Get The Facts: Debunking The Top 5 Myths About Botox

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To those unfamiliar with Botox, the thought of these procedures may conjure someone to visualize pointy needles, taut smiles, and numbed foreheads. But don’t get carried away by these misconceptions. Obviously, it’d be inaccurate to say that Botox treatments are a picture-perfect journey to a youthful appearance. However, there’s a reason why these procedures are widely performed each year and trusted by so many: Botox helps people feel confident about the way they look and reduces the signs of aging.

Botox is the popular brand name  — other brands exist, such as Dysport and Xeomin —  of a drug derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is present naturally in forests and lakes. The injectable botulinum toxin helps to prevent muscles from moving, which explains why Botox treatments produce great results that suppress or maintain the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s understandable to feel intimidated about undergoing these procedures. Nevertheless, you should remember why so many people get it in the first place. Read on as we debunk the top five myths about Botox.

1. Botox Is Painful

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All right, let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: There is a needle involved in Botox injections. Any procedure involving a needle is going to cause a little discomfort, so you will sense some pain (especially if you’re getting it between the eyebrows) as the Botox is injected into your skin. However, the pain is quite minimal and temporary. The best part is there’s no recovery time for Botox treatments, though it’s possible to experience some minor bruising or swelling near the affected area post-procedure. Additionally, it may take a few days or weeks before the results are noticeable.

Keep in mind that Botox needles are very thin because they’re meant to inject exceptionally small amounts of liquid into the skin. Of course, you can ask your practitioner to apply an anesthetic cream or ice packs to minimize the discomfort you may feel during the procedure. 

2. Botox Is Toxic To The Body 

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Despite the obvious fact that Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin, you cannot contract botulism from Botox because the branded drug is not the same as the toxin. Not only are the levels injected into the body very low (not high enough to be considered toxic), but Botox is meticulously regulated and controlled. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug after extensive safety testing — it’s no wonder Botox has been used for cosmetic purposes for over 20 years. 

3. Botox Will Paralyze Your Face

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Thanks to pop culture, many people assume that Botox makes someone’s face appear frozen or emotionless. However, Botox looks natural when properly applied and only affects muscles at the precise region of each injection; it’s meant to relax the muscles and give patients a more youthful, refreshed, and rejuvenated appearance. Therefore, do your research and find a qualified specialist with experience giving Botox injections. That way, you don’t need to worry about risking the inability to convey your emotions. 

4. Botox Is Used When You Start Seeing Wrinkles 

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If the Kardashians have taught us one thing, it’s that Botox isn’t only for “old” people. Indeed, it’s common for people in their late twenties to start getting Botox injections as a preventive treatment to suppress fine lines and wrinkles — you know, instead of waiting for those little suckers to appear. Along with reducing signs of aging, preventative Botox can also train the muscles to stop making certain facial expressions, which may lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that can form due to these movements.

Take Dr. Michele S. Green’s approach to Botox known as “Baby Botox,” which uses lower dose micro-injections that provide subtle, natural results that still allow the facial muscles to remain active without “freezing” them entirely. Because Baby Botox can help to balance minor asymmetries, it’s ideal for younger patients who are looking to prevent the development of wrinkles or people with mild-to-moderate fine lines and wrinkles.   

5. Botox Is Only Meant For Anti-Aging 

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While Botox carries a reputation for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the drug can actually be used in many areas of the face and body for other purposes. For example, Zara Harutyunyan — an aesthetic specialist and nurse practitioner at Cosmetic Rejuvenation Medical Center in Los Angeles — commonly injects Botox in the underarms, masseter muscle, and the philtrum (the area between your nose and lips). To elaborate: injecting Botox into the armpits can help reduce excessive sweating for patients who struggle with hyperhidrosis; Botox inserted into the masseter muscle can provide jaw relief for patients who experience joint pain, which is usually caused by grinding one’s teeth at night; and minimal Botox injected into the philtrum can correct a gummy smile, which displays too much upper gum while smiling.