Here at Vitality Health, April is our “aesthetics month” and Botox is a great preventative tool against wrinkles. There are a lot of misconceptions about Botox out there, but we are here to “fill you in” on what it is, how it works, and be sure to read the Botox myth-busters, answering frequently asked questions for Botox procedures.

Facts About Botox

What is Botox?

Botox is an FDA-approved drug made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium “botulinum toxin.” Medically it is used to treat muscular conditions and cosmetically it is used to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles. Botox has been used as a prescription injectable for over 30 years to diminish facial wrinkles, reposition eyebrows, and flatten folds and crows feet.

How does Botox work?

Botox prevents signals from the nerve cells to your muscles so that they don’t contract, which makes these areas relax and soften. Wrinkles are caused when the muscles in your face contract or shorten, so when these areas are paralyzed, it reduces these contractions and allows the muscles to become less stiff.

Botox is most commonly used on crow’s feet around the eyes, forehead lines, and frown lines.

Where can Botox be used? What are the benefits of Botox?

Botox is approved for use on the forehead, between the brows and the crows feet. Wrinkles and lines in the lower face usually require filler.

A few benefits of Botox are:

  • Minimized crow’s feet and wrinkles
  • Lessened movement in areas that emphasize wrinkles
  • Treatment of migraine headaches
  • Useful for those with hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweat
  • Can be used to reshape arches of eyebrows or lift upper lids
  • Can be used to correct asymmetry of the facial structures

How long does Botox last?

The effects of Botox last an average of 3-4 months. The full effects of Botox take 7-10 days, so please allow for this prior to special engagements.

What is the procedure like?

The botulism toxin is diluted in saline and injected into muscular tissue with a needle. A Botox procedure is fast — less that 15 minutes with a small set of injections and is done with the smallest gauge needle to minimize discomfort. Not a fan of needles? Don’t worry, topical numbing and ice can be used to relieve any discomfort or swelling. Most people find it relatively painless. The amount of Botox used in each session varies by individual and will be discussed with your practitioner prior to treatment.

Botox, when well-done, is customized to your face, specifically focusing on which muscles you use the most and how they move, your facial symmetry, your activity level, and the general look you want.

Botox Myth-busters

Now, we’ll do a little myth-busting, answering some frequently asked questions and misconceptions about Botox.

Is Botox safe? Will Botox cause permanent damage?

We get a lot of questions like:
“Is Botox a toxic chemical?”
“Will Botox cause permanent damage?”

“Will Botox make my face look frozen?”

Botox is an effective, safe treatment that has been used for medical and cosmetic treatments for decades and has been FDA-approved since 1989. Botox is purified form of botulinum toxin A, which means there is no risk of botulism when used properly. It does not affect the nerves that cause sensation — you will not feel numb. Side effects occur in less than 1% of injections by qualified practitioners.

Botox will not cause permanent damage or paralyze your face — you can still have facial expressions after Botox! Over-application of injections or poorly trained practitioners cause these issues. This is not a problem with a qualified practitioner who is educated in facial structures.

Botox is safe, but it should not be injected by just anyone! Select a practitioner that is educated in the facial structures in order to avoid side effects such as dropped eyelids, etc.

When should I start Botox? Am I too young for Botox? Am I too old for Botox?

There’s no magic age to start Botox, but think of it as a preventative measure for wrinkles. If you start Botox before more wrinkles form, it can prevent new ones from starting while smoothing out current ones.

Is it wrong to want to change my face?

We hear of lot of guilt from patients contemplating facial changes. Changing your appearance is not wrong! It can help you feel more confident in your look without changing facial structures. It gives your face a relaxed, fresh look and will look very natural when it is done right.

Is Botox expensive?

Botox is not considered an expensive treatment and it is usually done every 3-6 months. Prices can vary between practitioners, but it is highly worthwhile to pay a qualified practitioner to get proper application.

Is Botox addictive?

Some people think once you try it, you’ll never be able to stop. Botox is not addictive! How you feel after getting Botox might encourage one to want to get it again, but it is not something you have to continue indefinitely if you change your mind. It will not “ruin your face” if you decide to stop and the decreased movement during the period of treatment will have prevented wrinkles that otherwise might have formed.

Can Botox be used on men?

Botox can absolutely be applied to men! Men age differently than women, but the benefits of Botox extend to their faces just like women’s. It is more and more common for Botox to be done on male clients.

Is there down time after a Botox procedure?

There is no downtime after the procedure, but we do ask that you do not exercise for 24 hours and stay upright for 4 hours.

We hope that helped answer some of your questions about Botox! For more information or a consultation with a quality-trained Botox practitioner at Vitality Health, click here.