Is Botox® Safe?

Botox cosmetic is the go-to treatment for those pesky lines and wrinkles that appear on the forehead and at the corner of the eyes.  However, Botox or botulinum toxin A is made from the bacterium that causes botulism (a type of food poisoning).  Because of this, some people believe that Botox is toxic.  So, Is Botox safe?

If you would like to rejuvenate your appearance without going under the knife, Botox is a great choice.  However, over the years, safety concerns have been raised. 

Is Botox® Safe?

Botox Beginnings

Botox has its roots in ophthalmology.  Before Botox was approved for treating wrinkles, ophthalmologists used it to treat eye disorders such as strabismus (crossed eyes) and eyelid twitching.

Since that time, Botox has been successfully used to treat other medical conditions such as axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating), migraine headaches, and muscle spasms.  

Botox received FDA approval to smooth frown lines in 2002 and can also be used to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and forehead lines. 

Is Botox Safe?

Botox has a good safety profile and has proven to be a safe, effective treatment for dynamic wrinkles.   Dynamic wrinkles develop due to the repeated contraction of the facial muscles associated with expressions such as squinting, smiling, and laughing. 

Botulinum toxin is made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  It is a poison that can be dangerous in large quantities.  However,  this scenario is not unusual, as many drugs are derived from substances that can be harmful in other conditions.  

When treating dynamic wrinkles, Botox is injected into the muscles just beneath the skin.  It works by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter from the nerves that prompt the muscles to contract.   This reduces the activity of the muscles responsible for the creation of dynamic wrinkles, so the wrinkles become smoother.

The very small doses of botulinum toxin injected during Botox treatment are considered safe.

The safety of Botox has been verified by copious research as well as several clinical trials.  

A lot of research has gone into Botox Cosmetic and hundreds of peer-reviewed articles attesting to its safety have been published in scientific and medical journals.  

Also, in clinical trials conducted before Botox gained FDA approval for cosmetic use, only a few cases of adverse events were reported.  Some of the adverse events included brow drooping, eyelid swelling, flu-like symptoms, and dry eyes.

Botox Side-Effects

Every medication has unwanted side-effects, and Botox is no exception.  Swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the injection site are among the most common side- effects.  More serious side effects such as difficulty breathing or swallowing can occur, but these are rare.  

Words Of Caution About Botox 

When Botox is not administered according to FDA guidelines, it can be injurious.  Improper technique when injecting Botox and incorrect placement and dosage can also lead to complications.   

If not enough Botox is injected the treatment may not work.   However, the over-application of Botox can also be problematic, as it can lead to droopy brows and results that look unnatural. 

Therefore, patients should only consult with a skilled, experienced medical practitioner for Botox treatment to ensure safety. 

It’s important to note that there are people who are not good candidates for Botox.  Women who are pregnant or nursing and individuals with neurological conditions are advised to avoid Botox.  

How Long Do The Results  Of Botox Last?

The results of Botox are temporary and typically last 3-4 months.   Muscle motion will return when the drug wears off, and after this, wrinkles will once again be seen. 

If you are interested in a non-surgical treatment for dynamic wrinkles, Botox may be the right solution for you.  It is a safe procedure that can produce excellent facial rejuvenation results for the right candidate. 

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