- Botox is a substance which is derived from that of botulism toxin, which is the same type that causes food poisoning, however the amount used here is simply a fraction of the amount that is able to cause food poisoning; this works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, thus causing the muscle to 'relax'.
- Side effects include feeling sore and bruised around the area where the doctor injected the Botox, and in a minority of cases there may also be minor hemorrhaging. (There may also be some pain initially during the injections). It is possible to experience recurrent headaches or nausea in the week following the procedure, and in the worst case scenarios, people may also develop flu-like symptoms. These side effects are believed to affect less than 10 percent of those treated with Botox, with the more severe side effects being much less common.
- Rare complications of Botox injections include ‘drooping’ or muscle weakness. The problems vary according to where the injection was administered and are mostly caused by being the dose of Botox being too great. For instance, if a high dose is injected into the crow’s feet around the eyes then the patient may have problems blinking. About 1 percent of patients having Botox treatment to correct frown lines experience drooping of the eye lid or, where injections were given above the lips, they may have uncontrollable drooling from the side of the mouth. As the results of Botox are temporary these unpleasant side effects should wear off over a period of 3 to 4 months.
- There are a number of people who are at greater risks of complications resulting from Botox injections who should therefore avoid treatment. This includes people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, bleeding disorders or people taking certain forms of medications. There is a lack of conclusive studies into the effects of Botox treatment on pregnant women or on breastfeeding mothers. Therefore, it is considered best to err on the side of caution and avoid treatment during this period to avoid harmful effects to the mother or child.
And remember, a qualified medical practitioner should always be consulted if you are considering Botox treatment. Be sure to advise them of any pre-existing medical conditions or if you are taking medication, as you may be precluded from the procedure for safety reasons. Your doctor should also thoroughly explain the risks you are undergoing so that you may weigh up the benefits against the dangers. Botox is a prescription treatment and as such is best administered by a licensed professional for your own wellbeing.