Diary of a Botox Virgin

Lorna Jackson
By Lorna Jackson

Lorna was Editor of Consulting Room (www.consultingroom.com), the UK's largest aesthetic information website, from 2003 to 2021.

So here I am, 10 years in the aesthetic industry and the wrong side of 35, but I have never popped my ‘Botox cherry’...that was until last weekend!

I attended the 11th annual FACE conference in London in my usual capacity as Editor of The Consulting Room™ and timekeeper for the main agenda on cosmetic injectables; something I have done for the last decade in order to keep abreast of key opinions and treatment evolutions.

Only this time, a few days before the event I was told that volunteers were required for a demonstration on the use of botulinum toxins in the upper face and peri-orbital area by the world-class American Dermatologist Dr. Tim Flynn and would I be interested – clearly my colleagues must have been trying to tell me something!

Having known Dr. Flynn since the very first FACE conference in 2003, (it just wouldn’t be FACE without him), I know both his expertise in all things neurotoxins and his bedside manner are second to none, so I decided to take the plunge.

My before photos, sent to Tim to review my case suitability before the event, caused ‘OMG like’ exclamations about the lines that for me had been slowly and sneakily creeping in under the fringe that I have sported for fifteen plus years. It’s amazing that you can hide under a fringe, and kid yourself is not actually there! I have always frowned and squinted a lot in my daily life and the tell tails signs were very apparent.

Dr. Flynn was particularly interested in my ability to produce an Omega sign – Ω – by combining a frown and the raising of my eyebrows. This ‘skill’ is clearly illustrated in the non-clinical before images shown below.

Diary of a Botox virgin
Diary of a Botox virgin

So, the time came and I sat on stage at FACE while Dr. Flynn expertly explained the treatment to the audience of UK cosmetic clinicians and set about taming my wrinkles. Using a very small gauged needle (a diabetic needle) I barely felt the minute injections of botulinum toxin type A being placed in my glabellar, central and upper forehead, (in my case Bocouture®). Those I did feel were no worse than the slight jump you get when you catch your finger with a sewing needle, thus no topical anaesthesia was required. I have always been a little needle phobic, but it really surprised me how little I actually felt, particularly in my forehead where tissue is very thinly covered so I assumed would be more painful. That was not the case.

Following treatment, my only recovery consisted of a slight tenderness at the injection points for a few hours, to be followed by bruising to the touch in the area for a couple of days, most noted in the glabellar. I also had a mild headache feeling in the few hours following treatment, with a feeling of tightness across my forehead as the toxin activated over the following 4 days. None of these caused more than an awareness, rather than discomfort.

Now 5 days later, the result has almost been established and my omega sign party trick is no more!

I still have some movement in my upper face, so frowning my displeasure at the activities of my children is still possible. Still, the elevation of my brows is very much restricted, as can be seen from the set of non-clinical after photos below.

diary from a Botox virgin
diary from a Botox virgin

As a first timer to botulinum toxin, the sensation of impaired movement still feels a little odd to me, and something for both those considering treatment and those offering treatment to be aware of and mention to those unfamiliar with what to expect, but no doubt I will get used to it and come to not notice over the coming weeks.

Only time will tell how the skin on my forehead smoothes out and the lines and wrinkles that I have been cultivating for 37 years diminish, although the ‘at rest’ results already show signs of improvement so I think the outlook is promising. With the use of additional topical skin creams who knows, my fringe may not be needed!

Of course, I know the effect of the toxin is not a long-term fix and will eventually disappear as time marches on and the nerve connections re-establish. Will I have it again? I don’t know yet; for me ‘baby steps' is the key, watching how the results develop and seeing what toxins can do for me over the coming months will ultimately shape my opinion on my future anti-ageing regime.

Commenting on my case and the results thus far, Dr. Tim Flynn said;

“Of course, you will have it again Lorna, because you are just 5 days into the effect and you already see nice results. Your face will look even more beautiful when full relaxation is apparent in approximately 10 days.  You will love the way you look, and will start thinking about wearing your hair back to show off your radiance.”

Only time will tell...

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together Botulinum ToxinBotoxAzzalureDysportBocoutureXeomin and also lines and wrinkles FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the Botulinum ToxinBotoxAzzalureDysportBocoutureXeomin and also lines and wrinkles questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited Botulinum ToxinBotoxAzzalureDysportBocoutureXeomin and also line and wrinkle clinics in your area.

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