My staff asked me to address this topic as we are asked these questions very often. Hopefully it will lay some fears to rest.
- Is all “Botox” the same thing?
No, it is not.
Botulinum Toxin A, a manmade, purified protein has been around for almost 5 decades. The original product trademarked by Allergan is called Botox, which is such a well-known word, that people just talk about “Botox”. In the last few years a competitor called Dysport (dis-port) is also available, but it is not the trademarked product Botox. Dysport is used as 3 units for every one unit of Botox. As a consumer it is important to ask an Injector if they are using Botox or Dysport? If the answer is Dysport, remember to multiply the price by 3 in order to compare to the same amount of Botox.
- Does Botox migrate through my body?
No, it does not.
Full adhesion to neurotransmitters occur 24-36 hrs after Botox is injected into a specific muscle. At this point the effect cannot be reversed until the Botulinum molecules are metabolized by the body (3 – 6 months later). As Injectors we tell clients not to rub the injection area for the first 2 days, so they do not accidentally ‘smudge’ the effect – push unattached Botox molecules into surrounding muscles with an unwanted effect eg brow droop. This is single millimeters of change in position, but it cannot move from the brow to the chin.
- Will I suddenly look much older if I stop using Botox.
No, quite the opposite happens.
When we have lines on our face, it is from either overactive muscles that move and crease our skin (wrinkles), or from loss of volume in the skin causing sagging and hollows. Botox only affects muscles, not volume depletion. When a muscle is blocked from moving with Botox, the overlying skin also does not move or wrinkle (like paper folded and unfolded repeatedly) and the aging process is thus put on hold. Over time (months) the previous wrinkles become smoother – the aging process is “put on ice”. If the person stops using Botox, the muscles will slowly regain its full strength – the longer Botox was used the longer it takes to rebuild the muscle’s strength – until full strength is regained. If person starts using Botox at age 40 she can be made to look 8-15 years younger (eg mid-30s), if she stops at age 50 (5 years of Botox) it will take her 6-12 months to regain full strength during which time she still looks relaxed and the aging process progresses from a 40 year old look onward (started 35 + 5y used = 40). Compared to her peers who did not use Botox, this person looks much younger.