The use of Botox is very famous these days for the cosmetic benefits. It is an injectable drug made by a bacterial strain. This bacterial strain is called Clostridium botulinum and the toxin is called botulinum toxin type.
This toxin is naturally made by the bacterium. It is extracted and modified for the usage on humans. Although it is the same toxin that causes botulism in humans which is an extreme form of food poisoning. But how severe it affects any person depends upon his exposure and the amount of the toxin.
For example, Botox is only a tiny dose of this toxin. It uses small injections, target dose with the careful administration. Otherwise, it may cause damage instead of the said benefits.
When a cosmetic professional injects botox into your skin, it blocks the signals from your nerves to your muscles. It helps to reduce the targeted muscles to contract. It is a common cause of muscular conditions on the skin. In this way, the appearance of age lines, wrinkles, and fine lines are prevented.
People often get confused about getting botox that whether or not it is safe for them. It is a toxin, after all, that too is extracted from a bacterium. For common people, it is not easy to understand if it is beneficial or harmful to them. Also, there are always people spreading the poisonous nature of botox. So in order to answer all these questions, here is a detailed analysis of if botox is poisonous or not. Keep reading to learn the safety levels of botox.
Is Botox safe for health?
Botulinum toxin is damaging and sometimes life-threatening for the health but for botox, it uses an only small dosage of it. This small dosage is generally safe and is not harmful.
If you search on Internet, there are only 36 reported cases of extreme side effects that are linked with the cosmetic use of botox, as published by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 1989 and 2003.
Only thirteen of these cases might have more reasons to cause the damage instead of the Botox itself. Keeping this in mind, some of the researchers risk that cosmetic applications may be of less risk than the therapeutic use of Botox injections. Remember the therapeutic dose of Botox is generally higher in dosage.
A study from 2005 tells that adverse side effects of botox are more common with a therapeutic use of Botox. It may be related to any underlying health condition or sometimes-higher dosage is necessary to treat any condition. Either way, cosmetic usage brings fewer side effects than therapeutic usage.
Still, the overall risk associated with botox is minimal as compared to other products. It makes botox safe overall. However, you should only go to a certified body for botox treatments. It must be a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for Botox injections.
The side effects tend to occur when your physician is not well qualified or prepares injections not as per FDA standard of botox. An inexperienced doctor causes more damage than the Botox itself. Never use botox when you are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
How does Botox work?
Botox comes in the form of a powder. Your doctor will take some amount and dilute it in saline solution to make it injectable to the skin. Adding saline is basically watering it down so that it doesn’t cause any problem.
Once it is injected into your skin, it starts the action by blocking the nerve transmission in all muscles nearby it. It freezes the area where it is injected so it doesn’t cause any pain. The injected muscle doesn’t contract afterward that usually results in lines and wrinkles.
Botox is injected into the body for its known benefit in aging symptoms. It reduces the wrinkles and face lines. It is helpful in the following cases.
- Crow’s feet (lines that appear at the corners of eyes)
- Frown lines (lines that appear between the eyebrows)
- Forehead creases
Not just this, Botox is also helpful against following conditions.
- Lazy eye
- Twitching of eyes
- Cervical dystonia (spasms of the neck)
- Over-reactive bladder
- Excessive sweating
- Cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions
Which side effects to notice?
Although Botox injections are generally safe for health, there are minor side effects that may hit you. Some of them are as follows.
- A headache
Some of these effects are restricted to the area of injection only. Other effects i.e. chills and fever; they are experienced in the whole body. Sometimes the injections around mouth result in a crooked smile that looks like drooling.
The good thing is that these side effects are only time and they usually go away on their own within a few days. You don’t really need to take medicines for them. But for some effects like drooping eyelids, drooling and asymmetric problems, they may take a long time to heal.
Once the effect of toxin starts to fade, these effects fade away. In rare cases, you may get botulism-like symptoms such as following.
- Speaking problems
- Swallowing problems
- Breathing problems
- Problems with eyesight
- No bladder control
What are the long-term effects of botox?
The effects of Botox injections are only timely. They go away on their own. Sometimes people need to repeat the injections after some time for the same effect. But the question on long-term safety has limited research to support.
A study from 2015 studied the effects of botox on people that take botox injections every six months to treat the bladder problems. They were studied for two years.
The results of this study told that the risk of side effects doesn’t grow with time. The people who use these injections over the time sometimes have successful stories by means of treatment in the long-term.
The studies overall conclusion that the harmful effects of botox are not related to its long-term usage. People who used treatments also helped themselves to get over a chronic health condition over the time, which is more of a benefit than a side effect.
One review study from 2015 says that adverse effects of botox show up after you repeat it multiple times. For example, in the case study, it showed up after the 10th or 11th injection. Read the complete study results here.
In one study, 45 participants were a part of a study for 12 long years. They were regularly getting their botox injections on time. During this time approximately 20 cases of severe side effects were reported that included;
- Swallowing problems
- Speaking difficulties
- Drooping eyelid
- Blurry vision
- Heart palpitations
However, more research is required to understand the possible long-term effects of Botox injections.
If you want to try a botox treatment, it is recommended that you must go to a certified professional. It is a lot cheaper to get the treatment from someone who is not licensed or may be not from a medical background. But it makes the risk of complications even more.
In injection form, cosmetic toxin last for three to six months maximum. You would require a re-injection after this time for the desired benefits.