Botox is the most popular aesthetic procedure worldwide. It can erase wrinkles and years within days but most of us associate the B word with the frozen celebrity faces that cover the magazines. London based Dr. Bruno Amendola has been practising medicine for 20 years, and with over 15,000 cosmetic treatments under his belt he is the hot name on everyone’s lips. We got down to the nitty-gritty of this popular procedure with him to find out whether it’s possible to achieve a youthful look safely and to understand why it sometimes goes so badly wrong.
The shiny over- Botoxed face should surely be a thing of the past in 2014, but we still see it. There’s a lot of talk about mini-Botox but does it actually exist?
The shiny frozen face was due to over use of Botox. Professionally trained doctors have now learned, that smaller amounts, in specific points give a more natural result with the same lasting effects. Each patient is different and their muscle strength differs and therefore it is important to have an individual and measured approach to patients. I pride myself that my patients look naturally refreshed rather than frozen.
What do we need to know about a Botox procedure?
The treatment takes around 10 minutes. The needles used are so tiny that no numbing cream is needed and pain is minimal. You can get straight back to work. Most patients will see softening of lines within 2-4 days with maximum benefit at 2 weeks. For patients that are new to Botox or having a new area treated, I like to see their results at 2-3 weeks to determine if any additional treatment is required. The effects can last three to four months. After several treatments, the effects will begin to last longer and then repeat treatments may only be required every six months as top-up.
The biggest concern is still with the long-term effects of Botox – is it really wise to be injecting poison to smooth out wrinkles?
Botox is the best-known brand for a protein, produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Botox is licensed in the UK for NHS use in a range of treatments, such as for treating muscle spasm of the arm, face and eyelid, but not for removing wrinkles. In America it has now been approved for exactly that, removing lines (Glabella – the area between the eyebrows). Botulinum has also a positive effect on migraine and a recent research in Germany has shown that Botox injections in the glabella area, can help improve symptoms of depression. However the long-term effects of Botox are still unknown, but it’s important to note that Botox has undergone a highly effective purification process. It has been used in medicine since the early 1970’s and for aesthetic use for over 20 years , without any reported serious allergic reactions. It’s also important to remember that this is a non-permanent treatment and if a patient is unhappy with results, their appearance will always revert to its original state within months.
There is a big difference in prices on the market. You can get Botox done for £100-300, why is that?
The difference in price reflects the experience of the injector, but also the quality of products. There are many Botox and filler products on the market to choose from. Unfortunately nurses with a few months or sometimes a few days of experience, offer treatments using low quality products for a low price. This forces doctors to reduce prices and to opt for cheaper products to be able to compete in this unregulated market. Botox is the most popular aesthetic treatment in the world but also a very difficult procedure to get right. I can’t stress enough the importance of researching where you are going to have it done and by whom; this is for your own safety.
Are there any treatments available to help reduce the appearance of scars?
I recommend Derma roller therapy for patients looking to minimise the appearance of acne scars, sun damaged skin, stretch marks and even facial lines and wrinkles. Derma roller provides advanced micro-medical skin needling, which stimulates the skin to regenerate and repair itself naturally. It’s a wonderful and often very successful treatment but required a commitment to the treatment program. Typically 4 to 6 treatments are required before seeing results. I advise against trying this treatment at home. The needles for home use are typically less than 1 mm, while those used by professional are typically between 1-3 mm and their purposes are distinct. It’s very important that treatments like these are done in a sterile professional environment to help achieve best result. Also chemical peels especially the Obagi peels are a good solution for reducing scars.
What are the most popular non-surgical procedures that you offer your patients?
I offer many volumising treatments such as nose shaping, cheek enhancement, and chin enhancement and 8 point lift. All these procedures are done with fillers like voluma. The 8-point lift is a great natural alternative to surgical lifts. These treatments require an extensive knowledge of the facial anatomy and this is why I insist that patients should always choose professional doctors with years of experience rather than choosing the cheaper offers by less experienced injectors.
What if someone wants to achieve a youthful look without injecting anything foreign to the body?
Mesotherapy is the perfect alternative to help correct the skin’s loss of vital nutrients as a result of sun exposure, poor diet or circulation and hormonal changes. It involves multiple tiny injections to administer microscopic quantities of homeopathic medications, vitamins, minerals and amino acids into the skin. The treatment takes around 10 minutes and is most often pain-free. Again like most treatments a course is usually recommended to produce measurable results.
Find out more about Dr. Amendola by visiting www.drbrunoamendola.com