- Botox® myth #1: it’s just for extremists who care too much about what others think
- Botox® myth #2: it’s just a cosmetic procedure
- Botox® myth #3: it’s poison being injected into you
- Botox® myth #4: it will make you look frozen
- Botox® myth #5: it’s a painful treatment
- Botox® myth #6: it’s a permanent treatment
- Botox® myth #7: it’s mainly for aging people with lots of wrinkles
- Botox® myth #8: it can flatten all wrinkles and make me look young again
- Botox® myth #9: it can be interchanged with dermal filler
- Botox® myth #10: it can be addicting
- Botox® myth #11: it’s expensive
- Botox® has a long-standing reputation for being a viable, cosmetic and medical solution
There are a lot of myths about Botox® out there. A lot of it can prevent someone from getting Botox®, when, if they had the right information, they would actually prefer to make use of it. Of course, there is nothing wrong with opting out of Botox® as a solution for cosmetic or medical concerns. But at the same time, there is also a lot of merit in being educated about it, so you can make the right choice for yourself.
In this article, we’ll explain the myths about Botox® and what you really need to know about it, if you are concerned about wrinkles, migraine headaches, large masseter muscles, jaw clenching, hyperhidrosis, gummy smiles, thin lips or other issues it can help with.
Botox® myth #1: it’s just for extremists who care too much about what others think
According to the 2021 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures, 70% of consumers are seeking cosmetic procedures nowadays. They do this for reasons other than how others perceive them. The survey shows that reasons for cosmetic procedures can be more about how consumers feel about themselves.
Interestingly, 62% of respondents in that survey were concerned about wrinkles and lines.
The stigma around getting Botox® has been greatly reduced in the last decade or so. People are openly talking about it nowadays. You can learn about patients’ Botox® experiences on social media and blogs.
It’s also not just a women’s treatment. Men are getting Botox®, and dubbing it, “Brotox.”
Botox® myth #2: it’s just a cosmetic procedure
Botox® actually started out as a medical treatment. It has been used medicinally since 1977 (and since 1992 in Canada). According to the National Library of Medicine in the USA, this drug can be used for:
- Excess sweating
- Neurological disorders causing unintentional muscle contractions
- Uncontrollable eye blinking (called, blepharospasm)
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Migraine headaches
- Bladder dysfunction (for an overactive bladder resulting in leaks)
According to HealthLinkBC, it can also be used for all of the above and:
- Involuntary neck movements (cervical dystonia, or spasmodic torticollis)
- Drooling or producing too much saliva
And, according to Health Canada, it can be used for all of the above and:
- Limb spasms in stroke patients or children (focal spasticity)
In 2001, Botox® Cosmetic was approved by Health Canada. This gave it an indication for use in medical aesthetic clinics to treat forehead wrinkles, glabellar lines (the 11’s between the eyebrows) and crow’s feet around the eyes.
Off-label Botox® applications
Doctors can also use Botox® as an off-label treatment for issues related to the above conditions. For example, stiffness and spasticity treatments can be applied to patients with cerebral palsy (CP), traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury (SCI).
Botox® can also be used for involuntary jaw clenching, known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (abbreviated as TMD or TMJD). This same treatment decreases the size of masseter muscles, which gives a face slimming effect that some patients desire.
Botox® myth #3: it’s poison being injected into you
Botox® is a diluted form of a toxin produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum.
In its pure form, this toxin is responsible for botulism-related food poisoning. That is certainly serious. However, getting Botox® is a far cry from inducing those negative effects.
Botox® is formulated into onabotulinumtoxinA (or, botulinum toxin type A). Its molecules are surrounded by proteins that affect how it spreads in the skin. It is also highly diluted, and mixed with saline, before being injected in small, precise doses.
Botox® works to relax muscle contractions where they are too active. For migraine headache or pain sufferers, this can be a welcoming relief. For those concerned about wrinkles, Botox® can help soften the lines that are created by repeated facial expressions.
Botox® myth #4: it will make you look frozen
Botox® has been made fun of because of its ability to make people look ‘frozen.’ While it certainly can do this if enough of it is injected into you, it is often not the case.
There are many, many people who opt for the ‘natural’ look when seeking Botox® treatments. For these people, most of their friends and family don’t even notice they’ve had any wrinkle treatment at all.
That said, some people like the ‘frozen’ look, and they are welcome to ask their injector for it.
These days, however, injectors trained in the MD Codes™ method for Vancouver non-surgical facelifts are aware of how the entire facial anatomy works on each individual they see. They can make recommendations for very slight adjustments using Botox® and filler. These tweaks can greatly improve one’s appearance, without overdoing it.
