Thousands of people in the UK have botox or dermal filler injections so that creases in their face appear smoother and they appear younger.
Despite probably largely being fuelled by images of flawless individuals in television adverts and on magazine covers, the desire to remain youthful is understandable – even to those who would never consider undergoing a treatment to roll back the years.
However – although these injections are not as serious a treatment as some other cosmetic operations – just like any medical procedure, these types of treatment are not completely free of risk.
If the equipment is not clean, the injections are inserted into the wrong area, or the incorrect chemical is introduced under a patient's skin, the side-effects can include severe infection, a deformed appearance, inflammation, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Botox is actually made from the toxin produced by bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This toxin also causes botulism, a life-threatening form of food poisoning. Nonetheless, it is in fact used in many different medical treatments to positive effect.
The toxin is used to weaken or paralyse muscles so that skin in chosen areas of the face appears more relaxed due to the fact that muscular contractions are being prevented.
This treatment is only temporary – lasting about three or four months – before the individual will need to have further injections.
About dermal filler
Some dermal fillers are temporary, lasting roughly 6-12 months, and others are semi-permanent, lasting around 18 months.
One of the most popular types of temporary filler injection is made of a synthetic form of Hyaluronic Acid, which is a substance naturally found in humans and animals. Its presence in the body decreases with age, causing skin to lose its plumpness.
Semi-permanent fillers are usually made of a polymethylmethacrylate (synthetic resin) and collagen (naturally occurring protein) mix gel.