Botox is among the most popular cosmetic surgery treatments today with 6 million treatments being administered annually, according to Medical News Today. It is the leading choice of those who want to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as to treat muscular disorders. Despite its popularity however, there are people who are afraid to embrace its benefits due to common myths. Here are the top three common Botox myths, and the truth behind them.
Myth 1: Botox is derived from a toxin and is, therefore, unsafe.
While it is true that Botox is derived from a neurotoxin found in the bacterium clostridium botulinum, this organism is found in the natural environment where it is typically non-toxic and inactive. However, the threat of botulism, or an infection from the botulinum toxin, is true in cases when exposed in toxic levels, such as in food poisoning.
Thankfully, the amount of protein that is injected into the skin through Botox treatments is nowhere near the toxic levels associated with botulism. It is worth pointing out that Botox is a medical treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use. In the hands of an experienced professional, it is mostly safe, with no lasting side effects being reported since the treatment was approved in the last two decades.
Myth 2: Botox injections are very, very painful
In reality, Botox treatments involve multiple injections to get optimum results. The discomfort may vary from person to person, but the actual amount of discomfort is little to none. This is because, despite the multiple injections, the treatment only penetrates a little below the surface of the skin and does not go too deep.
If a patient’s pain threshold is low, doctors can offer topical numbing creams to further minimize the discomfort. However, many patients do not ask for the numbing cream. In fact, the majority of patients just report feeling a slight pinching sensation when they are being injected.
Myth 3: Botox will give you a frozen expression
Botox treatments are naturally designed to temporarily paralyze muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet, and smile lines, among other fine lines in the face. Its effects would gradually fade within three to six months, which is why most patients would require repeat treatments every three to four months.
The effects of the treatment are only at the injection point, and should therefore not inhibit your ability to make a variety of facial expressions. However, it is worth reiterating that Botox is a technique-sensitive treatment, which means to say that the success of your treatment would depend upon the skill of your physician. At the hands of an experienced and skilled physician, Botox can lift years off your face. However, you might suffer from a “frozen expression” if the physician you chose does not have the necessary experience needed to wield the needle. To avoid this risk, make sure that you do your research about your physician and to ask for before and after photos to gauge their skill.
Overall, Botox is a safe treatment provided that it is performed by licensed and experienced physicians.