Botox® myth #5: it’s a painful treatment
Botox® is not that painful. It is injected with thin, diabetic needles. Diabetics have to use these needles every day. So getting a few Botox® ‘pokes’ once every 3 – 4 months is certainly tolerable.
Plus, if you are really worried about pain from Botox®, a doctor’s office can offer you ice packs to help reduce the sensations you’ll feel during the treatment.
Botox® has been known to cause a mild headache after a treatment session. However, this typically goes away within a few hours. The headache can be more about the stress of being injected, rather than the Botox® itself. Remember, Botox® is a muscle relaxer! It is used to fight pain, not create it!
Botox® myth #6: it’s a permanent treatment
Botox® typically lasts about 3 – 4 months. It needs to be replenished to continue to be effective.
Botox® myth #7: it’s mainly for aging people with lots of wrinkles
Botox® is a commonplace treatment among Gen Z, Millennials and older generations alike.
In fact, Botox® is actually used by many in their mid-twenties as a preventative wrinkle treatment.
You see, static, permanent wrinkles are formed when we make facial expressions, which cause dynamic wrinkles. Reducing the ability to make dynamic creases in the first place is thought to prevent the static wrinkles that ensue from them.
And, as we’ve seen above, Botox® has practical uses for concerns other than wrinkles. It’s not always an age-dependent treatment.
Botox® myth #8: it can flatten all wrinkles and make me look young again
Botox® is a very useful tool when fighting wrinkles, but it’s only one in the full arsenal of anti-aging devices. Botox® mainly works on dynamic wrinkles, not static wrinkles. To fight static wrinkles, additional solutions are needed.
For example, to achieve your best look, you may require dermal filler, skin resurfacing, skin tightening or other treatments. This will always need to be customized for a patient. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Botox® myth #9: it can be interchanged with dermal filler
Botox® and dermal filler are two very different treatments. Botox® works by relaxing muscles to smooth lines while making facial expressions. Dermal fillers can be thought of as volumizers; they add substance beneath the skin where it has lost collagen and elasticity, or didn’t have much of it to begin with.
Botox® and dermal fillers are often used together for best effectiveness. When used together, the treatment is called a non-surgical facelift.
Botox® myth #10: it can be addicting
The Botox® formula itself is not addictive in any way. Your body does not produce a reliance on it. When it is metabolized by your body after a few months, its effects simply dissipate.
Sometimes bloggers will say they are “addicted” to Botox®. However, this is moreso a colloquial expression to describe how much they enjoy the results of getting it.
At our clinic, we can joke this way sometimes too. It’s ok to laugh sometimes!
Botox® myth #11: it’s expensive
The term “expensive” is relative. Botox® is certainly not cheap in the sense that you can get it for a few nominal dollars. For example, at our clinic, rates begin at around $275 per treatment area (though this can change at any time – contact us for the most up-to-date rates). It’s not uncommon for someone to come in wanting to treat multiple areas, and end up spending $1,000 or so every 3 – 4 months.
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But, when you think of all the other things that people spend money on, without even thinking about it, Botox® can be a comparable expenditure to other nice-to-have things that make you feel good. For example: dining out, getting tattoos, going skiing, attending concerts, shopping for clothes or buying magazines.
Those purchases really add up over time! And, they’re not all long-lasting, either. But, people spend on them because they value them. Botox® treatments follow in that vein.
It’s an investment in yourself for later in life
The other way to think about it is that, for some people, they may consider ‘big’ procedures as they start to advance in age. Facelifts, for example, can be very costly and come with risks associated with surgery. But taking care of your appearance while you’re young can greatly reduce the need to undergo those ‘big’ procedures later in life.
There might be help when paying for medical Botox®
For migraine sufferers, the makers of Botox® offer some support to help cover its cost. Learn more about it at https://botoxsupport.ca/.
Unfortunately, Botox® is not covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) in B.C. for medical treatments. However, you can ask your private insurance provider if they will cover it.
Botox® has a long-standing reputation for being a viable, cosmetic and medical solution
As we’ve seen above, there are a lot of misconceptions about Botox® out there. However, not all of them are valid. Botox® has been used as a viable, medical treatment for decades. It has gone through regulatory approval to be used for cosmetic purposes. And many people find it valuable for what they spend on it.
Of course, like all drugs, it can have potential side effects. The severe ones are very, very rare. The most common ones are nothing to worry about: a mild headache, plus some bruising or redness. These clear up within a few hours or days, if they happen at all.
On the flip side, it’s important not to set your hopes too high on what Botox® can do. Botox® is just one method for treating cosmetic concerns like wrinkles. And, for something like excess sweating, a more permanent solution, like miraDry®, may even be more desirable. Botox® needs to be re-injected every 3 to 4 months to remain effective. So it’s not permanent either.
Now that you know more about Botox®, we hope you’ll consider it as the reputable solution it has become popular for!