Are Botox Injections Effective and Safe?
Cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections are on the rise, but are they safe? Botulinum toxin has a very low rate of minor side effects when done properly. Before undergoing treatment, it is important to understand the risks and benefits of it.
Discuss all questions or concerns with a licensed medical doctor after reading this post.
Additional Information About Botox
The greatest thing about Botox injections is that they temporarily reduce and eliminate facial lines and wrinkles. The commonly treated areas are:
- Forehead creases
- Crow’s feet near the eyes
- Frown lines
- Corners of the mouth
Thick jaw muscles, lip lines, and smile lines are also common areas that are treated. Diminished facial wrinkles are the result of this popular injectable treatment.
During the past few years, minor cosmetic procedures such as Botox, laser treatments, and facial fillers became very popular and well-known. Facial fillers are used to enhance features, while lasers are commonly used to remove hair, tattoos, and spots and also tighten the skin. Botox simply aims to smooth out uneven and unwanted wrinkles. Procedures like these can certainly be done without general anesthesia and patients will quickly recover after one to seven days. The crease between the eyes works well with a filler, in combination with Botox, it may not always respond to Botox alone. Moreover, to achieve optimal results, it might be necessary to have three sessions of Botox treatment for deeper lines and wrinkles.
A patient can have additional procedures such as the use of filler substances. Filler substances like Juvederm, Restylane, Sculptra, Perlane, or Radiesse, may plump up the wrinkles that have been relaxed. Restylane and Juvederm works best in the area between the eyes for it has smaller particles.
Common Forms of Botulinum Toxins
A purified substance that was derived from bacteria is called Botulinum toxin. It blocks the nerve signals to the muscle in which the toxin was injected. Muscles are not able to contract without signals, thus, making the botox take effect.
Commonly known types of botulinum toxin type A injections include:
Dysport has different units of measurement, wherein 20 units of Botox would correlate to 50 or 60 units of Dysport. It is a known competitor to Botox for its similarities.
Xeomin involves roughly the same units as Botox according to the preparation guide. The toxins of this product differ from one another; however, they have both been FDA approved.
Risks of Botox Injections
Botox injections tend to have minor risks, and they occasionally happen to a very small number of cases. The complications are usually very minor occurrences that eventually resolve overtime.
In rare cases, the medical doctor must be able to assess the patient’s lids before undergoing the treatment in order to avoid a drooping lid or eyebrow area. A severe drooping of the eyelid called Ptosis and inflammation of the cornea called Keratitis rarely occurs.
According to a recent study, It is not possible for a toxin to go through the central nervous system and cause long-term damage. The Food and Drug Administration specifically addresses issues regarding the distant spread of the toxin and constantly monitors the use of Botulinum toxin. Commercially available botulinum toxin injections have been approved and tested.
Botox is not recommended for pregnant women or people who are allergic to eggs since the toxin is prepared with an egg base called albumin.
Related article: Botox Injections: Purpose, Procedure and Results
Side Effects of Botox Injections
A cosmetic procedure such as botox only causes minor side effects, which include:
- Allergic reactions
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Lumpiness of skin
- Skin discoloration
- Stomach pain
- Severe muscle weakness
- Trouble breathing, talking or swallowing
- Loss of bladder control
- Hoarse voice
- Drooping eyelids
- Dry or irritated eyes
- Chest pain or irregular heartbeats
- Eyelid swelling or any problems with vision
- Loss of appetite
Patients who are receiving more than the usual doses of botulinum toxin are the ones who usually experience side effects and risks. Side effects only occur if a patient uses this medication more often than prescribed.
A patient must seek medical care if he or she is experiencing difficulties in the injected target area. Specific reactions include:
- Flu symptoms
- Cold symptoms
- Sore throat
- Respiratory infections
- Dry mouth
- Pain in the ears
- Excessive sweating in areas aside from the underarms
- Burning sensation
- Difficulty urinating
Most of the side effects happen close to where the medication is injected since botox is given at a target area.
Guidelines To Remember
- Even if it is used for cosmetic purposes, Botox injections should be given only by a licensed medical professional.
- A physician must carefully inject this medicine into a muscle.
- Follow up Botox injections should be done at least three months apart.
- Depending on the area being treated, Botox injections can be administered into more than one area at a time.
- Patients receiving injections for eye muscle conditions must use eye drops or contact lenses to protect the surface of the eye.
- Always follow the doctor’s instructions and prescriptions.
- A patient being treated for hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, must be able to shave the underarms about 24 hours before the injection. Do not apply any antiperspirant or deodorant for 24 hours before or after receiving the injection.
- Avoid exercise within 30 minutes before the injection.
- Neck muscle spasm symptoms will begin to improve after two weeks prior to injection.
- Eye muscle spasm symptoms will begin to improve only 1 to 3 days after injection.
Health care professionals usually encourage patients to not use the affected muscles for a week or so however, some would prefer to work the target area during the next few days. In order to avoid risks of bruising, doctors normally tell patients to strictly avoid any rigorous activities for a day or two post treatment.
Effects of a botox injection are temporary and symptoms may return in three months time. After undergoing future injections, it might take less and less time before symptoms return since the body develops antibodies to protect from the botulinum toxin.
It is very important to only seek botulinum toxin injections to one medical professional at a time. If a patient decides to switch his or her medical doctor, they should tell the new provider how long it has been since the last botulinum toxin injection.
Result: Safe and Effective
Medical doctors who routinely perform procedures strongly agree that Botox is a safe procedure and that the risk of side effects is low. Negative outcomes of the injection of botox can be more frequent in the hands of less-experienced providers.
The results of the treatment should be evident within a week or two. Take photographs before the procedure so you could check and see the before and after results yourself rather than relying on your memory. You will be surprised to see how a lot of people do not recall the way the treatment area looked before the procedure, and you will be amazed at the difference when a photo is shown.
Botox keeps patients from making unintended facial grimaces and frowns. A patient will look more rested after undergoing a successful botox treatment.
Seek Medical Care
A medical doctor must clearly have a good reputation for performing this type of procedure and the manufacturers of Botox recommend licensed physicians to inject the medication themselves.
If you have concerns or problems after a botox procedure, do not be afraid to seek help. Side effects can take up to several hours or several weeks after an injection to dissipate. Any other concern must be reported to the physician immediately to avoid further complications.
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