Since the FDA approved Botox injections to treat the frown lines between the eyebrows in 2002, plenty of rumors about the treatment have circulated. Fueled in part by curiosity, fear and disgust, the rumors are often little more than myth or misinformation about the treatment and its main ingredient, botulinum toxin. Although Botox is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments available today, misconceptions still abound about its use. Whether you’re considering having the injections yourself or just want to learn more about it, it’s worth knowing what’s real and what’s fiction when it comes to Botox and its competitors, such as Dysport and Xeomin.
Your Face Freezes
One of the biggest myths about botulinum toxin injections focuses on what they do and how they work. The myth that the injections freeze your face, or make it so that you can’t move a muscle, have been fueled by sitcoms and celebrities who have made countless jokes about the treatment.
While Botox or similar injections work by blocking the signal from the nerve to certain facial muscles, the treatment doesn’t leave you frozen faced or expressionless. You’ll still be able to smile and react. It’s just that a few of the muscles on your face will be less mobile than before.
It’s Only for Old People
Botox and similar injections are actually often not the best option for older people, or for people who have significant signs of aging on their face. The more your face ages, the more treatment you might need to reduce those signs. Botox can’t fix sagginess or loose skin, for example. To fix that, you’d most likely need surgery, such as a facelift.
Also approved for people up to age 65, in some cases, the ideal time to start having Botox injections performed is when a person is still relatively young and when the lines are just starting to appear. When the injections are used before the wrinkles become deep set, the results are usually more noticeable.
That said, injections aren’t helpful if a patient is too young to benefit. A surgeon can’t make an injection where no lines are. Although the injections are approved for people as young as age 18, a surgeon will typically recommend waiting until you’re in your 20s.
Although Botox is now most commonly associated with fixing wrinkles, the substance actually has a number of medical benefits. One of its earliest medical uses was as a treatment for crossed eyes. It’s also been given to patients who have muscle spasms in the neck, due to a condition known as dystonia. More recently, Botox has been approved to treat migraine headaches and urinary incontinence. When used cosmetically, the injections may be superficial, but on the whole, Botox goes deeper than that.
Men Can’t Get Botox
Botox isn’t just for female patients. It’s also a popular option with male patients. In 2013, it was the most commonly performed minimally invasive cosmetic treatment in men, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Sometimes cheekily called "Brotox," Botox injections for men are appealing for a number of reasons. For one thing, the injections have hardly any downtime. Another reason for the increased interest in the injections among is an increased expectation to look youthful, especially to stay ahead or get ahead in the job market.
You Can Get It Anywhere
Some myths about Botox can be hazardous to your health. One common misconception is that anyone can perform the injections. You might have seen dentists or gynecologists offering Botox as a side option. Or, you might have been invited to a Botox party, held at a friend’s house or at a beauty spa.
In reality, you want to be extra careful about who you let perform Botox or any type of injection on your face. Choose your Botox injector like you would choose a plastic surgeon for a surgical procedure. You want a medical professional who’s trained and experienced with the injections, who has references to back him up, and who is able to tell you what to expect from the injections and what the risks are.
The only practicing, double board certified facial plastic surgeon in Central Florida, Dr. Ross Clevens regularly performs Botox, Xeomin and Dysport injections on his patients. Voted “Best in Brevard,” he’s available to answer any questions you might have about the injections and to help you decide which brand is right for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Clevens, call (321) 727-3223 today.