For having been discovered accidentally, Botox has had a major impact on the way women and men face the aging process. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, Botox cosmetic procedures, which include Dysport, Xeomin, Myobloc, Jeuveau, and Botox, all trademarked by Allergan Inc., have shown 845 percent growth from 2000 (786,911) to 2018 (7,437,378).
The term Botox is generally used interchangeably for products that use the botulinum toxin—and despite its prevalence in today’s society, myths and rumors about the procedure remain. Several of the most common misconceptions out there regarding Botox concern its use, results, level of pain, and whether or not it’s toxic.
To put some of these tall tales to rest, we’ve separated the facts from the fiction:
You can achieve a natural, youthful look with Botox.
The biggest misconception about Botox? It will leave you with an emotionless and unnatural facial expression, ensuring that everyone will know you’ve had work done. This notion is simply untrue. If Botox is administered correctly by a physician with years of training and expertise, it will temporarily smooth wrinkles and give your face a youthful appearance.
How does it work? Botox blocks signals from nerves to muscles, preventing the injected muscle from contracting. It’s generally used to smooth crow’s feet (wrinkles at the outer corner of the eyes), frown lines between the eyebrows, and forehead creases. It takes one to five days to take effect and lasts three months on average.
Patients should consult a physician prior to undergoing Botox to discuss the areas they want to enhance. To achieve the desired look, dosages may be higher for some and lower for others.
Fiction: Botox hurts.
Botox doesn’t cause an excruciating amount of pain, despite being delivered by a needle. Patients have described the injection as feeling like a mosquito bite, vaccination injection or pinprick. Some reviews have even said the injections were performed so quickly, they didn’t even know it happened. After a few quick injections, the physician will use cotton swabs to reduce bleeding and prevent bruises.
Botox is not toxic.
Botox uses a toxin called botulinum, which is produced by a microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning. However, when the medicine is distributed correctly by a board-certified physician, patients should not experience any botulism-like symptoms, which include muscle weakness, trouble swallowing, speaking or breathing, loss of bladder control, and vision problems. According to the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, it would take an injection more than 100 times the average dose for Botox to be toxic.
Once you’ve decided to get Botox, do some research and choose an experienced plastic surgeon. A licensed physician will take into account the dosage, frequency, and placement of the injection to avoid these symptoms.
Botox is only used for cosmetic procedures.
What started out as a cosmetic treatment has become so much more over time, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuously adding to the list of FDA-approved medical uses of Botox.
So far, Botox has been authorized to treat symptoms including incontinence and overactive bladder, while also assisting adults with upper- and lower-limb spasticity, abnormal head position and neck pain occurring in patients with cervical dystonia, along with eye muscle problems (strabismus) and abnormal eyelid spasms (blepharospasm).
Botox can also be administered to help the 39 million people who suffer from chronic migraines, which constitutes 15 or more days each month with headaches lasting four or more hours each day. Studies have shown this procedure can decrease the frequency of migraine occurences by 50 percent.
In addition to the on-label conditions, there are a few off-label applications frequently used for medical means. For instance, in 2013, Boston-based laryngeal expert Dr. Steven Zeitels treated singer John Mayer for a throat condition with the procedure. Botox was injected into the singer’s throat, causing paralysis in his vocal cords for several weeks—once Mayer was able to speak again, he was able to sing and his condition healed.
Botox can address excessive underarm sweating.
In the summer of 2019, model and celebrity Chrissy Teigen revealed she receives Botox injections in her underarms to combat hyperhidrosis, documenting it on her Instagram stories for the world to see and bringing the issue to light.
Hyperhidrosis, which affects about 7.8 million people, is characterized by an abnormally excessive amount of sweating unrelated to heat or exercise. The treatment demonstrates that Botox can be injected into the armpits to block the nerves responsible for activating sweat glands. These results typically last anywhere from three to six months.
While the FDA has currently approved Botox for excessive underarm sweating, studies have also found this medication is 80 to 90 percent effective when used on excessively sweaty palms. Others have tried Botox in their soles, foreheads, and scalp to prevent sweating.
Dr. Anthony Buglino has years of expertise administering Botox safely and effectively. Buglino Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery offers multiple Botulinum products including Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. Dr. Buglino will consult with patients prior to the procedure to understand what features they want to enhance and develop a plan with the dosage and frequency necessary to achieve a youthful and smoother appearance. Schedule a consultation today.