Botox has become something of a buzzword in both the healthcare field and everyday life. For years, Botox and the users of Botox have experienced negative stereotyping. We are here to take a scientific approach and explore the facts versus the age-long myths surrounding botox. In reality, Botox is a beneficial medical treatment that is used for a wide variety of physical conditions and concerns.
Botox is the brand name for a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum called Botulinum toxin. This neurotoxic agent holds a variety of ethically safe and effective uses and has been a common form of treatment for multiple decades now. Other brand names of Botulinum toxin do exist, but Botox was the first injectable of this kind to hit the market — so the name stuck.
Every year, millions of Americans receive Botox treatment. In 2020, Botox injections were the number one most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure done.
How Does Botox Work?
The neurotoxin works by blocking nerve signals to the muscles, stopping muscle contractions. Specifically, Botulinum toxin exerts its action on a muscle indirectly by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the nerve ending, resulting in reduced muscle activity or paralysis. Aside from facial wrinkles and creases, Botox is commonly used to help with:
- Severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms
- Blinking that you can’t control (blepharospasm)
- Eyes that point in different directions (strabismus)
- Chronic migraines
- Overactive bladder
- Obsessive sweating
- TMJ / TMD
Myth #1: Botox Injections Are Painful
Not true! Botox injections do not require any form of painkillers or local anesthetic. The injection is performed by a highly trained medical professional, such as a Nurse Practitioner. With a small, thin needle, an injection is made into the corresponding muscle(s). Most individuals report feeling only a slight pinch during the procedure, and there is no discomfort following the injection. For those who remain apprehensive toward injections of any kind, not to worry. We use a numbing cream to dull any potential noticeable pain. Here at The Epigenetics Healing Center, our Nurse Practitioner has over 25+ years of experience with Botox injections — for both cosmetic and medical purposes.
Myth #2: Botox Will Leave You Without Expressions
This is also false. Botox is meant to be injected by a trained healthcare professional who has the necessary knowledge and experience to know where and how to use the product. As long as an individual receives treatment from a trusted medical expert, the injections will leave their face looking youthful and smooth — with all the personal facial expressions you wish to show off.
Myth #3: Botox Provides Immediate Results
That’s a lie. The misconception that you’ll walk out the door with the results already noticeable just isn’t true. Botox is a fast-acting toxic agent, but the full effects of the treatment take 7 to 14 days to show up — and last anywhere between 3 to 6 months.
Myth #4: Botox is Only a Treatment for Women
Think again! Whether for cosmetic purposes or other physical conditions, Botox is a common procedure performed on men. In 2020, over 265,000 Botox injections were performed on men in the United States. The most common locations where men receive injections are in the corners of the eyes, between the eyebrows, and in the forehead.
Myth #5: Botox is an Unsafe Treatment
That’s just bad information… Botox treatment has been approved by the FDA since 2002. Side effects are minimal and rare. Rare side effects can include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Swelling and bruising at the injection site
- Dry eyes
- Excessive tears
Myth #6: Botox Builds Up Over Time in the Body
Botox does not stay in the body and continue to accumulate over time. The toxin is localized to the injection site and does not travel from that point. Additionally, the body breaks down the toxin over time and the muscle regains its prior behavior — as seen why the effects of Botox injections only last between 3 to 6 months.
The chemical injection is also not toxic to the body even though it is the same toxin that causes botulism — a life-threatening form of food poisoning. This is because the injection, whether for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes, is in such a small dose that it does not pose a health threat.
Myth #7: Botox is Addictive
One-hundred percent false. No properties of Botox are addictive or cause an individual to physically crave the injections. The impressive results from Botox often leave people wanting the same results again and again — meaning the habit of getting injections is tied to an individual’s desire to look a certain way, not because of the chemical makeup of Botulinum toxin.
Are you ready to restore your life?
Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Kansas City, MO who serves patients in the surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.