We’ve heard many great things about Botox, as well as some horror stories. Used judiciously and under the right circumstances, this widely popular injectable erases wrinkles for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Then there are the horror stories of Botox use gone wild, stories of “pumping parties” where unqualified people injected each other with Botox or other injectables and caused near death experiences. Often, the injectable wasn’t even the real deal but rather illegal silicone, sometimes even obtained from the hardware store.

Despite FDA approval for the treatment of facial lines and wrinkles and general satisfaction with Botox, its overuse and misuse has spawned fear and a litany of myths about what Botox is and what it does. The following are some of the more common myths:

Myth #1: Because Botox is injected into the muscles; anyone with a syringe can do it.

If you aren’t qualified to do the procedure you are asking for TROUBLE. Only a trained practitioner, preferably a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, has the experience and knows where and how much Botox is needed to achieve good results.

Myth #2: Botox causes “Frozen Face” syndrome because it deadens the muscles.

When professionally applied, Botox has been clinically proven to relax facial muscles in order to achieve a more youthful appearance. Sure, too much Botox can cause problems. That is why it’s important to consult first with a qualified physician about your goals and whether you are a good candidate for Botox.

Myth 3: You can only use Botox once and then it becomes ineffective.

The truth is that multiple Botox injections have been shown to produce cumulative good results. Again, only a qualified physician with a proven track record of patient satisfaction should be considered to do the procedure. Do the research and err on the side of caution.

Myth #4: Botox is a dangerous toxin and should not be used under any circumstances.

The FDA approved the use of Botox for cosmetic removal of facial lines and wrinkles in 1987. Its use has only increased and with it there has been a great deal of satisfaction among patients who have had Botox treatments spanning years.

Myth #5: Botox has no beneficial use other than cosmetic.

The medical use of Botox is well known and new applications are being discovered and invented. For example, Botox provides relief from migraines and neck pain. Its use has been successful in the treatment of facial tics and muscle spasms. It has even sprouted hair in some patients with hair loss. The full spectrum of Botox applications remains unknown.

To learn more about Botox and how it may help you achieve the results you want, consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is a good starting point.

Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon located in Virginia Beach. He can be reached at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at 757.389.5850 for a personal consultation.