Botox is the single most popular cosmetic treatment in the world (ASPS, 2020).
In 2020, 4.4 million men and women in the United States had the procedure, making it and dermal fillers (at 3.4M) the most popular by a long shot. (Next down from Botox and Fillers at 4.4 and 3.4M, are three procedures each with fewer than 1M patients.)
Despite its obvious popularity, Botox has its detractors, some of whom point out what appear to be perfectly valid reasons to avoid the toxin at all costs. But is Botox truly bad? Here are 5 cons to consider when deciding whether to get the popular poke.
The men and women who get injected with the popular toxin have many and varied reasons for doing so: Reducing fine lines, smoothing out wrinkles, reducing chronic pain, addressing underarm sweating, and so many more.
Whether the pros of Botox outweigh its cons, patients should be aware of the possibly poor outcomes and adverse reactions.
“BOTOX may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening.”Botox Important Safety Information, © 2022 AbbVie.
1. Temporary Side Effects: From Headache to Dry Eyes and the Dreaded Droopy Eyelid (Ptosis)
Although Botox is an efficient treatment that doesn’t have long-lasting side effects, some people still feel some symptoms after getting it done. However, the good news is that those side effects are temporary in the majority of cases. The duration of the adverse effects will vary from person to person; it might be anywhere from a few hours to many days at a time. These include:
- Headache: It’s a rare aftereffect but it may last up to 2 days.
- Bruising: Bruising is normal after this type of treatment and it recovers quickly for most people. However, if it doesn’t go away then consult your cosmetic surgeon immediately.
- Dry Eyes: Your eyes may either feel dry or tear up easily after your treatment.
- Upset Stomach: You may feel nausea or constipation as well after your treatment.
- Weakness Or Numbness: You may experience some weakness or numbness around the injection site.
- Eyelid Drooping: This happens when you rub the treatment area, and it may last for up to 3 weeks.
- Dry Mouth: This involves the mouth feeling sticky or dry, thick saliva, trouble swallowing, and dry throat. It usually passes within a few days.
- Allergic Reactions: Botox may trigger allergic reactions but it is not common in many people. As a result you may feel dizzy, itching, hives, etc.
2. Botox Weakens the Target Muscles Over Time
The injection of Botox into certain areas of the body causes the muscles in those areas to waste away, while the other muscles continue to function normally and keep their full volume. When considering the long-term effects of the toxin on your muscles, its potential to reduce their strength makes it an undesirable treatment.
Those who routinely get their Botox treatment done may find it a good option as the results would last longer. However, the muscles weaken up when the toxin blocks signals from nerves that cause muscle contraction. This leaves a small degree of negative impact on your muscles over a long span.
3. Some Say Botox Makes The Skin Visibly Thinner
After consistent and routine Botox treatment, people often complain about skin thinning issues. It’s a rare problem but it makes Botox a poor option for people.
After receiving many doses of botulinum toxin, the skin on your forehead may begin to thin prematurely, while the muscles may become less strong. Skin thinning occurs mostly when people get botulinum toxin injections in their early 20s.
One solution is to consult a professional cosmetic surgeon to prevent skin thinning in the future. Not every skin is alike so you need to consult your surgeon first.
4. Botox May Result In Mild Discoloration of the Skin
Botox may cause discoloration or texture changes in some people. It’s not typical, however, some people notice this side effect after getting the treatment done. They feel changes in their skin texture and mild discoloration that often can be hidden with makeup.
These side effects, however, are preventable if you consult your cosmetic surgeon. They may change the pattern of injections to provide a more uniform distribution of the chemical inside the body, or either to stop the toxins.
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Discoloration and texture changes are not permanent side effects of Botox. These may be long-term effects, but you can prevent them if you take care of your treatment area from the start. All you have to do is find a professional cosmetic surgeon, and take any necessary precautions to remove these side effects.
5. Botox Results Aren’t Immediate or Very Long Lasting
Everybody is different so Botox works differently for each individual. For some people, the results are effective but may show after a few days. Right after the treatment, they might not feel any difference. The results may start to show after day three and may eventually take up to 7 days to uncover full effects.
The results only last for up to 4 to 6 months, depending on the treatment area. That said, you may want to re-do the Botox before it wears off. Botox may also be a less that perfect choice for people are on a budget who can’t afford to get the injections on a routine basis.
While there are many good reasons to get Botox treatments, it’s really important for people to be aware of the drawbacks of this treatment option as well. If you’re aware of both the good and the bad parts of Botox treatments, you’re more likely to have a better experience during your treatment.
What should you do if you have an adverse reaction from Botox?
“You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.”Botox Important Safety Information, © 2022 AbbVie.
The official FDA-approved prescribing information that is issued for both patients and providers of Botox very openly encourages all users of the product who experience any negative side effect to report it to the U.S. FDA, the official regulatory body that oversees food, drugs and cosmetics.
You can report Botox side effects to the U.S. FDA by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
[Photo by Nick Lla]