It seems that Botox is now as everyday as getting a manicure or having your brows threaded. Initially the realm of the rich and celebrities, Botox has moved to the High Street with home Botox parties and quick lunchtime top-ups.
But do we know what is it really all about? Botox® is a registered name for a type of Botulinum Toxin TYPE-A, there are several brand names for the toxin, they are Azzalure, Botox, Dysport, Vistabel, and Xeomin. It is a purified protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and is approved by the FDA to use for cosmetic line reduction. It is also licensed for cosmetic use in the EU. We asked Lesley Reynolds-Khan of The Harley Street Skin Clinic to dispel some of the biggest myths and questions about these notorious injections.
Here are the top 5 myths dispelled!
1. Botox is not a filler.
‘Every day I see men and women who come in to see me, saying that they want some Botox to fill out the nose to mouth lines! Botox is a neuro toxin that relaxes the muscles under the skin that cause frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s-feet, and forehead wrinkles not a filler.
2. It makes you look frozen and you can’t move your face.
‘It is a treatment that needs to be administered by an experienced cosmetic practitioner. They need to have good knowledge of the underlying muscles and how they work. You should look fresh and relaxed after treatment and it is the responsibility of the practitioner to not give botulinum in too high a dose, even if the patient asks to be frozen!’
3. Botox is not safe, being new, how do we know it will not do us long-term harm?
‘The history of Botulinum toxin goes back to 1871 and even further to medieval times. Botox has been used for 20 years in the aesthetic industry. Botox has a safety history with use in tens of millions of people worldwide. It is used to temporarily ‘cure’ things such as squints, in adults and children alike, relaxing spasm of muscles and contractures in children with cerebral palsy, preventing migraines, for muscle pain, to stop excessive sweating, to helping a weak bladder, and is used in much higher doses in these conditions.’
4. I will poison my body with Botox.
‘As with all drugs, it is safe when administered in the correct dose. A fatal dose of Botox is 2800 units, 100 times the average dose given for the treatment of lines and wrinkles. Large doses of common over the counter medications such as paracetamol and aspirin can also cause death. This is another great reason to have an experienced cosmetic practitioner administer it.
5. Botox can build up in your body.
‘Botox is fully biodegradable. Your body takes 3/6 months to break down the toxin and get rid of it totally. Any trace of Botox will no longer be detectable in the blood after this time.’
[picture credit: thinkpanama]