As it’s such an important topic, we are asking the question again. Everyone wants to (and should know) the side effects of Botox if this is a treatment that they are considering.
But instead of answering questions we think you want to know the answers to, we have asked our patients to give their top questions, and we will group them together to answer them.
What are the Side Effects of Botox ®?
We asked a number of our patients what questions they would like answered on Botox, and have tried to group them together for this discussion blog.
Before we discuss this particular topic on Botox and the side effects, we should explore what Botox is, what it is used for, how safe Botox is and what the side effects are.
You will have, no doubt, seen Botox in blogs, celebrity magazines, from friends or even seen it in your local hairdressers (that's right, a medical treatment carried out by non-medically trained people - will definitely need more discussion in future blogs). However, there are a number of misconceptions about Botox treatments, and how they’re used.
So, without further ado…
What is Botox?
Whilst understanding the side effects, we also ought to consider what Botox is. Botox is currently the leading non-surgical aesthetic treatment, but Botox is the name of the most common brand of botulinum toxin (type A). It is commonly known as anti-wrinkle injections, as that is precisely what it does!
Botox is licensed in the UK for a variety of conditions, but for the purposes of this blog, Botox was granted a license for ‘the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to sever lateral canthal lines (also know as crow’s feet, which we discuss in another blog)…glabellar (which are frown lines, again discussed in another blog)…where these facial lines have an important psychological impact’.
The license discusses various conditions, but for the purpose of this blog, we ask:
What is Botox Cosmetic Treatment?
Botox is used for a variety of treatments, including underarm sweating, muscle spasm and cosmetic improvement, including on the face and neck (known as the Nefertiti Neck Lift). For the purpose of this blog, we discuss the third: cosmetic improvement.
Botox cosmetic treatment is used for the temporary reduction or smoothing of the glabellar – the frown lines. These are the lines that appear between your eyebrows, which can make you look angry, unhappy or tired. However, Botox is used for cosmetic treatment for the crow’s feet, marionette lines (corners of the mouth), smoker’s lines around the mouth, horizontal forehead lines, and underarm sweating to name a few.
A common misconception is that Botox and dermal fillers are the same – this is not true. Whilst Botox treats lines and wrinkles, so an anti-wrinkle injection, dermal fillers are used to plump and rejuvenate the skin.
Why is Botox used for Cosmetic Treatments?
Here, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Botox.
Botox injections block some chemical signals from the nerves – those nerves that make our muscles contract. Currently, the most popular use of these anti-wrinkle injections is to relax (temporarily), facial muscles that are responsible for causing wrinkles around the eyes and in the forehead. However, in addition, Botox anti-wrinkle injections are treat body function conditions, such as:
- Lazy eye
- Muscle contractures
- Cervical dystonia
- Migraine (chronic)
- Eye twitching
- Bladder dysfunction
What are the Potential Side Effects of Botox?
So, with these treatments in mind, we now discuss what the side effects of Botox anti wrinkle injections are.
Variables! There are variables to the above:
It must first be advised, that there are a number of variables at play here. Firstly, it’s the type of product that is used. At Omniya Clinic, we only use the best quality products, which is typically only Botox ® from Allergan and Bocouture ®.
The second important variable which contributes to the side effects of Botox is the practitioner who carrying out the treatment. The third variable is that we are each different individuals, and our bodies may react differently to one another. For example, this author bruises like a peach.
So, what are the potential side effects of Botox? There may be pain at the infection site, infection, swelling, some redness, bruising, bleeding or inflammation. This may be an indication of an allergic reaction, but you must speak with your practitioner if you are experiencing any of these.
Further, you may feel some itching, a rash, asthma, dizziness or faintness. Again, you must tell your practitioner if you feel any of these symptoms. Other side effects of Botox include numbness, muscle spasming, twitching or droopy eyelids.
So, now that we have discussed the side effects of Botox, anti-wrinkle injections, we should consider how you can avoid these.
How to mitigate the risk Botox side effects
The best ways to mitigate the risk of Botox anti wrinkle injection side effects are many-fold, and include:
- Make sure you inform your practitioner of your full medical history and answer the medical history forms completely so that they are fully aware of any conditions that may impact the Botox treatment.
- Research your practitioner, and aim to be seen by the best. Avoid those places that are unregulated, or where treatments are carried out by non medical practitioners. If something goes wrong, you need to make sure you are in the right hands to deal with it.
- If you are taking medication or using supplements, make sure your practitioner is aware of them.
- Make sure you discuss and understand the before and after treatment guidance from your practitioner. You should always ask for this to take home with you.
How many different things can be treated with Botox, and to what areas can Botox injections be applied?
You can treat a number of areas with Botox, which are:
- Blepharospasms (eyelid spasms)
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Spasmodic dysphonia
- Hypersalivation (drooling)
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Chronic migraines
- Bells palsy
- Thyroid eye disease
However, the ones you are probably here for are:
- Fine line reduction
- Wrinkle reduction
What is it like to get Botox injections and is it painful? Is Botox a permanent treatment?
A little blunt here (no pun intended), but it’s an injection and any injection can hurt! However, Botox needles are very very small and thin, and so any pain experienced is minimal. If you really want, you can have some topical anaesthetic applied or a cold pack, although it’s very rarely needed.
What can I expect from my Botox treatment at Omniya Clinic?
To answer this, we break down the procedure into smaller categories:
Before the treatment:
Whilst not necessary as the treatment is relatively pain free, some patients prefer to have numbing cream, which is more likely if you are having your palms or the sole of your feet treated for hyperhidrosis (excess sweating). This will typically be carried out by topical anaesthetic.
During the treatment:
At Omniya Clinic, your practitioner will use a thin needle to administer the Botox into your muscles or skin. They will perform a pre assessment and discussion with you and will advise you how many areas they will treat, and how many injections are to be carried out. They will mark the areas before the treatment based on this consultation.
After the treatment:
Your practitioner will provide you with a list of aftercare guidelines. These will include specific instructions on what you can and should not do, such as not rubbing the area that was treated, or massaging it.
Is Botox a permanent treatment?
Typically, the results gather momentum from 1-3 days after the treatment, and then become more stable after 10-14 days. They treatment ought to last a minimum of 3 months, upwards to 6 months. So, the short and sweat answer here – no, Botox anti wrinkle injections is not a permanent treatment!