Migraine is a very common disease throughout the world, affecting approximately 1 in 7 people. Chronic migraine affects around 2% of the world’s population. It most commonly presents between the ages of 35-45 and is three times more common in women compared to men. Migraine is a disorder that in many cases is genetically inherited, with a positive family history in most.
Migraines can present differently from person to person. It is a complex condition with the main symptom being a painful headache. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. In some, there may be visual symptoms such as temporary, partial loss of vision or disturbances in colour perception. Certain triggers can bring on a migraine attack in a susceptible person. Common triggers include stress, tiredness, hunger, lack of sleep and loud noises or flashing lights etc.
At present, unfortunately, there is no cure for migraines. Less than 50% of migraine sufferers consult a physician. Many will seek to self-medicate using over the counter medications including various analgesics and herbal supplements.
Migraine treatment using Botox® injections
Botox® was granted the licence to treat chronic migraines in 2010 by the MHRA in the UK. Botox ® is a muscle relaxant. It has been popular in aesthetic medicine in reducing frown lines and crow’s feet, but has also been used in medicine to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), blepharospasm, squints and dystonia amongst others.
In patients with chronic migraines, Botox® injections are placed at fixed sites and given at fixed intervals of every 12 weeks. The amount of toxin injected is roughly double the amount used for wrinkles on the face. Over ¾ of patients in the trial had fewer than half the number of headache days each month compared to usual. Keeping a diary can be really useful in assessing whether the treatment works for you.
Side effects are not that common with less than 10% of patients suffering any side effects. The most common side effect is neck pain and muscle weakness. Other side effects that have been described and include nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, and weakness in the neck muscles specifically. It can take 2-3 treatments carried out every 12 weeks for Botox® to work in chronic migraines, so don’t give up too early.
The initial consultation fee is £250 with the Consultant Dermatologist and £180 with the specialty doctor in Dermatology. Treatment fee is usually £500- £600 per session. This is for treatment in a distribution for migraines to include the sides and back of the scalp and top of the shoulders.
For less severe migraines, tension headaches and stress related headaches, there are a fair amount of anecdotal reports to suggest toxin injections in the frown and forehead areas can be beneficial. The cost for this is the same as Botox® for treatment of wrinkles in these areas.
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Why choose Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic?
Here at Kent's leading private skin and laser clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are one of the few skin clinics in the UK where all medical consultations and treatments are provided by specialist doctors with Dermatology experience and laser training.
Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Mark Hudson-Peacock is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association, the British Hair and Nail Society, the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and is certified by the Consulting Room. We have won many awards including the WhatClinic Patient Service Award in 2019 and the ghp Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards 2019.