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Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

How Botox works – and why it’s safe for you

GP Giving Botox treatment - Dr Russell

Posted on July 4th, 2015

For a number of years, our expert clinicians and practitioners have been helping men and women throughout Scotland make the most of their appearance with the use of Botox. So we are better placed than most to explain what Botox is, how it works, and whether or not it’s safe.

Botox has long been one of the most popular cosmetic choices for dealing with fine lines and wrinkles at our private health practice in Edinburgh – but what is it? Well, Botox is actually a brand name of a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Cosmetically, it is used to iron out wrinkles and lines, which are thought to be caused by small muscle contractions. The most common areas that Botox can treat are:

    • The deep creases between the eyebrows
    • Frown lines on the forehead
    • Laughter lines/crows feet radiating away from the eyes

How does Botox work?

Simply put, Botox works by temporarily paralysing muscles. Small doses of Botox are injected into our heads or faces, which in turn block signals from our nerve cells to our muscles.

This causes the wrinkles or lines to relax and soften, resulting in a natural and more youthful appearance within 3–5 days, however it can take up to 2 weeks to see full results.

Effects of Botox last for three to four months depending on the depth of your contours and whether you have previously had the treatment.

Is Botox safe?

One of the most common questions we are asked when patients arrive for a consultation is whether or not Botox is safe. The simple answer is, yes, it is – as long as injections are performed by an experienced doctor.

At present, anyone can legally carry out non-surgical cosmetic treatments – meaning beauty salons, dental surgeries and even gyms can now provide Botox treatments.

However, if you are planning to get Botox, make sure that the treatment is carried out by professional, credible practitioners who are qualified to carry out non-surgical cosmetic treatments and who take patient safety seriously.

Patient safety has always been incredibly important to our clinicians here at YourGP, and that’s why three of our clinicians recently became Save Face accredited.

If Botox is administered incorrectly, it can of course be dangerous – and may lead to problems such as drooping eyelids and crooked smiles.

Although Botox is appropriate for most people, it is not recommended if you are pregnant or breast feeding, on blood coagulation medication such as Warfarin, or suffer from the chronic muscle condition, Myasthenia Gravis.

What’s involved in a Botox treatment?

Prior to any treatment at YourGP, you will have a complimentary consultation with a practitioner, where they will discuss your treatment and answer any questions, and ensure Botox is the appropriate treatment for you.

Botox is then administered as a series of injections with a very fine needle. It takes about 5-10 minutes to do the treatment at each site and normally takes about 30 minutes for the whole consultation and treatment.

After your treatment, you will be advised to make an appointment for a follow-up consultation two weeks later, which will allow for an assessment and top up if required.

Are there any side effects?

As mentioned above, Botox is very safe if injections are performed by an experienced doctor.

However, it can cause minor side effects, such as swelling, bruising, and flu-like symptoms. These side effects are mild or moderate in nature and resolve within a few days.

Don’t sweat – Botox isn’t just for wrinkles

Botox may be known for maintaining and restoring the face, and delaying the onset of ageing, but it can also be useful for treating a variety of medical conditions, including migraines and excessive sweating.

Although not a serious threat to a person’s health, excessive sweating (or hyperhidrosis) can have devastating effects on people’s confidence and mental health – but Botox can bring rapid and long-term relief.

One treatment usually lasts for up to a year (although it has been known to last longer in some patients), and effectively treats excessive sweating in underarms, forehead, and hands and feet.

So, as well as helping you clear up the deep creases between your eyebrows, Botox might actually help stop you from wiping the sweat from your brow too.

To find out more about Botox or arrange an appointment, use our online booking form, email our reception team at reception@your.gp or call us on 0131 225 5656.

It is obvious from the outset that Dr Benade is very experienced in the Occ Health field. Because my employer had referred me to her I expected a bias in their favour. I was completely wrong. Dr Benade was very attentive, thorough and fair. How I feel mattered and she understood my eagerness to recover and remain with my employer in the job I love

Mrs Joyce – Lanark – Marikie

YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

Independent Healthcare Team
Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
0131 623 4342 | hcis.clinicregulation@nhs.net