Are Botox injections Safe?
Surprisingly, not many people ask me the question “Are Botox injections Safe” directly out-right, but they do ask online and it certainly gets googled, a-lot and rightly so!
- If you have an opinion about Botox injections, then you should know this stuff.
- If you’ve had Botox injections in the past, you should DEFINITELY know this stuff.
- If you are considering anti-wrinkle injections then you should also be informed. Keep reading…
Firstly, all the research shows that Botox has an outstandingly safe history. Serious complications are extremely rare and the common side effects (redness, slight-swelling) usually subside after an hour or so. But, I would say that wouldn’t I? Im a cosmetic Nurse.
Wrong. The best piece of advice I was given as a student Nurse, which I still hold onto now, was to ‘always treat people like you’d treat your Mum’. So, if I wasn’t comfortable injecting Botox into my Mum’s beautiful face, im not going to be injecting it into anyone else’s face either. Fact.
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The history of Botox
Back in the early 60’s Botox was initially developed to be used to rectify eye squints, twitching and lazy eyes. What was noticed back then was the changes in skin texture and the reduction of the lines around the eyes, known as crow’s feet…
Nowadays, Botox injections are used for MANY other health issues too, including migraines, depression, bladder issues, excessive sweating, muscular conditions and of course to reduce peoples lines and wrinkles!
Tens of Millions of cosmetic treatments have been given without any serious or long term negative issues.
What happens in the body after Botox is injected?
Very basically, Botox stops a chemical message getting from a muscle to the brain. The message ‘contract muscle’ doesn’t get received and therefore the action doesn’t happen. When a muscle is relaxed, the skin above doesn’t crease = less or no wrinkle.
Similar to how a pain-killer tablet works – they don’t actually stop the pain, they stop us getting a message saying ‘ouch, that hurts’, so we don’t feel or know there is pain.
Does Botox travel around the body?
No. Botox migrates usually around 1cm from the injection point (which is why you need a skilled injector – getting the wrong muscle isn’t ideal in the face) it then sticks onto the muscles we inject into.
Are Botox injections safe in the short term?
In cosmetics, the short term effects of Botox injections are that the muscles treated will be temporary relaxed, this leads to the over-laying skin appearing smoother. Too much Botox will stop the muscles moving all together
Other sort-term side-effects of Botox-injections are the result of having a injection, ie – redness, swelling, tenderness, possible bruising-these are normal after the skin is pierced with a sharp object.
Thankfully, I have never known anyone to have an allergic reaction to Botox, but like anything we come into contact with, there is always a possibility.
Are Botox injections safe in the long term?
It’s worth remembering, that Botox is only a temporary solution (usually lasts 3-6 months).
It only works temporarily, because over time our bodies renew and grow new nerve endings which allow the ‘muscle contraction messages’ to be sent again, which allows for more movement again and then the lines and wrinkles which were apparent before Botox injections will start to reappear.
I have heard that if people have Botox too often (before they need it re-done) that over time, they will become immune to its effects cosmetically. Time will tell if this is true or not.
Why are some people so worried/against Botox injections?
Without scaring you and in my efforts to always be honest…I will tell you:
In large doses, and without purification, Botox would be poisonous. It is a toxin.
However, in the tiny doses used for cosmetics, hyperhydrosis, and migraines etc the doses injected are minimal – So there is no chance of toxic poisoning.
There is a serious and rare condition called Botulism, which is caused by the toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria (where Botox originates from).
Clostridium botulinum bacteria are found in soil, dust and river or sea sediments. The bacteria themselves aren’t harmful, but they can produce highly poisonous toxins when deprived of oxygen, such as in closed cans or bottles (food poisoning), stagnant soil or mud. This is why there are some Botox haters out there, the fear and risk of Botulism.
Sounds terrible and risky, I know. Please rest assured that Botox has been rigorously tested and used by millions of people now, across the world and has FDA approval, which basically means it has been assessed and researched and the benefits outweigh the risks for its intended use.
Botox is a ‘prescription only medication’ and should only be handled by a medical professional.
The biggest safely issue for me, as a medical professional, is WHO is injecting the Botox.
Botox is only safe in the hands of a registered medical professional with experience, training and one who cares about you and the result you will get.
There you have it!
I hope I have answered the question “Are Botox injections Safe?” and reassured you that Botox is safe to use for cosmetic purposes, under good professional guidance of course.
Please remember that if you are being injected with something, anything, then THERE ARE ALWAYS RISKS. You need to be responsible and keep yourself safe:
- Choose your medical professional wisely- ensure they are experienced, qualified, insured and reputable.
- You must have a face-to-face consultation prior to your treatment, this is the law.
- Tell your medical professional if you have ANY medical issues, if you take any medications or if have any allergies.
- If you’ve has Botox before, discuss this with your medical professional – what you liked and what you didn’t like, all of it!
- Be realistic about your expectations, find out what can actually be achieved (If someone tells you they can make you look 21 again, alarm bells should be ringing!)
- Ask lots of questions, ask it all, everything!
- Follow your gut instinct.
Lastly – Do not rush into a Botox procedure, it is not a beauty treatment and it needs to be respected.
If you have any questions or still wonder are Botox injections safe or you would like to discuss this further, do get in touch or book in for your consultation.
Louise, TSN x