Botox is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures ever since it was first introduced more than ten years ago, but despite its global acceptance, it is also perhaps the most misunderstood one.
While it’s easy to get seduced with the promises of turning back the years and getting back your younger face literally overnight, many who are intrigued by this cosmetic procedure are still held back from taking the plunge with the myths surrounding Botox and its use.
Some fear that they will end up with a “face freeze”, the notion that probably originated from seeing too many stars and starlets in the media, sporting a perpetual deer-in-the-headlights look. With their faces frozen in a perpetual surprise, it seems like they themselves can’t believe how far they went with their Botox use and abuse.
The truth is that – when properly administered – Botox will preserve your normal facial expressions, only smoothing out the frown lines and wrinkles.
Botox was approved by the FDA specifically for treating moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (called glabellar lines or “the 11” because they resemble that number), but is often used “off label” for other wrinkles. Botox is therefore used for smoothing out crow’s feet (lines around the eye), forehead lines, skin bands on the neck, lines around the mouth (“smoker’s lines”), for turning up “mouth frowns”, for arching the flattened eyebrows – and the list goes on and on.
Those starlets with their strangely arched eyebrows may simply be the victims of using Botox injections in a way they were never intended to be used. Properly administered Botox injections will smooth out the forehead while preserving the natural arch of your eyebrows.
Using Botox is not supposed to make you look “fake” or “plastic”. Of course, one should know when enough is enough: that’s a lesson that obviously eluded all those expressionless starlets.
Many are afraid of using Botox because “it’s a toxin”. While Botox is indeed produced from the potentially lethal botulinum bacteria, the concentration of the toxin in Botox is so low, that – when properly administered by a certified professional – there’s no way for a toxin to somehow spread outside of the tiny area where it is injected.
Since Botox is commonly administered via injections directly to the muscle, being afraid that the procedure will be painful is understandable. However, what you can expect to feel is more like a burning sensation or a slight irritation. While bruising on the skin may occur, it will typically clear in a few days.
The notion that “anyone” can administer Botox injection is a dangerous myth. Only a trained clinician can properly and safely administer Botox injections in a way that will leave you satisfied with your new appearance. Botox “mills”, salons, mall shops, are not the places to get Botox. “Botox parties” are just a stupid and potentially harmful idea. You will probably leave from those places looking awkward, if not disfigured.
A qualified clinician will know what is the right dose of Botox to use to get the desired results, and which muscles to target precisely to achieve it. He will not leave you with a complete muscle paralysis that prevents any facial expression for a distressingly long period of time, unlike some needle-wielding amateur.
You may have heard the tales of women (and men) liking their new smooth foreheads so much, that they had become addicted to Botox. It’s easy to dismiss that kind of stories, but this one may not be only a myth. You can become addicted to virtually anything that makes you feel good: if applying Botox makes you feel great because it works so well, but eventually, it wears off – you can become psychologically addicted to the procedure to keep experiencing those feelings. A “real” physical addiction to Botox is not possible.
In the end, despite its proven efficacy, Botox is not a panacea for all wrinkles, furrows, and creases. Botox works by temporarily blocking nerve impulses and thus relaxing the muscle contractions which eases out wrinkles. Because of its specific targeting of wrinkles caused by the overly tense muscles, there is no logic in using Botox to treat those wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity.
West Valley Medical is all about the skin you’re in, covering both beauty and health topics. If this article about Botox intrigued you to find more about this cosmetic treatment, reading Botox FAQ is a great starting point.