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To Botox or not to Botox?

The most popular non-surgical cosmetic beauty treatment performed in Australia, Botox has brought a whole new meaning to younger-looking skin.


Despite the images of celebs overdoing it on the injections and the fact that, yes, you are injecting a highly toxic substance into your face, Botox continues to grow in popularity. No longer is it considered only by the famous, desperate or wealthy, Botox is now seen as a practical way to keep skin looking youthful; just like having a facial really.

What is Botox?

Botox is injected into the facial muscles to block nerve signals that make them contract and relax. It temporarily relaxes these muscles for a period of time, causing fine lines and wrinkles to soften. Most commonly used around the eyes, corners of the mouth, forehead and above the bridge of the nose, Botox treatments only take a few minutes, with the whole process able to be over and done within your lunch break. Relatively painless, the majority of people require no local anaesthetic or sedative to undergo treatment.

How common is it?

The Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA) reports that, of the $644.7 million spent on cosmetic beauty treatments in Australia in 2011, the majority of this was for Botox. When you think about it, that is a lot of injections. It is also shown that Australians start treatment earlier than other nationalities, with the average client ranging in their early to mid-30s. This is thought to be due to our higher incidence of sun damage.

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What are the risks?

Temporary bruising is the most common side effect of Botox treatment, although many experience no side effects at all. Headaches, lasting one to two days after treatment is a potential risk, along with temporary drooping eyelids. Drooping eyelids are usually caused by the client rubbing the injected area or lying down soon after treatment.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not have injections and those with an allergy to eggs should inform their doctor or skin specialist before undergoing treatment.

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How much does it cost?

It is recommended to find a practitioner who prices Botox treatments by the unit, not by the amount of liquid you are receiving. In general, the price of Botox per unit in Australia is around $15, but can range anywhere from $10 to $20. For treatment on crow’s feet, you may need about 25 units; to treat frown lines you may need 25 to 50 units; and for the forehead you might be looking at 25 to 35 units. There may be other additional costs, depending on the individual clinic you choose and it can be less expensive if performed by a qualified nurse instead of a doctor.

Because Botox is becoming a competitive industry that continues to grow each year, many clinics offer special rates and deals, like package deals and two-for-one deals.

What results can I expect?

Used to soften fine lines and wrinkles, you usually begin to see results within three to 10 days after treatment. Results tend to last three to four months, but can last four to six months, depending on how many units were injected and the experience of the specialist performing the treatment. Over time, it is believed that regular Botox treatments can permanently soften lines and wrinkles due to the fact that these muscles are continually being relaxed, leading to a reduction in facial expressions that create these lines in the first place.

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