Before a Botox Injection, Consider the Side Effects

Thinking of undergoing Botox treatments? Consider these facts before you take the plunge

Credit: Wellness Matters

Botox blocks nerve impulses, preventing wrinkles from facial contraction

Botox is the world’s most popular cosmetic procedure, but it doesn’t come without risks

The desire to retain a youthful appearance has made Botox injections the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. However, before contemplating treatment with this drug, there are a few things you should know.

Botox and Botox Cosmetic belong to a class of drugs called botulinum toxins, derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum – the same bacterium responsible for botulism. At their most basic level, these drugs are a highly diluted and purified version of the botulinum toxin, which work by blocking nerve impulses, thereby relaxing the muscles. 

Botox was approved by Health Canada in 1990 and is used to treat several disorders caused by overactive muscles, as well as in the treatment of back pain, excessive sweating, migraine headaches and cervical dystonia; Botox Cosmetic, used to treat frown lines and wrinkles, was approved in 2001. 

How Botox Works to Get Rid of Fine Lines

So how does Boxtox Cosmetic help create a more youthful appearance? 

When the muscles of the face contract, they create fine lines and wrinkles. When Botox Cosmetic is injected into specific muscles of the face, it blocks the nerve impulses to these muscles forcing them to relax, thereby softening lines. The effect generally lasts for up to six months. 

Botox Has More Potential Side Effects than a Stiff Face

Botox Cosmetic is considered safe. However, like all drugs, it carries its share of common temporary side effects such as bruising, tenderness, redness and headaches. In extreme cases, the drug can spread to other parts of the body in a condition called distant toxin spread, with symptoms that include muscle weakness, pneumonia, speech disorders and difficulties breathing or swallowing. 

Before contemplating a Botox Cosmetic procedure, consult your doctor for guidance on finding a qualified physician to do the procedure. Also, the price of beauty isn’t cheap, with costs ranging upward of $400 per injection.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.