BOTOX is silently sweeping its way across the faces of women in Albury-Wodonga.
At FACEclinic @ Lavington injector Alex Pike, 34, says there’s been a 20 per cent increase in her business in the past six months.
Walk into a busy Dean Street restaurant on a Saturday night, and Ms Pike says “at least two or three” of the women dining there would have had Botulinum toxin (sold under the Botox brand name) treatment — even if they would never admit it.
The registered nurse says she now sees about 30 clients a week.
She said Botox was more popular in the warmer months.
“Leading up to Oaks Day I’m seeing four or five people for that one event,” she said.
At the upmarket Phoenix Wellness Clinic, Dr Ludmila Kraft, 55, said she treats between six and 10 clients with Botulinum toxin a week, most of them women.
Nationwide Botulinum toxin use has been increasing by 30 per cent annually since 2004.
Botulinum toxin Type A, works by paralysing or relaxing the muscles in the area it is injected — and is used to reduce facial wrinkles, crows feet and frown lines.
Treatment locally can cost between $300 to $450 every three or four months.
Dr Kraft said Botulinum toxin was generally harmless.
She said while there were risks of side effects, including bruising to the face and droopy eyelids, they were not usually permanent.
“I call it an innocent product because you can’t do much harm with it,” Dr Kraft said.
“Of course there may be small complications, even the unfortunate complications when they’re left with a droop, it doesn’t last very long.”
Both practitioners say the increase in use is linked to a pressure to look younger.
Their main clientele is women between the ages of 30 and 50.
Dr Kraft has treated clients as young as 19 with “deep wrinkles”, while Ms Pike’s eldest patient is 67.
Michelle Strauss, an Albury mother of two teenage children, has been using Botox for six months.
Ms Strauss said while she was happy to be 39, she did not believe her face reflected the person she was inside because of her frown lines.
“It’s something I do for me, when you look in the mirror it looks like you’ve been on a holiday ... instead of looking cranky all the time,” she said.