Everyone knows the name Botox – but not everyone is aware of how effective and versatile it is. In this post, we’ll try to clear some of the hazy connotations and misconceptions associated with this famous cosmetic treatment. We’ll also look at its wide range of – sometimes surprising! – uses in the medical world.
What Is It?
Botox is a purified protein. Like antibiotics, it’s made from bacteria. When injected in very small doses into a muscle, it produces a local relaxation effect. Cosmetically, this effect is particularly useful when applied to your facial muscles: relaxing them can smoothen lines and wrinkles, leaving you with a more youthful appearance.
What Are Some Common Misconceptions?
There are two especially problematic misconceptions associated with Botox. The first concerns its’ safety. As with any treatment, there are very rare cases where a patient will have an inbuilt intolerance to the protein, or an incompetent plastic surgeon won’t apply it with proper care. Negative cases like these are of course the ones that make the news – rather than the millions of successful, complication-free injections that have been performed over Botox’s 90 year history. The cosmetic has been FDA-approved for the past 20 years, and it’s generally agreed to be very safe for both medical and cosmetic use.
The second misconception is over its results. Some people have seen pictures of celebrities whose faces look unnatural or lifeless, and assume that Botox itself is to blame. But in fact, proper application by an experienced facial plastic surgeon can yield fantastic results while still maintaining a very natural appearance.
What Are Its Uses?
Botox has an extremely wide range of applications, both in the medical world at large and for cosmetic treatments specifically. Best-known, of course, is its ability to soften the wrinkles that come with age and repeated sun damage. In small doses, it’s virtually unrivaled in its’ ability to undo the ravages of time.
But it also has some other more surprising uses. Medically, it’s FDA-approved for use in the treatment of chronic migraines, underarm sweating, crossed eyes, and a certain kind of neck muscle spasm. It’s also proven to be very useful in correcting overactive bladders. Early trials suggest that it might be beneficial for patients suffering from conditions as varied as depression, premature ejaculation, unusually cold hands, cleft lip, and a specific type of abnormal heartbeat. If you’re ever trapped on a desert island with only three items, Botox might be a reasonable addition!
Even in cosmetics, its uses are more varied than you might think. Aside from reducing wrinkles, it can also create the illusion of a slimmer face by being injected as a filler into your outer cheeks. As a muscle-relaxant, it can be applied to your masseter muscles – the muscles which are partly responsible for the chunkiness of your jaw. In this way, it can help those patients with double chins who would prefer not to undergo surgery.
Dr. Siegel is a facial plastic surgeon with extensive knowledge of Botox. To find out more about its astounding range of uses, contact him today!