4 Common Myths About Botox Dispelled

Posted on: 14 September 2017

Botox remains a popular choice for combating the signs of aging. But despite its wide use and how many years it's been around, a few "untruths" still seem to be floating around. If you're thinking about getting treatments but you're concerned about what you've heard, here are four of the most common Botox myths dispelled.

Myth #1: Botox is only for older people.

Not only is this false, Botox actually works better when you start young and here's why.

Most people begin to see fine lines and wrinkles when they're in their 30's and 40's. In fact, after the age of 20, your skin drops its collagen production by about 1% each year. So that's when most patients start thinking it's time to address the issue. But Botox isn't just a dermal filler to make up for the loss of collagen. It actually immobilizes the muscles at the site.

If making certain facial expressions (like smiling, scowling, and raising the brows in surprise) is what causes those lines to appear, what if you could stifle those muscles to begin with?

While 18 is too young to start, many doctors who perform cosmetic procedures say that starting Botox injections while in your mid-20's can actually prevent some fine lines and wrinkles from forming to begin with. You'll still be able to smile but the skin around the eyes and the forehead won't be subjected to constant creasing.

Myth#2: Botox is only for wrinkles.

The use of Botox hasn't always been so innocent. Derived from a strain of bacteria, Botox was accidentally discovered to be therapeutic in the 1950's when Dr. Vernon Brooks learned that injecting small amounts of botulinum toxin type A into a spasming muscle caused it to relax. From there, research exploded, and the toxin was used for neck and shoulder spasms, strabismus, facial and vocal cord spasms, writer's cramp, and even cerebral palsy. Eventually, a Canadian ophthalmologist realized a number of her patients who'd had the injections were losing their frown lines.

Today, the use of this "dermal filler" has widened to include treatment for migraines, hyperhidrosis, and cervical dystonia.

Myth #3: Stopping the injections will make your wrinkles worse.

There seems to be a common misconception that if you stop getting Botox injections, your wrinkles will come back tenfold. And this simply is not true.

The current recommendation is to get injections once every 3-4 months, but this can vary depending on how much Botox is injected and how you respond to the treatments. Some patients don't notice a return of those tiny facial movements once the 3-4 months are up and may choose to go longer between injections.

Over time, Botox trains your muscles to relax, but the results are not permanent. Once the substance clears from your system, you will eventually see a return of fine lines and wrinkles, but they won't be worse than before. If you stop the injections altogether, your face will form new wrinkles, but that's the result of normal aging, not Botox. Some patients may assume that stopping the Botox treatments worsened their wrinkles simply because they're seeing them again for the first time in a while.

Myth #4: Botox is only for women.

There definitely seems to be a double standard when it comes to aging. In men, wrinkles are often perceived as sexy and alluring. And some women admit to liking men who appear older and wiser. But according to a recent study, women tend to wrinkle more easily, and those wrinkles tend to go deeper. So that could also be the reason that women have dominated the Botox market.

Regardless, more and more men are seeking Botox treatments. And it's become so popular among the male population that the treatment is being dubbed "Bro-tox." The year 2010 saw a 10% jump in treatments among men, and apparently, they're not waiting until they're older to have the injections. So men and women alike definitely enjoy the benefits of Botox.