Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) is one of the most well-known methods for warding off wrinkles and other signs of aging. It’s a prescription medication that’s injected into the muscles of the face. It may be a miracle in a bottle and the ultimate wrinkle eraser, but there are some side effects you need to know before having injections.
Botox Side Effects
Potential Botox side effects include pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising. Some of these symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction; other allergy symptoms are itching, wheezing, asthma, a rash, red welts, dizziness and faintness. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any breathing issues or a faint or dizzy feeling.
Also, dry mouth, fatigue, headache and neck pain have been reported.
You may have heard of other side effects as well, such as numbness, droopy eyelids, muscle spasms or twitching, and migration of the substance.
Numbness as an absence of physical sensation is not really an issue with Botox, because Botox is not an anesthetic. Numbness as the result of the inability to move a muscle is an issue for some people. Muscle spasms in the area of the Botox injections do not occur while the Botox is effective. After all, Botox is used to treat spasms related to benign essential blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia and temporomandibular joint disorder.
It is possible for the Botox to spread a little beyond the intended injection site and affect surrounding tissues. For example, if you receive injections into the forehead close to your eyebrows or your upper eyelids, they could be affected and may droop temporarily.
What You Can Do To Avoid Botox Side Effects
The list of possible side effects mentioned in this article is a long one, but it would be extremely rare for anyone to experience all of them. And following these six tips will minimize or prevent most Botox side effects:
Make sure your practitioner is very experienced at Botox injections and is a respected medical professional. A salon stylist, for example, is not an appropriate person to administer Botox, because he or she would not have emergency equipment or sufficient medical knowledge if something went wrong. Some disreputable people have reportedly administered injections that were over- or under-diluted with saline, as well as counterfeit solutions that didn’t contain Botox at all.
Before having injections, tell your practitioner about any health problems you have.
Also tell your practitioner about medications, vitamins, herbal preparations or other supplements you take, since some combinations of these supplements with Botox could cause serious side effects. It’s especially important to mention having taken injected antibiotics, muscle relaxants, allergy or cold medicines and sleep medicines.
Follow your practitioner’s pre- and post-injection instructions very carefully.
Report all side effects — especially those that are bothering you or won’t go away.
Beware of Botox injections at a “Botox party” at someone’s house. You need to be in a medical setting, where any side effects can be treated immediately. You may not see the final effects of the injections during the party anyway, as they usually take a few days. A Botox party isn’t such a bad idea if it’s held by a doctor in a medical setting, but even then there’s a risk of the doctor’s attention being divided between you and the other attendees.