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Debunking The Top 10 Botox Injections Myths

Botox Injections (sometimes referred to as Anti-Wrinkle Injections and Wrinkle Relaxers) are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments today and have been used in cosmetic medicine for nearly 20 years. Despite its increasing popularity there are still many myths and misconceptions around the treatment.

Here are 10 of the most common myths about Botox Injections collated from patients and doctors.  

MYTH 1 – Botox Injections should only be used when wrinkles are already present

Botox Injections can in fact be a preventative treatment to stop the formation of wrinkles and lines. By treating dynamic facial lines the static wrinkles are unable to form as the muscles remain relaxed. By having regular treatment the muscles become weaker and you are unable to make the facial expressions that cause the wrinkles to form.

MYTH 2 – If you stop having treatments you will look worse than you did before

NEVER. The ongoing use of Botox Injections will slowly decrease the size and strength of the muscle. Although the muscle will go back to normal once the Botox Injection has worn off in 3 to 4 months, it will be at baseline, and not any worse. The results are not permanent, but it is also important to note that if you stop treatments you will eventually still get wrinkles as the ageing process will not stop.

MYTH 3 – Botox Injections are just for wrinkles

Botox Injections are used in many medical conditions such as strabismus (cross eye), blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking), cerebral palsy, cervical dystonia, overactive bladder, migraines, hyperhidrosis, bruxism and many more.

In fact Botox Injections were discovered when being tested for treatment on an eye related medical condition, which obviously didn’t fix the eye problem, but did help the patients wrinkles.

MYTH 4 – Botox can be toxic and give me botulism

Botox Injections are derived from clostridium botulinum which is a bacteria that causes a type of food poisoning (botulism). Please note it is not possible for the Botox Injections to spread into the blood to cause an infection. The dose is only able to spread to the muscles and stays at the injection site.  

MYTH 5 – Botox Injections are addictive

Yes and no to this myth. Botox Injections are not an addictive drug. That said, the only ‘addictive’ aspect is the feeling of confidence and wellbeing after having a treatment.

MYTH 6 – Botox Injections can cause damage to my muscles and tissues

This is incorrect. When Botox Injections are injected it stops the transmission of a neurotransmitter from the nerve cell to the muscle which causes relaxation of the muscle as it cannot contract. The muscle is at rest but not damaged in any way and the treatment will only last 3 months before full muscle activity resumes. Botox Injections has been used in medical and cosmetic treatments for over 20 years without long term effects.

MYTH 7 – Botox Injections will leave me looking frozen and fake

FALSE! The end results of Botox Injections are up to the patient. The result is dose dependant and lighter doses can leave residual movement and a very natural look. Many prefer the frozen look (full relaxation of the muscle with higher doses) but a natural look is very possible. A subtle treatment often will get comments of ‘you’re looking fresh’ with no one knowing that an Botox Injections treatment was done.

MYTH 8 – The treatment has side effects and downtime

There is little to no downtime after Botox Injections with the only side effects being mild and temporary. These may include some tenderness, swelling, redness and bruising – primarily from the needle itself. Most people go about their day afterwards with no down time at all.

The more serious side effects are usually a result of injection into a neighbouring muscle or due to too high a dose. These may include eyebrow or eyelid droop, lip weakness, double vision, asymmetry or relaxation of other muscles of facial expression.

MYTH 9- Anyone can have Botox Injections

Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for Botox Injections. Those  who are underage and those with a neuromuscular disease such as Myasthenia gravis or with an active infection in the area cannot have the treatment.

MYTH 10 – Botox Injections are only for women

OF COURSE NOT! Welcome to the ‘brotox’ boom. There is a boom in the cosmetic industry seeing more men looking to refresh their look with Botox Injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels and laser.



About the author

Dr Kate Jameson - Cosmetic Physician

Dr Kate Jameson is the founder of Youth Lab, a medical cosmetic clinic based in the leafy suburb of West Perth in Western Australia. Specialising in a wide range of non-surgical injectable treatments which have been developed to repair, rejuvenate and protect the skin.

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