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Debunking 5 Myths of Botox

Posted by Ashley Greer

Botox, or onabotulinum toxin A, is one of the most common and popular cosmetic procedures today. It is a neurotoxic protein that is effective in limiting muscle activity temporarily. Approved for medical use in 1989 by the US Food and Drug Administration, Botox was originally developed for ophthalmic use because it was helpful in treating eyelid muscle spasms. Soon, doctors began to see cosmetic benefits as well, and Botox was approved for cosmetic use in 2002. Botox helps improve someone's appearance by relaxing certain muscles that can cause fine lines and wrinkles over time. It is most effective in preventing and smoothing crows' feet, forehead lines, and the frown lines that appear between the eyebrows.

Although Botox has been in use for nearly thirty years and is extremely popular, a lot of myths exist concerning Botox treatments. Here we address five of the biggest myths about Botox:

  1. You don't need Botox until you have wrinkles. Cosmetic Botox is most effective in treating the lines and wrinkles caused by movement, lines such as crows' feet (caused by laughing or squinting), frown lines between the eyebrows (caused by frowning or squinting), and forehead lines (caused by raising your eyebrows). In our youth, skin is thick and supple enough to not show these lines, but as we age, our skin thins, and fine lines and wrinkles begin to show over time. Botox injections can be a preventative measure in the development of these signs of aging by temporarily and mildly paralyzing these muscles, thus preventing the movement that causes lines and wrinkles.
  2. Botox is only used for cosmetic procedures. Probably one of the biggest myths, the truth is that Botox was originally used in ophthalmology to treat strabismus (eye muscle disorder) and eyelid spasms. Botox now has multiple medical uses, including treatment for chronic migraines and overactive bladder. In addition, it is commonly use to treat excessive underarm, hands, and feet sweating that can be very embarrassing and troublesome.
  3. Botox is only for women. In 2016, nearly half a million men, mainly between the ages of 35 and 65, received cosmetic Botox injections, and that number continues to climb. In our youth-driven culture, men want to retain a youthful appearance just as women do. Some men see this as a necessity to keep a competitive edge in the workforce, where youth, energy and vitality are highly valued. And for many men, once they see a significant other have Botox and enjoy the results, they feel more comfortable having treatments as well.
  4. If you stop having Botox, your wrinkles will be worse. Discontinuing Botox treatments will never cause wrinkles to "come back" worse. Once the effects of Botox wear off (usually after 3-6 months), lines and wrinkles will gradually return. Although they won't be worse, after enjoying a more youthful appearance, you may find yourself more aware of them than before the Botox treatments.
  5. Botox can fix sun damage. Botox does not treat the wrinkles that develop due to sun damage, so the best way to preserve a youthful appearance is to wear sunscreen and moisturize skin regularly.

Botox is a popular cosmetic procedure for many reasons. It is safe, affordable, effective, and temporary. But as with any medical procedure, it is important to do your research, consult with a qualified medical professional, and make the best decision for your needs, desires, and lifestyle. However, don't let the myths surrounding one of the most common procedures today keep you from pursuing what could be just what the doctor ordered. 

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