According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, medical professionals administered an estimated 4 million Botox in injections during 2016. This shocking number places Botox among the top 5 nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. Despite its popularity and growing use, much speculation and misconceptions about Botulinum Toxin remain prevalent. But before speculation halts someone from making an appointment with a trusted practitioner, dermatologists shed light on the truth surrounding common myths about Botox injections.
Before raising an eyebrow to any hearsay, it’s important to gain a deep understanding of how Botox actually works. Botulinum Toxin is a poisonous substance when used in high concentrations, however an extremely small dose of the substance is safe for cosmedical purposes. This presumably magical anti-aging injectable proves to be a valuable therapeutic and cosmetic protein. Once injected, the substance works to block signals (neurotransmitters) from contracting treated muscles, causing the facial muscle to relax. As muscles become less stiff, wrinkles begin to flatten out and soften, thereby granting individuals a less stern and more awakened, bright-eyed appearance.
Although many people commonly associate Botox with lifting and fading wrinkles, Botox actually offers a variety of lesser-known medical benefits. Beyond fighting wrinkles, Botulinum Toxin is currently approved for the following therapeutic applications:
Furthermore, the Journal of Psychiatric Research performed a study in 2014 that suggests a link between Botox injections, and reduced symptoms of depression. Researchers linked Botox injections as a form of an anti-depressant, as the reduction of muscles frowning possible improve one’s overall mood.
Contrary to popular belief, Botox injections are not exclusive to females. In actuality, the existing data simply does not support this claim. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that the number Botox injections among males actually increased by nearly 337% since 2005. In 2017, men now account for approximately 10% of all Botox procedures. The only difference between male and female patients is that men may require a higher dose of Botox due to stronger facial muscles and metabolisms. While significant others and spouses play a role in convincing men to book appointments, many men cite job market competitiveness as their reasoning for pursuing treatment. Today, men use Botox injections to obtain a younger appearance and gain confidence within the workplace. Furthermore, social media may add an increasing pressure on men to look attractive, which increases the likelihood of men opting for plastic surgery. Lastly, with breakthroughs in administering Botox medically to alleviate certain symptoms, Botox is by no means a gender exclusive procedure.
It is a common misconception that Botox injections cause emotionless faces or the inability to move a muscle. Needless to say, this myth is false. Botox helps relax wrinkle-producing facial muscles at the point of injection. These muscles typically form crow’s feet, smile lines, and forehead furrows. Aside from these areas, all muscles involved in facial expressions will remain fully functional. Patients can still express a wide range of expressions after receiving Botox injections; but since the Botulinum Toxin remains stationary at the precise point of injection, it does not spread to other areas of the face or body.
Regarding cosmetic use, each patient’s case is different, and so there is no exact age minimum recommended for treatments. Rather, it depends on when lines begin to surface on a patient’s resting face. For some patients, this can occur as early as their mid-twenties, meanwhile, some may not even consider Botox until they reach middle age. In actuality, the earlier individuals seek treatment, the more effective the procedure will be in preventing the formation of wrinkles. However, experts do not recommend treatments for patients younger than age 20. In this case, a dermatologist may prescribe preventative creams as an alternative method to reduce facial lines.
Since medical professionals administer Botox via needle injection, many fear the procedure will be extremely painful. On the contrary, many patients report experiencing very little discomfort during Botox treatments. Although each person’s pain threshold differs, it is very rare for patients to experience any type of unmanageable pain while receiving Botox injections. In most cases, patients report a slight pinching sensation. Also, different facial regions such as around the eyes, are more sensitive than other areas. There are also numerous numbing creams that medical practitioners may administer if a patient feels uncomfortable. However, most patients do not find this necessary.
Botox is an FDA approved injection safe for cosmetic and medical use. Receiving Botox injections is an extremely safe procedure, so long as it is administered by a medical professional. There have been no negative long-term side effects reported in Botox users. To learn more about the anti-aging and beautifying effects of Botox, contact a top dermatologist near you today.