Almost since its introduction to the public as a way to smooth out dynamic wrinkles, BOTOX Cosmetic has been the subject of Los Angeles’ opportunistic tabloid culture. The narrative goes something like this: “[Insert Celebrity Du Jour] has had so much BOTOX, she’s no longer in touch with reality!” It makes for an eye-catching headline – but it’s far-fetched and wildly unrepresentative of the typical patient’s experience with injectable treatments.
Because we all see headlines like these, I wanted to take a moment to explain why their portrayal of BOTOX undermines what it really is: an effective, subtle way to look more vibrant and youthful, at any age.
Don’t Buy the Sensationalism
The term “too-far face” is the latest phrase the media is using to portray BOTOX as the fast track to facial paralysis. While it’s true that botulinum toxin type A, the active ingredient in BOTOX, temporarily relaxes the muscles that cause certain wrinkles, the treatment has no effect on your facial function when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon or physician assistant.
In fact, I would argue that BOTOX treatments give patients more control over their facial expressions, not less. Many patients say that glabellar lines or wrinkles on their forehead make them look not just “older” but angry or upset, and they want to soften those wrinkles to look as happy and easygoing as they feel.
Natural-Looking Results Are the Norm
Last year alone, Americans underwent nearly 7 million BOTOX treatment sessions. There’s a good chance you’ve seen someone who has had it done and not even noticed. It bears repeating: People by and large want natural-looking results, and that is what they get.
At our practice, every BOTOX injection we perform is the result of detailed conversations with our patients about their goals for the treatment. We explain that the best results simply smooth out the wrinkles and leave you looking refreshed. Either physician assistant Pamela or I personally perform the injections, and I can assure you that moderation is our guide.
Here’s the bottom line: If a patient requests something I think is excessive, I will say so. The “too-far face” is the stuff of hype. BOTOX is here to stay because it’s safe and effective — and at just a few minutes per treatment, it’s quick and easy, too.