What are the side effects of Botox?
Botox was approved by the FDA in 1989 for medical purposes and in 2002 for cosmetic use. Botulinum Toxin is the top non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the US but there are still many misconceptions about the treatment and its use.
There are three main uses of Botox, controlling muscle spasms, cosmetic enhancement, and controlling severe underarm sweating or hyperhidrosis. It is used to temporarily smooth the lines between your eyebrows. It is also used for improvement in the appearance of crow’s feet, horizontal forehead lines, smoker’s line, and marionette lines around the mouth.
If you are wondering how long Botox lasts, most of our patients enjoy their results for 3 to 4 months. However, there are several factors which may lengthen or shorten this time period:
- Age is a prominent factor and older patients who have less muscle tone will see their results do not last long.
- Your results will depend on your individual facial structure and expressions.
- Your diet and whether you smoke will also affect your Botox results.
- Current and future sun exposure and damage to the skin also decide how long your Botox results last.
- Repeated use of Botox affects the kind of results you get and how long they last. While for some patients, repeated use offers long-lasting effects; for others, it could lead to drug resistance and require more frequent sessions.
As is the case with any other medication, your immune system can develop antibodies to Botox as well. This can make Botox less effective or lead to the development of an allergy. The more frequently you get Botox treatment, the higher is your risk of the formation of these antibodies.
Some of the common side effects of Botox include pain at the site of injection, swelling, inflammation, redness, bruising, bleeding, and infection. You may also experience an allergic reaction to Botox which includes itching, rash, the formation of red welts, wheezing, asthma, or feeling dizzy and faint.
Some patients have also reported headaches, dry mouth, fatigue and pain in the neck after their Botox treatment.
In some cases, there might be muscle spasms, droopy eyelids (when injected near the eye), numbness and migration of Botox to an unintended area.
Muscle spasms do not occur while the Botox is active since it is used to treat spasms. When injected in an area, it is possible that Botox migrates to the surrounding tissues and this is what leads to droopiness. For instance, when Botox is injected near your upper eyelids, it could lead to temporary droopiness of the eyelids. The numbness related to Botox treatment does not relate to the absence of physical sensation but rather the inability to move a muscle.
An experienced surgeon like Dr. Berman knows the correct usage and correct sites for injecting Botox to avoid such side effects. A highly concentrated, yet small dose of Botox will not spread from the injection site like a large and diluted dose will.
It is rare to see any side effects from your Botox treatment when somebody as well experienced with the injection as Dr. Berman. However, here are some tips that will help you minimize any side effects at all:
- The most important thing is to only choose a certified medical professional for your Botox injection and not take it as lightly as getting it at parties or a salon that may use an over or under diluted solution with saline.
- You must discuss all your medical issues and history with Dr. Berman during the consultation to avoid side effects. This includes letting us know about any supplements you take such as vitamins or herbs. You should also advise Dr. Berman of any muscle relaxants, injected antibiotics, sleep medication or allergy and cold medicine you may have taken.
- You must follow all pre and post-treatment instructions carefully and in case of any lingering side effects, report to us right away. When you get Botox treatment within our medical setting rather than at a party, any side effects can be immediately and effectively dealt with.