Ask The Expert: Botox Myths & Truths with Elite Dermatology
When we first started looking into dermatologists, it was important for us to find someone who was going to be able to help us with both skincare and anti-aging. We wanted someone we were comfortable with, who we could be ourselves with, and who would be knowledgeable enough to lead us in the right direction for preventive methods of anti-aging treatments like botox.
We found all of that in more in Elite Dermatology and Dr. Connie Wang and the entire staff! We wanted to post a blog that was a mix of Tried & True because we’ve loved our experience with Elite, but also Ask The Expert so we solicit the help of Dr. Connie to debunk some of the crazy myths about Botox.
If we’re being honest, some of these questions and myths we heard and believed. Botox is common and been around for decades, yet there are still so many mistruths out there. So it was important for us to be open and honest about the entire process in case there are mama’s out there wanting to give it a try, but are scared.
Botox isn’t for everyone, nor are we saying everyone needs it or should do it. But for us, it’s been a confidence booster we never thought possible! It was super easy, wasn’t painful in the slightest, and we were lucky not to have any crazy adverse reactions. We’re in our thirties and we want to take amazing care of our skin now, so the work we’re putting in now shows when we’re 50 and 60.
We think a big reason why people still believe some of the myths out there about Botox is because getting botox is still a very taboo topic to openly discuss. That’s exactly why we’ve been so open about it from the beginning. Why not talk about it? It’s awesome! So we got Dr. Connie to help us debunk all the crazy myths out there and set the record straight!
General Botox Questions:
What is Botox and how does it work?
The term “Botox” is used now a days to refer to multiple different brands of injectable botulinum toxin used to temporarily improve wrinkles. The same way that we sometimes say “Kleenex” when referring to any brand of facial tissue, some people use the term “Botox” when referring to the top three brands of botulinum toxin used in the United States: Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin.
Treatment with Botox is quick, easy, and almost painless, thanks to really really tiny needles! It usually involves a few needle pokes into carefully planned out areas of the face. Once injected, Botox works by temporarily preventing communication between the nerve and the muscle in the targeted area.
How early should women entertain the idea of injections for early prevention?
This is a great question! Early prevention is key! Deep set-in wrinkles can take multiple treatments to improve and sometimes are impossible to reverse. How early to start definitely depends on the person – the amount of sun-damage she has, quality of her skin, and how expressive she is are all factors that should be taken into account. I think a general gauge is if you start to notice the crinkles around your eyes when you smile or lines that form between your eyes when you frown and on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows, you should see a dermatologist to see if Botox is right for you!
Can Botox fix all wrinkles or are some too far gone for it to help?
Botox cannot fix all wrinkles. Wrinkles that are deeply set even when the face is at rest can only be improved slightly, or sometimes not at all. Also, although small amounts of Botox can be used to treat vertical lines on and around the lips, other wrinkles, particularly the smile lines on either side of the mouth cannot be treated with Botox, because injecting Botox in certain areas around the mouth can change your smile or make it uneven.
An good injector should give you realistic expectations of what Botox can do for you!
What else can Botox do beside treating wrinkles?
Botox has many uses beside smoothing out wrinkles! It can be injected in the armpits and even in the palms and soles to stop excessive sweating. It can be injected into the large chewing muscles on either side of the cheeks for a slimming effect and for TMJ pain/grinding. When injected in the common areas for wrinkles, Botox can give a slight brow lift. We are also starting to use Botox more for a procedure called the “lip flip” in which a few units of Botox is injected into the lip which adds just a little pop to the lip.
How long does Botox last?
It varies from person to person and also varies by how much Botox was injected. In general, Botox lasts about 3 months.
What are some common side effects of Botox?
It is common to have some injection site pain. As much as we try to avoid it, we may sometimes induce a small bruise that usually can be covered with makeup. Everyone has asymmetry in their features or in their muscles. Sometimes one side may move a little more than the other after treatment – and can be fixed with a quick touch up.
Botox can help clear up acne.
Acne is very multifactorial. Botox can decrease sweating in the area where It was injected, so if sweat is contributing to acne, it may potentially improve the breakouts, but in my experience, this is not common.
Botox will make me look frozen.
An experienced injector will talk to you about the look you want to achieve. Most people do not want a paralyzed face. I generally want to help patients achieve the most natural look possible – so your kids and husband can tell when you’re happy or angry! 😉
Botox can permanently paralyze your face.
Botox is not permanent (although if we love our results, don’t we wish it was)! The effects of Botox will wear off in 3 months. So if you hated the results or it felt weird – you’ll be back to normal pretty soon!
Botox is toxic and can lead to health issues.
Botulinum toxin is toxic, and can lead to health issues, however, Botox, on the other hand is a purified toxin made for therapeutic and cosmetic injection. When used by an experienced injector, it is rare to have any serious adverse effects from Botox. Most serious adverse effects occur when Botox is used in LARGE quantities for medical conditions. The small quantities we use for cosmetic injection rarely, if ever, lead to serious health issues.
There are people who have medical conditions (nerve or muscle related) that make them very sensitive to Botox. That is why it is so important for you to see a medical professional for your treatment!
Once you get Botox, you need to keep getting it, because your face will never look the same. / When Botox wears off, you can look worse.
Botox can only slow down the aging process by preventing muscle movements that create and deepen wrinkles. It will not make your wrinkles worse once you stop using it. We do tend to get attached to the way we look with Botox, however! It may be why you’ll never look at yourself the same way!
Getting Botox can give some funny side effects like headaches and leave you feeling nauseous.
Although this is true, these side effects are very rare. Botox is actually used to treat headaches, so in most people, it actually improves their headaches, but it is possible to get a headache for a few hours after your Botox treatment, especially your first treatment. I’ve only ever had one patient who gets a mild headache every time she gets Botox (and she loves the results so much she continues to get it every 3 months)! Nausea is possible too – but I think this is related to needle-phobia and will subside quickly!
Botox lasts longer than Dysport, but Dysport works faster.
Botox and Dysport are the same purified toxin but made differently. It is difficult to compare the two in efficacy and duration because dosing (units used) is very different. I would say that in my experience, there is no pattern as to which lasts longer, but Dysport definitely takes effect 2-3 days earlier than Botox.
You can start to see the effects of Botox right away.
You will not see the effects of Botox immediately after treatment. You will start to notice change at 5-7 days, and full results can be seen at 2 weeks! So it would be smart to plan your Botox appointment a few weeks before any events you would like to look your best for!
For more information on Elite Dermatology or to book an appointment, visit their website!