When it comes to removing lines, there’s often some confusion over the terms involved. You’ve more than likely come across the terms Botox, botulinum toxin and anti-wrinkle injections, but what do they actually mean, and when should you use them?
What is botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin that, used in small doses, can reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, ‘11s’, marionette lines and forehead wrinkles - the lines on our face that are caused by repeated facial expressions.
It’s often simply referred to as Botox, but Botox isn’t just shorthand for botulinum toxin; it is actually a brand name - and it’s not the only one that is used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Bocouture are all brands of botulinum toxin, so it’s worth checking with your practitioner to see which type he or she is using.
There is also another brand of botulinum toxin, called Neurobloc, which is used not for aesthetics, but instead in reducing abnormal neck movements in people with cervical dystonia.
So, what exactly is Botox?
While Botox is just one of many brands of botulinum toxin found in anti-wrinkle injections, it’s perhaps the easiest one to remember thanks to it’s short and catchy name, and is the one that most people cite.
It’s a bit like the Hoover or vacuum debate - not all vacuums are Hoovers, but because it’s such a well-known brand, we often say ‘Hoover’ when we are talking about any kind of vacuum cleaner.
And when would we say ‘anti-wrinkle injection’?
If we’re being generic and not referencing a specific type of botulinum toxin, then we could say ‘anti-wrinkle injection’. This is a good idea if the injection is being administered to specifically target lines and wrinkles, but we are not sure whether it’s Botox or another brand.
Because Botox is used for more than just forehead wrinkles and other dynamic lines, it’s not always appropriate to say ‘anti-wrinkle injection’, but if that’s the area you are targeting, then that’s fine and will be understood.
Of course, there’s also the question relating to the difference between Botox and dermal fillers - but that’s a whole other story!
Botox, Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Bocouture are registered trademarks