Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the US, yet I find there are many misconceptions about it—what it is, how safe it is, and how it should be used. I would like to talk about the myths of Botox that I routinely encounter in my practice.
WHAT IS BOTOX®?
But first let’s talk about what Botox is.
Botox® is the Allergan brand name for the most popular and widely used botulinum product. It is a prescription medicine produced by a common bacteria and has been used in tens of millions of individuals worldwide for over 22 years for cosmetic and medical conditions.
WHAT IS BOTOX® USED FOR?Many of the wrinkles we develop as we grow older are from the constant motion of the underlying facial muscles. Over time this repetitive motion stresses the skin and a line or wrinkle is born. By injecting a precise amount of Botox (measured in units) into the body of a muscle, I can modify the muscle’s motion, reduce the stress on the skin from that motion, and over time the wrinkle won’t form, or if it’s already there, the skin has an opportunity to improve without the constant stress.
ON TO THE MYTHS
Now on to the myths. I will be referring to Botox® but everything applies also to the other two variations of the toxin on the market.
It’s best to shop around for Botox. You can always find a good deal
Yes, there are deals if you shop around. Skilled physicians generally charge more than someone with little experience. The stories of poorly injected Botox with bad results are always from injectors with little experience and low prices.
It’s important for the physician to have a detailed understanding of nerve and muscle anatomy, but there is also an art to Botox injections as well. One person may need just a little bit more Botox put here to look natural, while another may need a little bit less over there. After several visits with the same skilled physician, they will know exactly what works for you. Your Botox becomes a quick and accurate procedure.
Botox will make you look frozen
We’ve all seen that person with a face that doesn’t move, where there’s no doubt that they’ve had Botox. But when injected by someone who is skilled at injecting Botox, you should look good and very natural. Wiping out all motion isn’t necessary to get the desired result. The best physicians make it look like you’ve never had Botox.
I should wait until I have wrinkles
Dynamic wrinkles are caused by motion in your facial muscles. If you use Botox to help modify your muscle motion, you can prevent those wrinkles from occurring. Preventing wrinkles is easier than treating wrinkles. When should you start Botox? At the very least, you should start at the first hint of any lines that you don’t like, This will prevent them from becoming etched in place. That may be in your 40’s, but for many that may mean starting Botox in your 20’s or 30’s
Botox is a toxin, so it must be dangerous
Aspirin and acetaminophen are widely used for pain relief, yet both of these common medicines are toxic, and have caused death, when misused. Botox is one of the safest procedures I do in my office. I have injected tens of thousands of doses of Botox and have never had a serious complication.
Though Botox is exceedingly safe, it can be improperly placed. When that happens, even though it may still be very safe, the results may be less than perfect. So, proper injection technique is essential for the best looking results.
These are some of the myths I encounter in my practice when I speak to new patients. Botox is the safest and one of the best procedures I do in my practice. Having a patient come to me concerned with wrinkles and twenty minutes later having her walk out of my office, looking younger and natural is very rewarding. It is why I like Botox.
About Dr. Kimberly Finder:
Dr. Kimberly Finder owns and operates her own private practice, The Face & Body Place, in San Antonio, TX. As a board-certified dermatologist specializing in cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Finder has had exceptional training and experience in the area of facial rejuvenation.