The Truth About Botox
Here's the good news if you are considering Botox for treatment of wrinkles.
Botox smoothes moderate to severe frown lines helping you to regain a more youthful appearance. In addition, it can soften unhappy and angry facial expressions. Its affordability, effectiveness, safety record and treatment comfort make this modality a true winner compared to any other anti-wrinkle treatment. Botox is currently the number one non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). It is also one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures worldwide.
Yet, many possible candidates that could greatly benefit from the effects of Botox are still hesitant to receive treatment due to the following misconceptions.
Myth 1: "Botox is dangerous"
Botox has a great safety record.
Over 2.8 million Botox procedures are done annually without any reported significant side effects.
The pioneers of Botox, Drs. Caruthers, have been using Botox for treatment of facial lines since 1987. At a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in July 2004, they demonstrated that no long-term side effects were seen with repeated Botox injections, even among patients who received 30 injection sessions over a nine-year period.
In fact, Botox is used for a variety of other debilitating medical disorders such as excessive blinking disorder (blepharospasm), misalignment of the eyes (strabismus), abnormal head position associated with neck pain (cervical dystonia), migraine headaches, back pain, excessive underarm sweating and is currently under study for many other medical indications.
Myth 2: "I will have a frozen face with no facial expressions."
Botox can give you a naturally youthful appearance.
There is a harmonious balance between the muscles of the face. If too much Botox® is injected, one can easily lose the action of the muscles of facial expression. However, if this muscular balance is maintained, by only injecting small doses into specific muscles, one can achieve a natural softening of unwanted lines and wrinkles without compromising facial expressions.
Myth 3: "Botox will poison my body"
As with any medication, for the highest level of safety, proper dosing is key.
For cosmetic use, the typical patient receives an average of 20 units of Botox per treatment, a very small fraction of a harmful dose. Even Tylenol, one of the safest pain medications, can be harmful when used in very large doses. Additionally, The body naturally eliminates the administered Botox in an average of three to six months.
Myth 4: "I am afraid of painful injections"
Botox injections are virtually painless.
Your Botox treatment involves a few tiny injections that require no anesthesia. However, an attentive doctor will provide an anesthetic cream or icepack prior to your treatment to make it as comfortable as possible. Talk to your doctor about your fears, as she/he can alleviate your concerns through proper education.
Myth 5: "Botox treatments can cause droopy eyelids"
Droopy eyelids is a rare complication.
An experienced medical professional can minimize the risk of developing complications. If your Botox treatment is administered properly, the risk of suffering from droopy eyelids is very low. As with any potential side effect, this condition is temporary and should resolve within a few weeks.
To ensure the highest safety, effectiveness and treatment comfort, your Botox treatments should be performed by an experienced medical professional who is knowledgeable and uses proper technique. The practitioner needs to be familiar with the complex anatomy of your face and must be willing to communicate with you to obtain the best results.
The correct amount of Botox injected, in combination with the proper technique utilized, will give you an aesthetically pleasing result. When used in combination with other facial rejuvenation treatments, you can have a non-surgical facelift without the downtime, recovery and cost of surgery. Talk to your aesthetic physician to find out if Botox is right for you.
Dr. Brent Larsen is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, specializing in the treatment of obesity. Board certified in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Larsen has extensive knowledge of many medical conditions. Healthy weight-loss, nutrition and exercise have been a lifelong pursuit and passion. He is an accomplished athlete--completing four marathons, two half Ironman triathlons and three full Ironman events.
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