10 Things You May Have Heard About Botox That Are Wrong

When it comes to stopping the formation of wrinkles and getting rid of them, nothing does the job quite like Botox. But, is everything you’ve hearing or believe really the truth? We're setting the story straight and dispelling 10 of the biggest Botox myths out there.

1. Botox can be used anywhere on the face.
There’s a filler and injectable to treat just about every line and wrinkle on the face, but Botox cannot be used for everything. Although it is FDA-approved to treat crow’s-feet and lines between the eyebrows, many doctors use it off-label to address lines on the forehead, on the sides of the mouth, on the neck and to lift the brows. While it may seem like Botox can be used all over the face, there are only certain areas where it works; other injectables are an option for problems that Botox can’t correct.

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2. It works immediately.
Because Botox acts on the nerves that control muscle movement, its can take anywhere from three to five days for it to set in before you notice results. “Botox, as well as Dysport and Xeomin, in general, take between two to four days to start seeing effects and one to two weeks to see the full effect,” says Newport Beach, CA, plastic surgeon Sanjay Grover, MD.

3. You can never develop an allergy to Botox.
Anyone can be allergic to anything, Botox included. “Although rare, cases of allergies following Botox injections have been reported,” says Dr. Grover, adding that it can be hard to distinguish between a true allergy to Botox or an allergy to the dilutent used to dilute the Botox.

4. If you workout a lot you’ll need more Botox than the average person.
Whether you’re a workout fiend or you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in years, it’s not your workout choices that dictate how much Botox you need, but rather the degree of your lines and wrinkles.

5. Botox comes from the manufacturer in liquid form.
In actuality, Botox is sent to your doctor as a freeze dried powder and then mixed with sterile saline so that it is able to be injected. Great Neck, NY, dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD, says, “It must always be reconstituted prior to use.” Your doctor should always show you the bottle and mix it up in front of you so you know you’re getting the real thing.

6. You can never become immune to Botox.
According to Dr. Grover, although rare, it is possible to develop resistance to Botox due to the formation of antibodies to it following repeat injections.  “Techniques to minimize antibodies would include using the minimum dose required to achieve the desired effect at the longest interval between treatments.”

7. Botox is the same exact thing as botulinum found in food.
While it’s sometimes thought that Botox is the same as the bacteria that causes botulism, Dr. Graf says that Botox is the isolated toxin. “It’s not the entire bacteria.”

8. If you have a facelift, blepharoplasty or browlift, you’ll never need to get Botox.
These surgeries address loose muscle, skin and tissue, as well as displaced fat. Botox works on the nerves and muscles that cause wrinkle formation from expression. One can be done without the other and having one procedure doesn’t exclude you from ever needing the other. Most doctors recommend continuing with Botox even if you’ve had surgery.

9. Botox won’t do anything for superheavy lines on the forehead.
Despite the fact that it’s an off-label use, Botox can work wonders on deeply etched lines in the forehead. “It can sometimes take multiple rounds of treatment and time before the muscles become weak enough to really soften the lines,” says Dr. Graf.

10. It’s safe to have anyone inject Botox as long as they are some sort of doctor.
As with any type of cosmetic procedure, you should only trust your face (and your body) to a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon with extensive knowledge and experience using injectables. Just because someone—be it a doctor or not—says they can inject you with Botox doesn’t mean you should let them. 



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1 Comment
  • John Zannis John Zannis
    Posted on

    This is a great article that covers most of the common misconceptions surrounding Botox. It is important to speak with your injector and ask all of your personal questions to develop a good understanding of the process and what to expect. Although it might seem easy, and many docotrs and nurses are injecting Botox, I prefer to do all of the injections myself. A deep understanding of the facial anatomy is required to safely and effectively use the product.

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