Let’s get back to Botox with a look at one of the most popular anti-ageing treatments in the world.  Much as Smirnoff is to Vodka, Botox is a brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A or Anti-Wrinkle injections but not many people know this.  We are going right back to basics with Botox to dispel the myths and fables about your crow’s feet.  We asked Cosmetic Doctor, Askari Townshend for his thoughts.

 What is Botox® and how does it work?

Botox® is botulinum toxin, a protein made by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Placed in the rights areas it weakens muscles that crease and fold the skin, particularly in the upper face that create crow’s feet, number 11 frown lines between the eyebrows and horizontal lines across the forehead. The relaxing of these muscles gives a smoother, softer appearance and protects these areas from getting lines as quickly and severely.See our face map on page ??

Is botulinum toxin dangerous?

No! First purified in the 1920’s, botulinum toxin has been used in medicine since the 1960’s and so we have a lot of experience with it. Although a toxin, cosmetic uses of botulinum toxin use tiny amounts, many times less than would be required to cause you any harm. Have a G&T tonight and you’ll have no problems but drink 5 bottles and there’ll be trouble!

What are there different types of botulinum toxin?

Many use the name Botox®/Vistabel® for all botulinum toxinsbut this is actually a brand name (think of vacuum cleaner vs Hoover). There are two other brands licenced for use in the UK – Dysport®/Azzalure® andXeomin®/Bocouture®.They are all safe, they all work but can give slightly different results. It’s worth asking which you’re getting – if you’re paying for Coke, you don’t expect to drink Pepsi!

Can botulinum toxin plump my lips and deep lines?

No. Botulinum toxin can improve lines caused by muscle movement (dynamic lines). Plumping and filling can be done with dermal filler injections.

Does treatment hurt?

Although an injectable treatment, the needles are very small and fine, nothing like going to the doctors and having a jab or blood test. My patients score it a 1 or 2 out of 10.

What will I look like immediately after?

You will have 3-10 small bumps (like insect bites) in the treated areas but these should only last around 15mins – many clients have treatment in their lunch break. There is a small risk of bruising but even if this does occur, in the right hands, it should be very small (a few millimetres) and coverable with makeup.

Does it work straight away?

No, it takes 2-3 days to start to notice changes and up to 7-10 days for the full results. Many practitioners offer a review at this time in case any further tweaks are necessary. This is an important part of the treatment process and should be included in the price you pay.

How long does it last?

The effects slowly diminish over a 3 to 4 month period after which time, your muscles will have regained all their strength. Some will get longer lasting results but this isn’t predictable.

Quote: Does skincare make the effects of Botox last for longer? No but a professional skincare regime suited to your skin type will maintain your skin.

Will I look worse once it’s worn off?

No, during the time your muscles have not be creasing up the overlying skin, your skn will have had a chance to recuperate and will look better, not worse! Think about a leather jacket that you wear every day and is getting creased – hang it up for a few weeks and the creases will be improved.

Where should I look for a good practitioner?

Only those able to prescribe medicines (e.g. doctors and some nurses) or those being supervised by a prescriber are allowed to offer treatment.  Even then, a medical professional may only have had a single day’s training yet be in control of your facial expressions for months! Do your research and look for someone with good experience – ask how long they’ve been treating and how many they’ve done. A famous plastic surgeon or dermatologist may not necessarily be an expert in botulinum toxin treatment. Don’t get lured by heavily discounted treatments or places where the practitioner only visits once in a blue moon


Dr Askari Townshend qualified as a doctor in 2002 and gained MRCS in 2006. Dr Askari opened his first aesthetic clinic in 2008. He went on to spend 5 years with the largest chain of laser & aesthetic clinics in the UK as Director of Medical Services.

Dr Askari launched his latest project, ASKINOLOGY, in the City of London In July 2015.

Ask Dr Townshend a question any time by emailing here at ASK@totallyaesthetic.com or request an appointment by filling in our Patient Enquiry Form