The treatment commonly referred to as Botox or anti-wrinkle injections.
Botox is a manufacturer name. A few manufacturers you may hear of include Bocouture, Azzalure, and Zeomin. The products are all comprised of the Botulinum toxin molecule but have slightly different manufacturer processes. They all work in the same way.
Botulinum neurotoxin type A is a muscle relaxant, it works by stopping the release of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. It works by sending signals between nerves. This action would normally result in the contraction of muscles.
The injection of the Botulinum Toxin A results in a 4-step process which results in the light chain of the toxin molecule specifically cleaving the target protein (Snap 25) that is essential for the release of acetylcholine and muscle contraction.
The recovery of this process to again release Acetylcholine normally takes between 3-4 months and that’s usually how long you can expect the treatment duration to be. In time this duration may increase with regular treatment intervals as the muscle’s injected may reduce in size and strength.
We now live in a world where you can buy my DIY Botox kits off the internet, but should anyone be attempting to source this drug from unreputable sources?
This alarming trend has resulted in people buying unknown product from the internet and injecting into their own faces. According to sources a diagram with the product instructs where to inject. This presents a multitude of risks.
When injecting anti-wrinkle injections, there are very small amounts injected hence the need for very precise injection techniques. The injector needs to have a good awareness of anatomy and physiology to inject and deliver the product where is necessary. The dose required varies from person to person and a very bespoke prescriptive treatment is required. In the hands of an unexperienced injector, it is possible to cause the drooping of the eyelid, known as an eyelid ptosis, it is possible to cause a Brow to drop, known as an eyebrow ptosis.
By contrast in an experienced hand, it may be possible to balance out asymmetries on the face for example if a patient has one Brow higher than the other, it may be possible to balance this out. Patients with heavy eyelids may notice an elevation in their eyelids and brows which can give their face and eyes a more alert & refreshed look to them. This may result in the patient being able to see better as their eyes are more open.
It is possible to cause puffy eyes by affecting the lymphatic drainage of the eye by inaccurate injection technique and/or dosing. The desired effect of the treatment is to look less tired and refreshed. In the event of the causing fluid retention (oedema) around the eyes the patient can look extremely tired and worse off than before their injections. A trained practitioner can assess correctly whether treatment is appropriate and if so, administer a suitable dose in the correct location.
What’s in the vial?
So you’ve ordered off the internet and a vial of something has come through. How do you know if it’s going to contain the botulinum toxin molecule? How do you know it’s going to be in date? How do you know if it’s sterile and has been stored correctly? Most of the toxin vials are temperature sensitive and need to be delivered in a cold chain delivery to protect the potency of the product, incorrect storage will affect the drug efficacy and treatment results. What would happen if injecting the unknown substance resulted in an allergic reaction, this could be life threatening.
Hopefully with a consideration of what dangers this can present, people will think before purchasing and instead visit a reputable and experienced Medical Practitioner for treatment.
Nurse Carly x