In an age, where looks matter a lot, people are ready to go to any extent in order to restore facial beauty, never mind the consequences. An increasing number of people in United States are opting for Botox, a minimally invasive procedure to achieve wrinkle-free facial skin. It is being promoted as a solution for getting that 'perfect' smile and a younger face. Wrinkles and frown lines are some of the indicators of old age, which can be removed from the face using Botox cosmetics for wrinkles treatment. However, this fixation to retain youth through this cosmetic procedure can sometimes do more harm than good. The rising popularity of Botox has overshadowed its side effects that vary from a mild localized reaction to as serious as respiratory problems that cause trouble breathing. It is discussed below:
Botox Side Effects
Although Botox treatment that is generally administered through injections can work wonders to treat wrinkles, there are a quite a few side effects associated with it. Some of them are listed below:
Immediate Side Effects: When Botox injections are administered, the patient may experience a sensation similar to a bee sting. This is similar to a mosquito bite or a pinprick, which is easily tolerable. The person may experience mild to moderate pain which can always be decreased by keeping a cold compress or an ice pack on the affected part of the skin. The injected site may turn red, which is quite normal. Another outcome of this treatment might be a bruise (mild injury to the soft skin tissue). Bruising and swelling at the injected site is likely to occur among people with a sensitive skin.
Less Common Side Effects: People who have undergone Botox treatment, sometimes complain about headache, nausea or dizziness. These side effects that occur within a day or two, indicate the body's response to Botox and are not a cause of worry.
Serious Side Effects: In most cases, the body responds quite well to Botox and serious outcome after taking Botox treatment is a rarity. Prolonged weakness or respiratory infections such as sore throat are some of the side effects that can be bothersome. In some cases, people experience eyesight problems such as blurred vision, droopy eyes and even trouble breathing. Botox can trigger an allergic reaction in the form of skin rash or itching. Hives (outbreak of red bumps) is an indication of adverse reaction and in such cases, the treatment must be immediately stopped.
Flu-Like Symptoms: This is one of the adverse reactions to these cosmetic injections and usually occurs a week after taking Botox. This reaction to the Botox manifests in the form of fever, headache, body aches, chills and constantly runny nose. Feeling of extreme tiredness, and lethargy may also occur as a side effect of administering Botox.
Sinus Infection: Some people get a really bad sinus after Botox and this typically marked by stuffy nose and headache. Thus, the sinuses may swell up and one may experience an awful sinus pressure on the face. The neck may also become tight and the accompanying sinus headaches may flare up and subside. This cycle of recurring headaches can continue for months before finally going away. Sinus infection associated with Botox may also cause difficulty swallowing food.
Anxiety: Feeling of anxiety that can last for days can also occur after attending a session of Botox treatment. Panic attacks can also stem from use of Botox. Although this side effect has occurred in only up to 10% of Botox users, it can throw your daily routine out of gear.
Urological Issues: Botox is also used in the treatment of overactive bladder, a condition that is typically by uncontrollable urge to urinate frequently despite insubstantial urine output. This urological condition has been attributed to involuntary contraction of bladder muscles. Although Botox injections may help to relax these muscles and prevent them from contracting abnormally, this form of treatment (that has not received FDA approval) can cause urinary tract infections (UTI), trouble urinating and blood in urine.
Paralysis: Studies on animals such as rats and mice suggest that Botox treated on facial muscles could move to the brain and lead to paralysis. However, one cannot conclude that the same side effect, might happen with humans. Nevertheless, overuse of Botox should be avoided to be on the safer side.
Botox that is used either for cosmetics or to treat other ailments like migraines can also cause the following side effects. This may indicate that the Botox effect is no longer confined to the injected site.
- Facial pain
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth
- Inability to speak clearly
Sensitivity to Botox ingredients can make you prone to its side effects. Botox is a protein rich formula derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. So, if you are sensitive to protein based products, you should avoid using Botox injections. It is advised to undergo sensitivity testing before starting this treatment.
How to Minimize Side Effects
Experts suggest consumption of foods rich in magnesium for lowering high blood pressure, resulting from Botox treatment. Studies show that magnesium plays a critical role in regulating blood pressure. Hence eating vegetables like spinach, broccoli, beans and dairy products like soy milk can be helpful to promote healthy blood pressure. People experiencing nausea post injections may get relief by drinking ginger ale.
The aforementioned side effects are relatively uncommon and moreover they are temporary and usually go away within a few days. However, serious complications require urgent medical attention and require immediate discontinuation of the treatment. Keep in mind that the risk of using Botox does exist and so a better option would be to get rid of wrinkles naturally.
On the whole, the proper technique has to be implemented when it comes to giving Botox treatment. For instance, Botox injections administered at an incorrect site on the face are bound to cause side effects. Therefore, taking the help of a plastic surgeon having extensive experience in Botox therapy is the best possible solution to get the desired result safely.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.