7 false myths and a truth about Botox

People & Style

Araceli Nicholas



Despite the fact that it is one of the most demanded techniques in aesthetic medicine to rejuvenate the face, the botox arouses misgivings among many people. The swollen or frightened faces that some celebrities have worn, on occasion, have caused false rumors about botulinum toxin. To find out what is true and what is false in them, it is best to turn to professionals.

Botox paralyzes the face and does not allow gesturing: FALSE

One of the most widespread myths about Botox is that it paralyzes the face and makes gesticulation difficult, however, Gema Cabañero Director of the Gema Cabañero Antiaging & Advanced Aesthetics Clinic, assures that it is a myth. “Botulinum toxin does not paralyze the muscles of the face, but relaxes some of them.

When Botox infiltrations completely paralyze the muscle, it is because an excess of product has possibly been applied, which is why it is so important that they apply it aesthetic doctors in the right doses and places to achieve relaxation without paralysis. The effect that Botox causes, in reality, is “the relaxation of muscle strength, but this relaxation allows to continue with the gesticulation in a normal and natural way and more nowadays, that what is wanted is a much smoother result”, clarifies the doctor Marjorie Garcerant Tafur, Aesthetic Medicine Specialist and Global Head of Medical Excellence and Quality Assurance at Nordetia Group. By relaxing the muscles so that they cannot contract, the skin does not wrinkle, and in this way expression wrinkles are minimized, in particular, those of the upper third: between the eyebrows, forehead and crow’s feet.

Botox is the cause of swollen and frightened faces: FALSE

Another of the myths that circulate about Botox is that it is the cause of swollen faces and frightened faces that have sometimes appeared in the press. Gema Cabañero is blunt: «botulinum toxin does not fill. Many people confuse Botox with volume-adding solutions such as hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite (which, on the other hand, shouldn’t leave a ‘puffy face’ look either if applied correctly). Botox relaxes muscles to smooth wrinkles of expression, but not filling. And, as Dr. Marjorie Garcerant points out, “the ‘scared face’ that some celebrities sometimes wear, in which the eyebrow is very raised, the eye wide open, or there is no expression in the area of ​​the forehead, is due to having used more dose than necessary. With the modification of the current injection techniques, the reduction of the dose and the distribution of the same in a more homogeneous way, the result is much more natural and the formation of the so-called ‘fright face’ is avoided».

Botox is dangerous because it is a toxin: FALSE

Botox is applied to the upper third of the face: forehead, between the eyebrows and crow's feet.
Botox is applied to the upper third of the face: forehead, between the eyebrows and crow’s feet. – Gtres

As long as it is applied by a cosmetic doctor at the correct doses, Botox is a safe treatment. But, as Dr. Marjorie Garcerant points out, “botulinum toxin is the same toxin that produces botulism, in large doses, which causes muscle paralysis. But the dose used in aesthetic medicine, controlled in quantity, in distribution and in time interval in each of the sessions, makes it not dangerous. On the contrary, it is a highly useful drug for muscle relaxation in any of its versions, both for facial rejuvenation and for eye muscle contractures in patients who have diplopia, or severe muscle contractures». On the other hand, the expert comments that “years ago, the botulinum toxin was loaded with proteins, which could create antibodies in the body. But the new authorized toxins for use in aesthetic medicine are low protein load. This means that systemic antibodies are not generated, therefore, the possibility of adverse effects in the body, in general, has decreased.

Anyone can apply Botox: FALSE

Botox is a drug and as such can only be administered by a doctor. As the Nordetia Group doctor explains, “botulinum toxin does not have a free sale to the public and cannot be applied by anyone. It is necessary to be qualified in medicine to apply it and, in addition, to do it in medical centers that have a special license for its application». On the other hand, it is important to know that currently in Spain three toxins are approved, Bocouture© by Merz Aesthetics, Vistabel© by Allergan and Azzalure© by Galderma. That is why it is essential seek advice from a good medical professional and require detailed product information.

Its effects are permanent: FALSE

Botulinum toxin has a temporary effect that lasts about 4 months, «after that time the muscles recover their usual activity leaving no side effect», comments Gema Cabañero. For her part, Dr. Marjorie Garcerant adds that «it is indicated to place it every 6 months so that, in those two months, between the loss of the effect and the new application, there is a muscle recovery period so that it does not atrophy. Once a patient has spent between 3 and 5 years puncturing their session every 6 months, the muscle will no longer be as strong, both active and passive. What is achieved is a softening of the expression, a decrease in the skin fracture that produces the wrinkle. doing it this way expression will not be lost because it is well used, but less doses will be needed in each session and, in addition, you will be able to increase the frequency. Instead of having to apply it every 6 months, it can be applied every 7, 8, 9 or 10 months. Likewise, those people who have been pricking for 15 or 20 years can have it inserted once a year, or even every year and a half.

It can only be applied to older people: FALSE

Today aesthetic medicine is oriented towards prevention. As explained from Merz Aesthetics, «more and more experts recommend using botulinum toxin in a subtle way to early ages to prevent deep wrinkles from becoming visible. This new way of working aesthetic medicine with a more preventive approach will help delay premature aging of the skin.

It is a painful treatment: FALSE

One of the most common questions from patients is if the Botox application hurts. However, experts say that it is a treatment practically painless because very fine needles are used. And, on the other hand, there is the option to apply numbing creams.

The results are visible almost immediately: TRUE

Botox is a treatment Quick, that performed in the aesthetic doctor’s office, which does not usually last more than 20 minutes, and which allows the patient to continue with their normal life. The doctor Jaime Tufet, medical director of Clínica Tufet in Barcelona, assures that «once applied in 3-10 days the final results are seen». Dr. Marjorie Garcerant, on the other hand, comments that “the month of application of the botulinum toxin is important. When temperatures are high, the duration is less than during the cold months, at which point the duration of the result is increased.

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