cosmetics

The B Word

Thanks to shows like The Real Housewives and Botched, Botox has fast become a household name. Most of us, however, associate Botox in a negative light. I can safely presume we all have that one friend or family member who looks like they have been stung by a bee and permanently surprised about it. It is these people who have given Anti-wrinkle injections such stigma, but believe it or not, these women/ men are the minority. The majority of both men and women undergoing antiwrinkle procedures, are guided to do so with a natural and progressive treatment plan to ensure a natural looking result.

Botox is one of the most popular, non-surgical cosmetic treatments due its ability to reduce wrinkles in a quick and affordable manner. Ever since Botox emerged onto the cosmetic scene, both women and men have used the treatment to help reverse signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment is a great alternative to a face lift and offers far less extensive down time and risks involved.

Here are my top three reasons why it is ok to have Botox and to help alleviate the stigma :

1) BUT BOTOX IS POISONOUS?

Did you know that Botox was first approved by the FDA in 1989? To date there have been no fatalities or serious side effects reported in association with its use. Botox is a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin type A. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in the muscles allowing them to relax and in turn soften appearance of wrinkles.

The complications involved with Anti-wrinkle injections are very minor. Brow ptosis (a severe drooping of the eyelid) can occur in up to 5% of patient. (Great considering there has been tens of millions of treatments performed). The complications are typically very minor occurrences and resolve with time. People are quick to state that Botox is a poison and therefore unsafe, but so is any drug when overdosed. This is why Australia has extremely strict guidelines and policies for Registered Nurses and Doctors to adhere to, making sure your treatment is as safe and risk free as possible.

2) PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

A lot of women are under the disbelief that anti-wrinkle injections are only needed once they hit their 40’s/50’s. However it is my belief that preventing harsh lines from forming, begins in your late 20’s/early 30’s. Remember, the intention of antiwrinkle injections is not to keep you from having facial expression, but simply to keep you from making facial grimaces and frowns that have become habits and cause harsh static lines over time.

I myself have been having Botox injected into my frown and forehead for the past three years. I have a very low dose a couple of times a year which allows me to still have movement and look natural, but also gives me a slight brow lift and smooths the appearance of my forehead. I personally prefer this look on myself and therefore will continue to have anti-wrinkle injections throughout my 20’s and 30’s. Small amounts of Botox can be used to lift the brow, open the eye area and give a softer more pleasant appearance to the face at any age.

3) ITS NOT PERMANENT

I quite often hear my patients state “ But once you start having Botox, you can't stop”. The only truth in that is that you won't want to stop! Here is a simple break down of how it works:

The Botox is injected into the desired muscle, the nerves there are blocked and the injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften, and also helps prevent new ones from forming.

Once the protein stops functioning (typically within 2-5 months) it is broken down into amino acids and  excreted by the kidneys. Once the Botox has worn off, you are no worse off than before you started! You can either opt to treat with Botox again before the full contraction is back, or never have the injections again (but lets face it you’ll be hooked for life!).