Botox is no longer the cosmetic treatment of the rich and famous, everyone's at it. From the cost and risks to the benefits and procedure itself, here's everything you need to know about Botox
Botox: The Facts
Botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous naturally occuring substances in the world. It's the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Botox is a protein compound, which when used in tiny amounts can freeze muscles.
Botox is a very new procedure and it was only in 2002 that the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of botox for cosmetic procedures. It wasn't long before it made it's way over the pond to Blighty, and beyond.
Most celebrities are a little backwards in coming forward when it comes to admitting using Botox to keep the tell tale signs of ageing away, but stars that are happy to share their love or loathing of Botox are: Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford, Courteney Cox, Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow and, of course, the entire cast of The Only Way Is Essex.
The price of Botox depends on how many units of the stuff is used. A typical treatment of the forehead, frown lines and crows feet will use between 50 and 85 units, and you're looking at around £6 per unit. Lots of clinics charge in terms of how many areas are being treated, for example one area would cost something like £175, two areas would be £325 and three areas would set you back £450. Obviously all clinics vary in price.
Botox around the eyes can last up to 12 months, while around the jawline and forehead will last for about four to six months.
Botox can even be used for non-surgical nose jobs. It works by injecting it into the very tip of the nose to create a more 'cute' effect. It can also be injected into the sides of the nose to give it a more symmetric look. Of course, the results are temporary and follow-up treatments will be needed.
After the initial procedure there is likely to be some bruising where the needle has pierced the skin. More longterm and serious risks include allergic reactions to the Botox, which can cause red skin, headaches and flu symptoms.
If not administered correctly Botox can also cause droopy eyes and eyebrows. This will wear off after a few weeks, though.
Botox can be injected in a matter of minutes - a full procedure will take around 15 minutes.
One worrying thing about Botox is that it's shockingly unregulated and unnacountable. Anyone can pick up a needle and start injecting Botox into people. That's why we've set up the Take A Good Look campaign. We want the Government to regulate this industry; to ensure proper training; and to stop vulnerable women being manipulated with unsuitable special offers and hard sell techniques.
On April 24 the Government will be hearing recommendations on the industry. We want them to listen, so please sign our petition and help protect women from being treated badly by the cosmetic intervention industry.
Sign our petition.