Summary: Botox is popular, there’s no doubt about that. But recent information released by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery indicates that more than five million women have received Botox treatments in the past year. According to Austin plastic surgeon Dr. John McFate, “Botox is widely accessible to many different providers.” But he cautions, “Patients should be careful and only receive approved botox products from specially trained physicians and personnel.”

Always Popular

Botox is popular. It has been virtually since its roll out and there’s little doubt that it will continue to be popular in the years to come. But there’s another way we can frame this popularity, so you get a sense of really how immense Botox has become. According to statistics published by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than five million women got Botox treatments worldwide in 2013.

To put that into perspective, that’s almost a quarter of the 23 million cosmetic procedures reported performed in total last year.

Why is Botox so Popular?

There might be several reasons for Botox’s continued popularity. Certainly it has name recognition. But this is both a good and a bad thing, as Botox seems to be synonymous with some of the more easily mischaracterized aspects of plastic surgery. For example, while extreme breast augmentations or extreme Botox aren’t the norm, the media often portrays them that way.

It’s also possible that Botox is so popular simply because it’s safe, easy, and effective. Botox isn’t a dermal filler, like Restylane or Juvederm—that is, it doesn’t get rid of wrinkles by filling them. Rather, it paralyzes the nerves that cause wrinkles. It could certainly be argued that, because there’s no artificial filler underneath the skin, the results look and feel more natural. This makes Botox great for someone who’s looking for a subtle change to hide aging, rather than a big change that advertises a big procedure.

Quick and Easy

And then, of course, there’s the “lunch hour facelift” aspect of Botox. “Many women love having the ability to spend 15-20 minutes in the office,” said Austin plastic surgeon Dr. John McFate, “in order to reduce their frown lines and crow feet for a number of months.” When we say it’s convenient, that’s pretty true. Botox is so noninvasive that, in theory, you could return to work the same day (granted, you might have some redness and swelling, but nothing that would be terribly noticeable).

A Gateway Procedure

No one is going to try a surgical facelift just to see what it’s like. It’s far too permanent and far too intensive. But people do try Botox. McFate continues, “Many times it is one of the first procedures that patients decide to explore when entertaining plastic surgery options.” Often, they’re so impressed with the results that they continue to use the product. But that’s not to say that there aren’t those that try Botox once and never come back (at least, not to that product). It’s safe to try, and the results are not permanent, which means it’s appealing to a particularly wide audience.

So what are you waiting for? Talk to your plastic surgeon today and join the five million people who tried Botox last year.

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