There are a number of common misconceptions about Botox. Many people confuse Botox with fillers like Juvederm, or believe that it leaves your face stiff and expressionless and that if you stop using it after a few years, you will instantly look 100-years-old. So, what are the facts about Botox? I've broken them down in a quick and easy Q&A format. Here we go!
Q: What is Botox?
A: Botox Cosmetic, or Botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes the injected muscle. It is one of the most popular and most requested cosmetic procedures in the country.
Q: When should I start getting Botox?
A: There isn’t a specific age when you should start getting Botox injections. It is very rare that people in their 20’s need them but if you are someone who tends to make expressions that create a lot of wrinkles, it is not a bad idea to start preventive aging even in your 20’s! Usually, the best time to start is in your 30’s when subtle signs of aging begin. In other words, Botox can absolutely be used as an early preventative measure for wrinkles. If there are deep wrinkles upon animation (meaning, whenever you make different facial expressions), then it is best to treat them prophylactically with Botox before they become visible at rest. Botox is ideal for treating crow’s feet, frown lines, horizontal forehead lines, worry lines around the mouth, lines on either side of the nose, and lines or bands on the neck for a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.
Q: What are the benefits of using Botox regularly?
A: Years of Botox may have a number of positive benefits. The fact that you are not using the muscles that cause wrinkles, means that as the muscles “weaken” over time from underuse, you'll need less and less Botox for maintenance. There is also a common misconception that if you decide to stop, that all of sudden your face will be full of wrinkles - not true. You have basically prevented the wrinkles from forming so you will still look years younger if you do decide to stop. Another benefit is that your facial muscles will “unlearn” frowning in a way - meaning that after years of continuous use of Botox, your muscles will become trained not to make wrinkle-forming expressions as aggressively. Additionally, you will be more aware when you do use those muscles to frown and thus more inclined to avoid those expressions.
Q: Where on my body can I get Botox?
A: For cosmetic purposes - the face and neck. However, Botox can also be used on the armpits and palms for excessive sweating and other locations for excessively tight muscles.
Q: What is the difference between Botox and Fillers?
A: Unlike injectable fillers, which work by restoring volume to deep wrinkles or depressions, Botox works by relaxing the muscles responsible for certain expressions. Expressions like smiling, laughing, frowning and even looking puzzled cause the muscles of the face to contract. Over time, the repeat skin creases that occur as the muscles contract can turn to permanent wrinkles and furrows in the skin. Botox works by erasing these marks of aging while also preventing future lines from occurring.
Q: Are the injections painful?
A: Before receiving Botox injections, you can ask for numbing cream to reduce any discomfort but most patients don’t find it to be necessary. It feels like a pinch and then it is over! If you bruise easily, taking Arnica right after will also help.
Q: How quickly will I see results?
A: The results of Botox can be seen anytime between 1 day after injection to 7 days.
Q: How often should I come back for more injections?
A: The results of Botox last from 3-6 months.
Q: Why do so many celebrities look like they can’t make natural facial expressions, is it because of Botox?
A: Just like anything else, there is such a thing as too much Botox (and filler). In cases where people are unable to make natural facial expressions, they simply have received too much of a good thing. That is why it is so important to choose a Plastic Surgeon who has a natural aesthetic and knows how to create a more youthful look without compromising your unique beauty and expressions.
Q: How long has Botox been on the market?
A: Botox is FDA approved and has been around for 30 years. It is considered to be a very safe and effective treatment to reduce wrinkles and slow the aging process but you do want to make sure you get it done by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is extensively trained in facial anatomy.