A Guide to the Common Side Effects of Botox Injections
By: Ronda Oosting
What are the common side effects of Botox Injections?
You may be a veteran when it comes to Botox Cosmetic® treatments, or perhaps you have never mustered up the nerve to try it. Either way, there’s a good chance you don’t really know what Botox consists of. You just know it does wonders for your facial wrinkles! So what is Botox exactly? Botox is actually a drug made from a toxin that is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. When incorrectly exposed to the toxin, it can cause a very serious illness known as botulism. However, when used in small doses, it successfully treats a variety of health problems such as facial wrinkles, severe sweating, chronic migraines, overactive bladders and eye muscle problems. It works by temporarily relaxing muscles and blocking certain chemical signals sent from nerves. Though this neurotoxin product is most commonly known as Botox Cosmetic®, there are other brands out there like Dysport® and Xeomin®. Since Botox Cosmetic® was the first FDA approved neurotoxin on the market, most people refer this popular “wrinkle remedy” as Botox.
Is Botox Dangerous?
Now that we have thrown out the word TOXIN, we may have created a few other questions. Is Botox dangerous? And what are the side effects of Botox? These are definitely popular questions, as many others share the same concerns. As is common with many other prescription drugs, there are possible side effects. Some people have an allergy to the botulinum toxins and should obviously avoid these treatments altogether, regardless of the brand. Other things that should be discussed with your provider before any Botox treatments include any muscle or nerve conditions, bleeding issues, facial muscle weakness or if you are or pregnant, plan to become pregnant, breastfeeding or will be breastfeeding in the near future. If any of these pertain to you, it warrants a thorough conversation with your provider before receiving any treatments. Finally, it is also important for your provider to know all medications and herbal supplements you may be taking in effort to avoid any unpleasant reactions.
Are There Long-Term Side-Effects of Botox?
Let’s look a little closer at the possible side effects of Botox. We would like to start by mentioning most people who receive Botox injections don’t have any side effects at all. Studies show us that negative reactions to these types of treatments are very rare. However, there is always the fine print that needs to be addressed. To start, the most common side effects might include slight swelling at the injection site, mild headache or flu-like symptoms, drooping eye brows or eyelids, swelling of the eyelids, blurred or double vision, dry mouth and tiredness. In clinical studies, the makers of Botox Cosmetic® found that when treating forehead lines with Botox, less than 10% of patients experienced a headache and less than 3% experienced brow or eyelid drooping. When treating forehead lines, 3% experienced eyelid drooping and only 1% of patients experienced eyelid swelling. Though it is very unlikely, the toxin can spread within your body resulting in more unusual side effects including muscle weakness, vision problems, trouble speaking or swallowing and breathing problems. There is actually very little conclusive evidence as far as long term side effects of Botox, but it has been noted that repeated injections may result in weaker facial muscles and thinner skin over time.
Preventing Side Effects of Botox
Before you commit to a long-term friendship with your facial wrinkles, let’s talk about what CAN be done to avoid the negative side effects of Botox injections. First and foremost:
• Do your research when it comes to your injection specialist and medical office. It is vitally important to choose a reputable medical establishment and a provider is qualified and has a lot of experience under their belt.
• When it comes to Botox injections, stay away from salons and “Botox Parties.” Though facial injections are often viewed as simple cosmetic treatments, they really should be done in a medical setting. There are syringes, needles, and prescription toxins involved and they are being injected into your face!
• In the event of any adverse reaction, it’s important to be in a medical environment where the staff is fully equipped to handle any medical issue that may arise. As we mentioned earlier, make sure you tell your injection specialist about any medications, supplements or existing medical conditions. Even if you don’t think it will conflict with Botox, leave it up to the medical provider to determine if there are any risks you may not be aware of.
• Finally, be sure to follow your provider’s pre- and post-injection instructions and let them know about any side effects you experience.
Why You Should Work With Authorized Botox Injectionists
As a fully accredited surgical suite, our first concern is your safety. We often elect NOT to adopt certain aesthetic technologies or practices when a patient’s safety may be in question. Neurotoxin injections are one of the easiest, most minimally invasive, and gratifying procedures we perform. That means you don’t have to live with a “mean face” or “frowny face” anymore! If you follow these guidelines and stick with an experienced medical professional for your injections, you should be able to experience the joy of a smooth youthful face!