AUTHOR: Dr. Mónica Alfaro

Botulinum toxin type A is a protein produced by a bacterium, which has a neuromodulatory, or relaxing effect on the muscles of facial expression.  It was initially used, around 1979, to treat blepharospasm or contracture of the muscle around the eyes which, when contracted, affected the patient's eyesight.  Gradually it was determined that patients who used this substance had fewer wrinkles. About 10 years later, it began to be used for aesthetic purposes, to eliminate the lines around the eyes.

At the moment there are several brands such as Botox®, Xeomin, Dysport, Nabota, among others, and it is used for many more purposes such as:

  • Frown lines
  • Forehead lines
  • Eyebrow elevation
  • Mouth angle depressor muscle that reverses the smile.
  • Bruxism
  • Jaw contouring with the Nefertiti Lift
  • Platysmal bands or sagging neck skin
  • Smoker's lips
  • Lip flip that makes lips look fuller
  • Migraine headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Among others

As long as its use is appropriate, the results will be very good, however, when it is abused, disappointments and problems arise and so do the myths about the use of botulinum toxin.

Skin treatment

Will I lose my expression with Botox®?...Learn more about the myths of Botox®.

As time goes by, age, excessive sun exposure and unhealthy lifestyles take their toll on the skin.  Many times photodamage can manifest itself as blotchiness, dryness, thinning or thickening of the skin and wrinkles. No one escapes sun damage, neither men nor women.   Therefore, it is important to be informed and always know the benefits, risks and side effects of this and any therapy by going to the best professionals.

Among the most common myths are:

  • "With botulinum toxin you lose expression, you can't express emotions. Botulinum toxin leaves frightened faces".   The proper use of this substance does not leave frightened faces.  It is possible to relax the muscle movement without paralyzing it.  This will depend on the points of application, the amount of product and the professional you select.

  • "Once the effects wear off, you look worse than before".   Aging does not stop, when the effect of the botulinum toxin wears off, between 3 and 4 months after it is applied, the expression lines become visible again as they were.  However, when using it for a prolonged period of time and suspending it, the appearance of aging will be less lines than expected for the age.

  • "Botulinum toxin deforms the lips".   Misused it will give bad results in any part of the face.  Usually, lips are deformed by improper use or abuse of dermal fillers, especially permanent ones.

  • "Botulinum toxin cannot be applied many times because it is a toxin.   It can be used over and over again without a problem.  There are patients who have used it regularly two to three times a year for more than 20 years.

  • "There are creams with botulinum toxin or botulinum toxin effect." Some products claim to have botulinum toxin effect.  No topical product will have the same effect as botulinum toxin works on the nerve and muscle, deep in the tissues.

  • "Botulinum toxin is for women over the age of 40."   Both men and women benefit from the use of botulinum toxin.  As for when to start its use, it will depend on skin condition rather than age.  Nowadays, it is increasingly common for younger people to start using this product preventively.

  • The application of botulinum toxin hurts.  A slight discomfort is felt very quickly and transient during its application.

  • "It is dangerous to apply botulinum toxin".  Yes, if a professional, trained physician is not selected.  Botulinum toxin is regularly used in specialties such as neurology and even in children.

Consider that by using botulinum toxin in appropriate points and doses, you see a refreshed face or skin, looking healthy and rested.

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