Treatment for younger skin may come to Botswana
by Kefilwe Moletsane
Exposure to the sun can accelerate the premature aging process. Rare is the day you find someone wanting to age, especially since aging brings fine lines and wrinkles.
It may only be a matter of time before Batswana start turning to Botulinum ToxinA (BOTOX), a non-surgical way to reduce the effects of aging like frown lines and forehead creases, as a way of preserving their youth.
The procedure takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. Using a narrow gauge needle, Botox is injected into specific muscles based on an individual’s desired results. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect and, according to doctors, it is best to avoid alcohol at least a week prior to treatment. Likewise, anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen should be stopped two weeks before treatment to prevent swelling.
Dr Lars Salemark, Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Bokamoso Private Hospital, says that Botox treatment is currently not available in Botswana but can, however, be ordered from South Africa depending on individual request. Nevertheless, they have so far had no requests from Batswana.
“Botulinum toxine is a poison causing paralysis,” explains Dr Salemark. “It paralyses motor nerves and in that way also paralyses the muscles these nerves act on. Produced by bacteria, it can, in extremely small doses, be used to paralyse muscles in the face that cause wrinkles, for instance in the forehead.”
According to Dr Salemark, the treatment is effective but temporary, with the muscle paralysis only lasting three to four minutes. He says the more the treatment is repeated, the longer the effect will be.
Dr. Radovanovic from Dermaplus clinic states that he does not practise the procedure at his clinic and is not sure about the costs here in Botswana, but in Europe the treatment costs 300-500 euros.
He said the procedure for Botox is minimal and if a wrong muscle is injected and there is paralysis of that muscle, facial asymmetry is temporary even though it looks bizarre.
Block 6 resident, Thato Jim, said that she does not agree with the treatment and would not go to the extent of taking the procedure even if those wrinkles build up.
“People should learn to accept and appreciate themselves as they are because that is how God created us, I have great belief that all facial procedures in the market have a long term negative effect,” Jim said.