botox is a highly purified and diluted form of the Botulinum toxin which temporarily blocks the connection between nerves and muscles. When administered to lined or furrowed areas such as the forehead and eye area Botox relaxes the facial muscles, thereby smoothing the skin above. This partial muscle paralysis is temporary and when administered properly, subtle. The spectre of the ‘frozen face’ and the ‘wind tunnel effect’ is a thing of the past – provided your practitioner has extensive medical and aesthetic experience.
Botox has a colourful history. It’s the most popular cosmetic treatment of the 21st century, but it was discovered a hundred years ago by Émile Pierre van Ermengem, a Belgian scientist, during a Botulism outbreak in 1920. Its therapeutic potential wasn’t glimpsed until the 1970s when it was trialled as a treatment for muscle related eye disorders. Researchers discovered the miraculous effect Botulinum A toxin had on strabismus, or crossed eyes, when injected in low doses – and noted an unexpected side effect. Test monkeys were displaying remarkably smoothed glabella lines, the vertical ‘frown lines’ between the eyebrows, an effect persisting for months at a time. This wasn’t observed in a human subject until 1987 when Canadian ophthalmologists injected what was then marketed as Oculinum into their assistant’s frown lines, trialling the world’s first cosmetic application of Botox and revolutionising the cosmeceutical industry.
The early years saw a meteoric rise in Botox’s popularity, mostly in the US, accompanied by an infamous black market, disreputable practitioners and off-label use which made sensational headlines. Subsequently regulations are tighter, particularly in the UK, and reliable Botox treatments are available everywhere from Harley St to the high street. Today it is estimated there are a million Botox treatments administered each year in the UK alone. Tens of millions of people worldwide have benefited from this remarkable and ever-evolving discovery, with further potential coming to light. Increasingly used in the treatment of migraines and even depression, the Botox story isn’t over yet!
While Botox has become almost entirely normalised and widespread, treatment by a plastic surgeon remains the gold standard. An expert is the best port of call if you wish to feel secure, have access to follow-up consultation advice and be assured of proper dose size regulation (US FDA guidelines recommend a minimum 12 week interval between treatments and encourage low doses.) At Santi you will be treated by some of London’s best cosmetic doctors, following an under-treatment policy whereby the lowest effective dose is administered - ensuring a safe, subtle and satisfactory result.