Busting Botox Myths, Part III

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Here are a few more popular myths we hear about Botox.  The real truth speaks even louder than words!

Myth: I can’t use Botox after a certain age.         

Fact:

It’s true that the label on Botox indicates that it is approved for people up to age 65. But it only says what it does because people who were studied for FDA approval were between the ages stated on the label. This does not mean we can’t use Botox on people who are older than 65, and, in fact, physicians do.

The actual FDA approval for Botox is only for the vertical glabellar lines between the brows  and for crow’s feet. But we use it routinely for other parts of the face. This is common practice in medicine. It’s called off-label use. In the case of Botox, it’s perfectly safe. In fact, it’s both legal and common to use medicines of all types off-label. By first approving Botox injections in the glabellar lines, the government agency helped ensure that Botox-like medications are safe for cosmetic use.

Myth:   Botox isn’t surgery, so nothing can go wrong.

Fact:

The truth is, even with Botox, things can go wrong. The injector can put so much Botox into dynamic lines that you lose your expression, or you emerge masked-faced or poker-faced. We don’t want to make people look fake or artificial.

You can avoid that pitfall by going to a physician – probably a dermatologist or plastic surgeon – who has years of experience and a great track record with injecting neurotoxins. A skilled injector knows the anatomy and injects Botox almost every day. The reason we stress that you must go to someone with experience is this:

There’s not much margin of error. There are many muscles under the skin and fat and then under the fat and muscle. If you don’t know your anatomy and inadvertently inject the wrong muscle group, or, if the patient doesn’t listen to instructions and stands on her head or goes and gets a facial massage right after she has been injected, the Botox can and will travel to the wrong muscle group. Then, you have the unpleasant (albeit temporary) situation where you look really bizarre. We don’t want that to happen. That’s not good Botox.