It’s easy to understand why people are nervous about getting anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox. After all, botulinum toxin Type A, to give it its proper name, is derived from a nerve poison; and yes, if it is badly done, it can look awful. But there's a lot of information out there about Botox and other anti-wrinkle injections that ISN'T true. Here are five myths, busted.
Anti-wrinkle injections will freeze my face and make it look unnatural
Even though most people have a fairly good idea of what Botox and other anti-wrinkle injections do, they usually think they ‘freeze’ the face, removing all expression and making that face look distinctively bizarre, with a blank forehead and eyebrows that are either springing upwards in permanent surprise, flying up at the outer corners, or pressing down heavily on the eyes. People think this because, well, we’ve all seen pictures of famous faces that look like this, and they look terrible. So when people think of Botox, they think of this ‘bad Botox’ look and fear that, if they went for treatment, that’s how they would look. But the fact is that any cosmetic practitioner worth their salt — like the practitioners listed on my site — will be appalled by that sort of look and would hate anyone to spot that their regulars even have Botox.
Anti-wrinkle toxins build up in the body over time
This is not true. The toxins do not get stored in the body. In fact, new nerve impulses are regenerated in three or four months when these anti-wrinkle toxins are used cosmetically, meaning further treatments are required to keep up the effect. If you stop having treatments, the muscles will resume their previous activity. Which very clearly shows that the toxin is not left in the body.
Botox is the same as Botulism (very nasty and possibly fatal food poisoning) and is unsafe
Botox is not the same as Botulism food poisoning, although they come from the same toxin, which explains the similarity in naming. Botox is made of a purified protein that is derived from the toxin. It’s also been extensively researched and tested for safety and effectiveness, so there really is nothing to worry about. Cosmetic Botox has been used for over 20 years, but has also been used in the medical field to treat neurological disorders and a range of other conditions for much longer.
Botox injections hurt
They really don't. The procedure does involve needles, but the ones used to inject Botox are so fine that each pinprick injection is no worse than a mosquito bite. Better yet, you only need a handful of injections and they are very quick to do. If you are really anxious about pain, your practitioner can apply anaesthetic cream beforehand. Most people, though, find that they don't need it.
You should only get Botox when you already have wrinkles
Actually, this one is debatable, more a matter of opinion than a fact. Many practitioners think that prevention is better that cure and that using anti-wrinkle injections on a younger face will stop expression lines from getting a chance to settle into place. 'Prejuvenation', they call it. If you habitually make certain expressions, like frowning, or scrunching up your eyes, having Botox or other anti-wrinkle injections in the muscles that make these expressions will reduce the amount these muscles can move. That in turn will reduce your range of expression, and with it, the lines that come along with that expression. Starting earlier — in your late 20s or early 30s — might mean that you won’t need the treatment as often when you’re older, as the lines and wrinkles won’t have had so much of a chance to form. The one thing that bothers me about this whole approach is that it tends to make people overly anxious about even having wrinkles in the first place. And they're a very natural part of life. But then, I'm older so I would say that, wouldn't I? But seriously, you don't need a forehead that's as smooth as a billiard ball. That really does look unnatural.