Botox isn’t exactly a new treatment. The FDA approved it for treating the wrinkles between the eyebrows way back in 2002. Although it’s had plenty of time to become a household name, and plenty of people have tried it over the years, there is still a lot of misinformation floating around about Botox. Although it’s unclear why the myths have persisted, despite evidence to the contrary, what is clear is that it’s time they were busted.
Forget what you read about Botox in a tabloid. Here’s the real story on the popular injectable.
Myth 1: It Freezes Your Face
The thinking behind the myth that Botox freezes your face is somewhat understandable. The injectable helps ease wrinkles by preventing certain nerves from signalling certain muscles. The muscles then don’t make the movement that leads to the formation of the wrinkle. After about a week, the crease or line fades from view.
There’s a bit difference between limiting the movement of one muscle on the face and limiting all of your facial expressions. Everyone’s face moves differently, and some people make more movements with certain muscles than others. In many cases, no one will notice that you’ve had the injection. You’ll still be able to smile, frown, and laugh after a treatment with Botox. You won’t look frozen.
Myth 2: It Makes You Look Weird
Admittedly, when Botox is administered incorrectly or when an unskilled or untrained injector gives a patient too much, the results can be a bit unsettling. Some people have droopy eyelids, for example. But, those cases are few and far between and the odds are it happening to you can be drastically reduced by choosing a qualified, trained and experienced injector.
In many cases, the photos people dig up to show the "weird" results of Botox often have little to do with Botox. Another part of the myth is that people aren’t quite sure where Botox works or what part of the face it’s injected into. At the moment, Botox has FDA approval for use on the glabellar, or frown, lines, and for treating crow’s feet, at the corners of the eyes. It can’t be used to add volume to the lips or to fill in lines. From a cosmetic point of view, Botox only treats wrinkles created by repeated muscle movements.
Myth 3: It’s Only for Cosmetic Use
Although people might assume Botox is only for cosmetic use, the injectable actually has a number of medical uses, too. It can help people who suffer from regular migraines, for one thing. It’s also approved for treating an overactive bladder when other treatment options aren’t effective. Botox can also help people who suffer from excessive sweating, by keeping certain sweat glands from producing sweat for up to six months. One of the first approved uses of Botox was for helping people with strabismus, or crossed eyes, and eye twitches.
Myth 4: You’ll Need to Keep Up Your Injections Forever
While the truth is that Botox isn’t a permanent treatment and its results usually fade after about three months, the myth is that you need to keep getting Botox for the rest of your life. You might try it, find that you like the way you look, and decide to get another treatment before your results fade. Alternatively, you might try it, be horrified at your results or just not too thrilled with them, and decide not to repeat the treatment.
Myth 5: You Have to Be Over 40 to Benefit From It
Botox treats wrinkles, but that doesn’t mean it’s reserved for the 40 plus age group. A number of younger people, some in their 30s, some in their 20s, have seen good results from early Botox treatments. In fact, it’s believed that by getting Botox from a younger age, you might help keep wrinkles from becoming deeply etched on your face.
The sticking point is that you do need some lines for the treatment to be effective. If your skin is still completely smooth, you’re not a good candidate for Botox, no matter how young or old you are.
Myth 6: You Can Order Botox Online
One final, potentially dangerous myth: That you can order Botox online or pick it up from just anyone. The manufacturer of Botox only sells its products to licensed distributors and licensed doctors. That means that if you see Botox advertised for purchase online, it’s very likely that whatever is for sale isn’t really Botox. To protect yourself, don’t buy Botox. Instead, see a board certified trained facial plastic surgeon for treatment.
Dr. Michael Schwartz, a board certified facial plastic surgeon in West Palm Beach, Florida, offers Botox injections and other non-surgical anti-aging procedures to his patients. To learn more about Botox and to see if the treatment is what you’re looking, call 561-228-5888 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz today.