Even with great genes and the best skin lotions and sunscreens on the market, those pesky little lines will eventually etch their mark on your face. For some, wrinkles happen earlier in life than others. Have you ever wondered why?
It’s not just about cellular changes that can occur over time, a reduction of collagen, or damage caused by free radicals in the sun and the environment. When you frown or concentrate, the muscles between your brows contract, causing your skin to furrow and fold. And when you squint, the muscles around your eyes contract and cause crow’s feet. Smoking and heredity factors can also contribute to accelerating the age process.
BOTOX® Cosmetic works beneath the skin’s surface and targets the underlying muscle activity that causes frown lines and crow’s feet. The result is a reduction in the appearance of those lines.
This popular procedure continues to prove popular with everyone from movie stars and pro athletes to housewife’s and young professionals.
And while BOTOX has been proven effective by billions of men and women worldwide, there are side effects that one should take into consideration.
Let’s take a close look at what those side effects are and how to prevent them
1. Spread of Toxin Effects
A rare but serious reaction to BOTOX injection is the possibility of the toxin spreading to other parts of your body beyond the original injection site. According to Public Health Canada, this adverse reaction has mainly been associated with non-cosmetic use. These reactions may include the following signs and symptoms:
- muscle weakness away from the injection site
- swallowing difficulties
- difficulty speaking
- difficulty breathing
In 2009, Health Canada announced new labelling information for the drug, which required it to indicate the toxin in Botox products may spread to distant parts of the body.
The U.S. Food and Drug Agency has also addressed the concern, and notified manufacturers of the need to strengthen warnings and product labelling regarding toxin spread.
The FDA states adverse effects due to toxin spread have been reported in adults using the drug for the unapproved treatment of spasticity or cervical dystonia. Some cases resulted in hospitalization, including several cases that required placement of a gastric tube or mechanical ventilation.
Note: There has not been a confirmed serious case of spread of toxin effect when BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used at the recommended dose to treat frown lines, crow’s feet lines, or both at the same time.
2. Frozen Face
By no means are BOTOX treatments permanent. The benefits are great and your skin will have that relaxed look you’ve always wanted – but if you go long enough without another treatment following your first one, your skin will eventually revert back to how it was.
Now, you’ve probably seen the headlines and photos in the tabloids about celebrities who have taken BOTOX one or two steps too far. These images alone may have deterred you from going anywhere near the needle.
While injections are meant to create a more youthful look by targeting crow’s feet around patients’ eyes, frown lines between the eyebrows and laugh lines around the mouth, too much can result in the ‘froze face’ effect. We’re talking about that smoothed-over, overtly plastic look that can distort one’s appearance.
3. Serious and/or Immediate Allergic Reactions
They include: itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you are wheezing or have asthma symptoms, or if you become dizzy or faint.
4. How to Avoid an Adverse Reaction to Botox
While it’s not possible to completely avoid any side effects from taking place, you can lower your chances of anything going wrong by choosing a qualified health care provider to administer the treatment, no more frequently than every two months (according to the Canadian Product Monograph).
Final Thoughts on the Side Effects of Botox
While they aren’t listed above, other side effects of BOTOX include: dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and dry eyes.
Anyone considering an injectable cosmetic procedure such as BOTOX should always consult a medical professional who has experience in such procedures.
Self education is also key – patients should be aware of all the potential risks and benefits of a procedure before obtaining treatment.
If you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of Botox Cosmetic, call your doctor or get medical help right away.
About Dr. Kumar Shivdasani
Dr. Kumar Shivdasani is a medical practitioner with 25 years experience. He began his career in emergency at Vancouver General Hospital and addiction medicine – later branching into cosmetic medicine. He is the owner of CüR Laser & Skin in Vancouver, BC. Education, good lifestyle and diet changes lay the foundation for developing overall health and wellness, helping Kumar’s clients achieve and maintain their target goals. Dr. Kumar is also dedicated to helping others as shown by his support for Summits of Hope and Turning Point Recovery