Botox is one of the most popular non-surgical procedures worldwide. It's not surprising - the results can be more effective than some expensive creams and lotions, and the treatment is quick and simple. We talked to an expert at Caci Tauranga, registered nurse Lisa Van Dyk, to get the scoop on appearance medicine.

What is Botox?

Botox is a purified protein that temporarily relaxes wrinkle-causing muscles. It has been researched and used for more than 20 years for safe and effective treatment of medical conditions, and for cosmetic reasons.

When used cosmetically Botox temporarily reduces the action of the treated muscles, resulting in the softening of lines and wrinkles in the overlying skin, to give you a more refreshed, rejuvenated and youthful appearance.

Botox is most commonly used to treat forehead lines, frown lines, and crow's feet around the eyes. It can be used for other things such as treating excessive sweating or even migraines.


Is Botox something everyone can have done?
Botox is suitable for most people and there isn't really an ideal age to start. Treatments are most effective on dynamic lines (lines occurring on expression), however Botox will also help to soften static lines (lines apparent at rest).

During a complimentary consultation, we will discuss treatment options with you, as well as discuss the suitability of this treatment, while tailoring this to your concerns.

What happens at a Botox appointment?
First off you'll have a consultation to talk about your concerns and the results you can expect. We work with you to ensure you will get the best results, and have an understanding of how the product works.

Then, you'll be booked in with a registered nurse for your treatment. It is relatively quick and simple, taking approximately 15 to 20 minutes. There is no downtime and no anaesthesia required.

Is it safe?
Caci is the largest appearance medicine provider in the southern hemisphere and has been treating clients for more than 20 years. All of the registered nurses have extensive training at the Caci Academy.

Does it hurt, and what happens afterwards?
I let my clients know they will feel a little pinch or scratch on each injection. The needles used for Botox injections are very fine, so pain is usually minor.

You might notice some redness and bruising in the treated area but this should only last about 15-20 minutes. Some people may experience a minor headache.

Within a week following the treatment you'll likely notice the effect, with a smoother and more refreshed look. If it's your first treatment, you might have a 'tight' feeling or a sort of 'heavy' sensation (particularly with the forehead lines), this should subside within a week or so.

A review visit will be arranged two weeks after your treatment to ensure you are happy with your results.

Botox results can last three to four months, but does vary from person to person. Photo/George Novak
Botox results can last three to four months, but does vary from person to person. Photo/George Novak

How long do treatments last?

Botox results can last three to four months, although this does vary from person to person. We recommend booking a review and follow-up treatment to ensure you're getting the best possible results.

How much does it cost?
After our initial consultation and the facial assessment, we will give you a quote for you to review. Sometimes we suggest combining Botox with other treatments such as fillers, depending on what you are hoping to achieve.

This investment will depend on what your concerns are, as well as the areas treated. At Caci we aim to make all our services affordable and have developed interest-free payment plans to allow you to spread the cost of treatments throughout the year.

Wrinkle busters
As well as appearance medicine treatments and skincare routines, there are other wrinkle busters you can introduce into your life:
*Sleeping with your face pressed down on your pillow causes your skin to be pushed into unnatural positions. Try sleeping on your back, and with a soft silk pillowcase to eliminate any additional friction on your skin.
*Everyone should be wearing sunscreen, every day. No matter what. Sun damage is the number one concern amongst New Zealand women, and it can be easily prevented. Not only does it protect us from burning, sunscreen significantly reduces the signs of environmental ageing. Some people do not realise you should wear sunscreen all year round, not just in summer.
*Sipping water out of a drink bottle or out of a straw can add to wrinkles as the repetitive nature of pursing your lips can cause fine lines around your mouth.
*Smoking causes 'smoker's lines', the fine lines that are formed around your lips. The nicotine is also responsible for dehydrating the skin, and causing the blood vessels to shrink which means there is less oxygen being delivered to our skin; resulting in increased lines and wrinkles.
*Not only will taking off your makeup help prevent premature ageing, it will also keep your skin healthy and nourished, as well as keeping pesky acne at bay.
*Having at least seven hours' sleep each night gives your body enough time to rejuvenate and repair. It's an essential part of the healing process, so next time you're out late at night ... spare a thought for your skin, it needs rest just like you.