Botox is the trade name for botulinum toxin type A, a cosmetic treatment used to treat the appearance of frown lines and wrinkles on the face and forehead. It is one of the most widely used and popular cosmetic treatments in the world - the single most commonly used cosmetic procedure in the US. It works on the principal of paralysing the muscles in the face, preventing them from contracting and causing wrinkles. It is commonly used in people ranging from as young as 18 up to the age of 65. It is regarded as one of the safest cosmetic treatments on the market, and is used in more than forty countries worldwide.
The cost of Botox treatment is usually measured in units and the number of areas being treated. Botox is used to treat three main areas - crow's feet, frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) and lines on the forehead. The cost of treatment depends on how much Botox is being used to treat each area and the number of areas being treated. Prices vary from clinic to clinic and according to the extent of work being done but typically in the UK one treatment to a single area will cost around £250. If you were to have all three areas treated at the same time it would cost in the region of £500-£600 (clinics will often give discounts if all three areas are treated at once). In addition, clinics will sometimes give discounts if a block of three to four treatments is booked in advance (there is usually a three to six month gap between treatments). It is preferable from the patient's perspective, to use a practitioner who charges by units as opposed to areas of the face. If you are charged by area alone, say the forehead, the patient has no way of knowing how many units of botox are being used and so does not know for sure exactly how much Botox is being injected. Whereas if you know how much of the product is actually being used, you can more accurately calculate how much you are being charged. This has the added advantage of allowing you to know how much Botox you may need for future treatments.
As mentioned earlier, Botox is measured in units. The amount of units needed per treatment will vary according to the amount of work being done and the deepness of the wrinkles, but generally speaking 12-20 units will be needed for the treatment of frown lines, 15-25 for horizontal forehead lines and 10-15 units for crow's feet. The average cost of a unit of Botox in the UK is around £3.80. The price can vary and it is possible to find a cheaper price if you look around. But it's important to remember that the administering of botox injections is a very skilled and precise practise, requiring years of experience and knowledge to be done properly.
Unfortunately there are a number of practitioners on the market who aren't as well qualified as they claim to be, so it is worth choosing a clinic with a good, well-established reputation and paying that little bit extra to ensure that you are getting the best possible treatment.
As with any cosmetic procedure there is the potential for unwanted side-effects. Fortunately in the case of Botox these are quite mild and are only temporary. Side-effects usually appear in the first few days after having the injections. The most common side-effects are flu like symptoms, headaches and some possible nausea. For patients who have had their frown lines and the area just above the eyebrows injected, there is sometimes the possibility of experiencing drooping eyelids. Other more rare side-effects can include redness or soreness at the injection site, but again this is only temporary and can be treated with a topical antibiotic cream. In some rare cases, patients can have an allergic reaction to the Botox. This was more of a problem in the early days of Botox treatment but now most practitioners will test you for an allergic reaction to Botox prior to treatment. Hopefully you are now better acquainted with what Botox is and how much treatment costs.