Many of the misconceptions about Botox concern its safety. We have all seen movies that used a Botox mishap for comic relief as well as many unflattering Hollywood facial changes that have been attributed to Botox. For the most part, these allegations are unfounded. Today’s Botox Cosmetic is extremely safe. It has been used on millions of persons for many years and retains an excellent safety record.
The first thing a patient must do is make certain they are getting the real Botox Cosmetic from a certified Botox provider. This procedure has become so popular, imposters are constantly entering the business. Unscrupulous individuals can buy simulated Botox on the internet that is imported from China or other foreign countries. There are cases in which these boot leg products have caused serious illness and even death. Botox Cosmetic has never been associated with these serious events. It is easy to be sure your practitioner is giving you the authentic Botox cosmetic. They will be listed on the BotoxCosmetic.com website as a certified provider.
Another source of confusion is that side effects of Botox Therapeutic have been attributed to Botox Cosmetic. Botox Therapeutic is used for non-cosmetic treatments such as muscle spasm in the neck, spasm of the esophagus, spasm in the bladder. We already discussed in an earlier blog how Botox relaxes muscles so you understand, Botox in the neck muscles could cause neck weakness, Botox in the esophagus could cause swallowing problems, and Botox in the bladder could cause urinary problems. None of these events occur with Botox Cosmetic use.
So let’s talk about what adverse events can occur with Botox Cosmetic. First of all, none are common. Most patients never have problems from Botox. When they do, bruising is most common. Generally, the bruises are small and resolve quickly. Crows area is the most common area to bruise. Avoid getting your Botox immediately before an important event so if a bruise occurs, it will not be more than a nuisance that requires a little makeup.
Over treatment is another adverse effect. When too much Botox is given, the face can be frozen and “fake” looking. Other unwanted affects can occur such as a droopy eye brow or uneven smile. These problems are rare and can happen with the best injectors. The best way to minimize these problems is to see a well trained and experienced practitioner.
Rarely, there are patients who develop a headache after Botox. I have found that this can be avoided with future treatments if the patient takes a Tylenol at the time of their injections.
Lastly, I should say something about the pain with Botox injections. The discomfort of Botox administration is something that can be moderated greatly by the technique of the injector. Most of our patients consider the discomfort so mild that it is not an issue. The few that are sensitive to the injections find the results to be worth the mild discomfort.
To re-cap, side effects of Botox are minor and resolve spontaneously. They can be minimized by seeing a practitioner who is certified by the Botox Company.
Mack Stewart, M.D.