Debunking Botox Myths

We have all witnessed the Botox horror stories. A celebrity looks like he is made of plastic. A woman is unable to show emotion or move her mouth. “Botox Gone Bad” screams across headlines.

Fortunately for you, these are mostly fairytales.

Botox has made leaps and bounds in just the last few years and is now viewed as an acceptable, and even preferable, anti-aging option for those of you who maybe want to appear a few years younger. But in order to clear the air, let’s debunk a few of the popular myths that have surrounded Botox.

1. Botox Will Leave You Expressionless

Many people, when they consider Botox, look at a photo of Carrot Top and say, “How do I stay away from that?” At the heart of it, Botox injections simply relax the muscle that have been causing the tightness and wrinkles. Contrary to popular belief, a person will still be able to make the full range of human facial expressions if Botox is placed carefully.  The amount that the muscles are relaxed depends on how much is put in and where it is placed.  By skillfully placing just the right amount, one can get a relaxed look that isn’t frozen.

2. Botox Injections are Incredibly Painful

Did you know that many people will go and get Botox injections in the middle of their workday or as one of their errands? The sensation one experiences when getting Botox could easily be compared to a mosquito bite or quick pinch.  Of course, some injection techniques can minimize discomfort, and some injectors are gentler.  One thing that makes the whole process easier is to be relaxed.  The more tense you are during injections, the more painful they tend to be.  That means, it is important to feel ready for your treatment and to be comfortable with your injector.

3. Botox is Unsafe and Dangerous

Botox has been around for about 20 years, all the while maintaining a trusted and well-established track record and reputation. Unbelievably, over four million people have opted for Botox treatments in just the United States. No reputable doctor would purposefully inject something dangerous into your body.

4. Botox Works Immediately!

Well, Botox doesn’t quite work immediately, but users see results very quickly. Many patients can expect to see results from their Botox injections within 3-5 days and over 80% see improvement within one week of receiving treatment.  Full results, however, can take 2-3 weeks to appear.

5. Botox is Permanent

Unfortunately, this one’s not true either. Botox generally lasts between 3-6 months depending on the person. Botox has been known to last even longer in the brow area with regular use because patients become so used to not furrowing their brows that the lines are slower to reappear.

6. Botox Used for Cosmetic Purposes is the same as the toxin in Botulism.

While it’s true that the molecule used for cosmetic injections is produced by the same bacteria that causes botulism (food poisoning), the risk of developing botulinum toxin effects is extraordinarily small when Botox is used correctly for cosmetic purposes.  Nonetheless, effects have been reported.  These risks are probably greatest in children for whom Botox is used for non-cosmetic purposes to treat spastic muscles.

Botox can have amazing effects on a person’s self-esteem and overall image. Why not consider a consult with your dermatologist to see if it is right for you?

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Meet the Doctor

Lawrence Osman, MD

Lawrence Osman, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and liposuction surgeon in Los Angeles specializing in minimally invasive techniques such as liposuction using local anesthesia. He has offices in the Los Angeles area in both Northridge and Calabasas. Visit www.drosman.com to learn more.

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