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Bridal Club Magazine

Would You Say ‘I Do’ To Botox?

Wedding pictures last a lifetime and there is nothing more important than looking beautiful on your big day. While dieting, facials and hours spent at the gym are all a standard part of preparation, a growing number of brides are looking to non-surgical appearance medicine remedies to give them the edge when they say "I Do."

Treatments such as Botox have become an increasingly popular trend, with more and more Kiwi women opting for the treatment to rid themselves of severe lines and wrinkles. Botox is a natural purified protein that works by reducing the contractions of the muscles that cause persistent lines that have developed over time. Uses for Botox were pioneered in the 1970s and 80s, where it was used to treat involuntary facial spasms and the aesthetic benefits were soon realised. Then in 2002, the American FDA announced the approval of Botox as a cosmetic procedure, which has now become one of the most popular in the world. Celebrities who are rumoured to be fans of the treatment include Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman, while Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams is even a spokesperson for Botox in the United States.

Director of the Sapphire Clinic, Dr Garsing Wong, says the global Botox phenomenon is not surprising as it is safe, simple and can provide amazing results. "Botox is commonly used to remove wrinkles, slim your face or lift your smile," he says. "It has multiple uses that can help a bride to look her best on her wedding day."

To help smooth your face of lines and wrinkles, a small amount of Botox is injected into selected facial muscles using a very fine needle. Generally, a treatment for frown lines takes around 10 minutes. At your initial visit, it is important to allow extra time to have a medical assessment and to discuss your particular needs. "Although the actual administration of Botox takes no time at all, you may wish to have the area numbed with cold packs or local anaesthetic cream, in which case you will need to allow more time," says Dr Wong.

Discomfort is typically minimal and brief, and there is no recovery time required after the procedure. "Sometimes, however, there can be minor side effects such as redness or bruising depending on the area that is treated, and this will be explained to you," says Dr Wong.

Within days, you will begin to notice results and the effects can last up to four months before lines slowly begin to return, although repeated treatments tend to make the effects last longer. It's also essential to plan well ahead before your wedding day, especially if you are considering the procedure for the first time. "The earlier the better," says Dr Wong. "Ideally at least six months in advance, because with repeat use and over time, the skin can remodel itself."

Marketing Executive Samantha Martin, now in her early 40s, decided to opt for Botox before her wedding day and says she has no regrets. "I'd had some friends who had tried it, and I was a bit nervous to begin with, but when I had it done I was thrilled with the results," she says. "I made sure that I had it done quite a while before the wedding so I could see what effect I'd get, then I had it done a month or so before. It was really important to me to look the best I could. After all, photos last forever."

Botox can also safely be used in combination with various cosmetic products and while the results can be amazing, the most important first step is choosing a qualified professional for your consultation. "I made sure I thoroughly researched and asked around in order to choose a great practitioner," says Martin. "Word of mouth is really helpful so have a chat with people you know - after all, you don't want to end up with a frozen face or looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein!"

Other innovative treatments using Botox have also been recently pioneered including facial shaping - perfect if you're after a slimmer face in your wedding photographs. Botox is injected into the masseter muscle (the cheeks) to non-surgically contour the face and to give a more aesthetic, elongated shape. "The effects take longer to see, and you will need a minimum of two months before they are noticeable," says Dr Wong. "The effects can then last for more than 9 months; however individual results can often vary."

Another signature procedure becoming more common for brides-to-be is instant nose enhancement or non-surgical rhinoplasty using fillers such as Restylane. Commonly referred to as a 'lunch hour procedure', you can watch before your eyes and decide how you want to enhance the shape of your nose. "Most patients request that their nose be straightened or to remove the hump in the middle, or lift the nose tip or bridge of their nose," says Dr Wong. "By better defining the bridge of your nose, it will give the appearance that the nose is slimmer."

Another consideration for many brides is how best to combat the effects of those awful wedding day jitters. While a glass of champagne may help calm your nerves before you walk down the aisle, the stress of the occasion can also cause some unappealing side effects for an unfortunate few. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a condition which causes people to sweat uncontrollably on their hands, feet and most severely under their arms. Not surprisingly it can wreak havoc on your wedding dress and put a damper on what is supposed to be the most important day of your life!

Dr Wong says the same injections with Botox used to ease frown lines are also extremely effective at targeting sweat. "It works by essentially blocking the nerve supply in the sweat glands, the sympathetic nerve supply, and successfully reduces the sweating in the area," he says.

Side effects can include temporary weakness in the hands because Botox works by paralysing the muscles, but Dr Wong stresses that overall, all Botox treatments are safe. "In the prescribed doses for the recommended treatment areas, there has not been a confirmed case of spread of the Botox beyond the injection area," he says.

While Botox isn't for everyone, if it is something that you have considered in the lead up to your big day, it may be worth booking a consultation to decide whether or not it is right for you. "It's definitely a personal choice," says Martin. "I know people that have decided to steer clear of cosmetic procedures, but I was really pleased with my results. Now I have wedding pictures that will truly last a lifetime."

This article was kindly supplied by My Wedding New Zealand's Premier Wedding Magazine

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