Bo­tox, which is known as a neu­ro­mod­u­la­tor, has been used in cos­metic treat­ments for ap­prox­i­mately 20 years now, yet myths pre­vail. Top­ping the list is that Bo­tox will give you that dreaded fake or un­nat­u­ral look. On the con­trary, Bo­tox can help you look

Best Health - - ADVICE - DR. DIANE WONG is the founder of Glow Medi Spa,

MYTH : #1 Bo­tox is un­safe.

FACT: Bo­tox has a long safety his­tory.

The drug Bo­tox has been re­searched for over 100 years. There are thou­sands of re­search pa­pers and ci­ta­tions re­lated to ther­a­peu­tic uses as well as cos­metic uses. Bo­tox has been ap­proved by Health Canada and the FDA for decades to treat pa­tients with a range of neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders, as well as ex­ces­sive un­der­arm sweat­ing.

Bo­tox was Health Canadaap­proved in 2001 for treat­ment of glabel­lar lines (frown lines be­tween the brows) and was sub­se­quently ap­proved for treat­ment of fore­head lines and crow’s feet lines and wrin­kles around the eyes.

It’s a very safe drug when ad­min­is­tered by a qual­i­fied prac­ti­tioner who fol­lows all rec­om­mended pro­to­cols for dos­ing, stor­age, and ad­min­is­tra­tion of the drug. Un­for­tu­nately, Bo­tox in­jec­tions are not al­ways well reg­u­lated. There are in­jec­tors who may not be well trained or qual­i­fied to in­ject. Reg­u­la­tions vary from prov­ince to prov­ince.

MYTH : #2 Bo­tox will re­sult in the loss of fa­cial ex­pres­sion (a frozen look).

FACT: Bo­tox re­laxes mus­cles to en­hance the way you look so you look well-rested and bright.

Bo­tox strate­gi­cally tar­gets spe­cific mus­cles to re­duce neg­a­tive ex­pres­sions like frown­ing and scowl­ing. It also re­duces the pull of the mus­cles that cre­ate hor­i­zon­tal lines on the fore­head and crow’s feet around the eyes. Bo­tox is now widely sought af­ter for its pre­ven­ta­tive ben­e­fits as well.

If some­one looks frozen or un­nat­u­ral af­ter a treat­ment, it may be due to in­cor­rect dos­ing or place­ment. Bo­tox is a very pre­cise drug and can be in­jected care­fully to main­tain the har­mony of the mus­cles and the nat­u­ral bal­ance.

An odd ap­pear­ance af­ter Bo­tox is pos­si­ble but pre­ventable and treat­able in most cases. For in­stance, “Spock brows” or “peak­ing” of the brows can be pre­vented or treated with a small dose of Bo­tox to re­lax the mus­cles that are pulling up­ward on the brows and cre­at­ing that un­nat­u­ral look. A fol­low-up ap­point­ment

to as­sess the re­sults af­ter two weeks is im­por­tant.

MYTH : #3 Bo­tox is bot­u­lism (food poi­son­ing).

FACT: Bo­tox is not bot­u­lism.

It is a pu­ri­fied pro­tein, Bo­tulinum toxin, de­rived from the bac­terium Clostrid­ium bo­tulinum, and a fin­ished med­i­cal pre­scrip­tion prod­uct that has been ap­proved as safe by Health Canada. The prod­uct is ad­min­is­tered in small in­jec­tions to re­duce spe­cific mus­cle ac­tiv­ity by block­ing the nerve im­pulses that trig­ger over­ac­tive mus­cle con­trac­tions.

MYTH : #4 Bo­tox builds up in the body over time.

FACT: Bo­tox does not ac­cu­mu­late in the body.

Fur­ther­more, new nerve im­pulses are re­gen­er­ated in three to four months when treat­ments are cos­met­i­cally ad­min­is­tered. Re-treat­ment is re­quired to main­tain the de­sired re­sults. If treat­ments are dis­con­tin­ued, the mus­cles will re­sume their pre­vi­ous ac­tiv­ity level.

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