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Botox, Botulinum Toxin or Anti-wrinkle Injection: What’s What?

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?

You should always have a consultation before embarking on any antiaging injectables, you can find a practitioner to book a consultation with on Glowday right here

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 and Azzalure 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 is Botox?

While Botox is just one of many brands of botulinum toxin used 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.

The main problem is that clinics aren't actually allowed to advertise Botox - or any of the other products - , because it's a prescription-only medicine - and these are banned from advertising (which is why you never see any adverts for the Pill, for example). If you see clinics or practitioners overtly advertising Botox, it's against the rules. We're not entirely sure this is helpful, as EVERYONE uses the word and EVERYONE knows what it means, but the rules are the rules and obviously the manufacturers of Botox are keen to protect its brand.

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’ and this is the term most clinics will use to advertise Botox. 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!

Find out more about the anti-wrinkle injection in our all-encompassing treatment guide. And if you're looking for a consultation for the treatment of lines and wrinkles, Glowday lists hundreds of medically qualified aesthetic practitioners, so go check them out on our search tool.

Botox, Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Bocouture are registered trademarks

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