Probably the first thing anyone interested in botulinum toxin procedures does is to search for information online. But to what extent can we trust these sources? Given the increasing interest in aesthetic procedures, there are a lot of speculations about them. One can often see non-specialists offering botulinum toxin treatments with staggering results in some cases. Therefore, specialists’ advice is to not only make a thorough research on the subject but also not to trust anyone and consult a licensed professional so that you don’t have any regrets later.
Botox is perhaps one of the most popular medical aesthetic procedures out there. Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax the facial muscles, which contract and cause fine lines and wrinkles. “Botox” is the original and most famous brand as well as one of the most tested products on the market. It is a product of nearly 20 years research and is widely used in medicine today. Botox was first used in ophthalmology and neurology in the 70’s. In the 90’s began its use for cosmetic purposed, and more precisely for treating wrinkles.
In spite of all the research done on this aesthetic procedure, there are a lot of misconceptions about its application and its effect. Here is a list of some of the most common myths about botox and their disproval:
Myth 1: Botox is a poison
Botox is a neurotoxin. It is synthesized by a specific type of bacteria – Clostridium Votulinum. For medical purposes, type A is used and very rarely – type B. The truth is that botulinum toxin is so purified and weak that its relaxing power is only enough for the specific muscle. It does not enter the general bloodstream and is completely absorbed after 4-6 months. For 50 years, Botox has been actively used by neurologists in much bigger doses in comparison to aesthetic dermatology where the doses are extremely small.
Myth 2: Botox leads to paralysis
Botox does not block facial expressions, although it interferes with the appearance of wrinkles. Facial mobility is preserved. Botox temporarily blocks the action of the muscles in the treated area, whereby the skin relaxes and does not contract. It is most often placed where the movement of the muscle causes wrinkles and it is easy to safely block them – forehead, wrinkles between the eyebrows and the eye area (crow’s feet).One of the factors for the safety of Botox is that complete recovery of the muscle is achieved after a certain time – the effect of the procedure lasts up to 6 months. During this time, Botox is broken down by enzymes in the body and the nerve endings regain their former function. When placed correctly by a specialist, there is no danger to the patient’s health.
Myth 3: Botulinum toxin is addictive
Medical research disproves this theory. Even if its use is stopped, there is no habituation. Addiction does not exist. The effect of Botox lasts on average between 4-6 months, after which muscle activity is fully restored. Therefore, over time when re-injecting botulinum toxin, the muscle remembers that it has not been used actively for some time and its mimic activity decreases. As a result the wrinkles don’t get deeper and need to use it is gradually eliminated or the dose of Botox is simply reduced with each subsequent application.
Myth 4: Only people over 40 should get botox
This is a common misconception. It is always best to prevent wrinkles instead of waiting for them to appear and then start looking for a solution. This aesthetic procedure is precisely one to prevent the cause of wrinkles.
Myth 5: Botox accumulates in the body
Botulinum toxin is proven to be safe and with minimal side effects. It does not accumulate in the body due to the fact that it is eliminated by enzymes in the body for 3 weeks. According to studies, diluted botulinum toxin, which is injected into wrinkles, is broken down without adverse effects on the body.
Myth 6: The procedure is painful
When applying Botox, insulin needles, which do not require anesthesia, are used. This creates maximum comfort for the patient without causing them any pain.
The bottom line is that botox is a relatively safe procedure that does not endanger your health. However, in order to be on the safe side, it is important that the treatment is performed by a professional that has a certificate for applying botulinum toxin injections.