5 Top Misconceptions about Botox

5 Top Misconceptions about Botox

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Patients often come see me with curiosity about starting Botox injections to reverse signs of aging, but often express concerns about the procedure.  Inevitably, those who try botox injections become converts to believers of the procedure.   Here are the five most common misconceptions about botox , along with the facts everyone should know.

Misconception 1:

Botox is a poison and therefore should not be placed inside the body.

Truth:  Although botulinum toxin was originally discovered as a bacterially derived toxin, its use in medicine is strictly therapeutic and has been used in a wide variety of conditions ranging from migraines, to excessive sweating, to wrinkles.  The small doses used in cosmetic applications are considered extremely safe from a medical standpoint.

 Misconception 2:

Botox creates an unnatural, frozen face that betrays the procedure.

Truth: Botox injections can result in a very natural but youthful appearance without looking “frozen”.  People often associate botox with an unnatural appearance because those are the outlier cases that people tend to see and become aware of.  The majority of well done procedures are subtle and go unnoticed by others.

Importantly, the cosmetic outcome of botox depends on which licensed health professional is administering the injections.  When administered by a properly trained and licensed physician (for example, a board certified dermatologist) who has the same aesthetic goals as you, the outcome is often natural and subtle.   Most of my patients tell me that their coworkers notice that they appear more “well rested” and “refreshed”.

 Misconception 3:

Botox is just botox

Truth: Just like how people refer to all facial tissue as Kleenex, people tend to refer to all injectable neuromodulators (the technical term) as “botox”, which is really the name of Allergan’s most well known injectable neuromodulator.  In reality, there are numerous competing brands of injectable neuromodulators priced differently.

 Misconception 4:

I can get “botox” much more cheaply from a local Groupon deal.

Truth: While many promotions may advertise shockingly low prices, the consumer should be aware that not all “botox” , or injectable neuromodulators, are created equal.  Botox is actually the brand name of the most well known injectable neuromodulator.  There are many different types of injectable neuromodulators each with its own price point.  There are also authorized and unauthorized retailers of the product.  Lastly, the price point of “botox” also depends on the skill level of the individual injecting the product.

 Misconception 5:

I don’t want to start botox because I will become addicted to it.

Truth: While one cannot become addicted to botox in the form of physical dependence (as one can be with alcohol or nicotine), one can become addicted to botox as one can with shopping for luxury handbags.  Potential side effects may include extreme happiness from looking better.

photo credit: Shopping for a Facelift via photopin (license)

Dr. Julia Tzu

Dr. Julia Tzu is a double board certified dermatologist who specializes in Mohs and reconstructive skin surgery, laser surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. She is one very few dermatologists in the world who has devoted additional years of formalized fellowship training in both Mohs surgery as well as dermatopathology, making her amongst the most highly trained and elite dermatologists.

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