A lot of research has been carried out on Botox treatments both for medical use and cosmetic use. Currently, millions of people use Botox injections for cosmetic use and still there is the worry about how safe it may be. It is impossible to give a single answer to this as there are a number of aspects to consider before you can decide on how healthy or unhealthy it may be. So it is best we start by knowing a few facts about Botox injections.
This treatment is derived from botulinum toxin which is a purified protein derived from a bacterium that has been researched for over 100 years with its therapeutic potential being the main focus of research. Botulinum possesses 8 distinct antigens A up to G. Botulinum toxin A is the one that is used in medical procedures as a Botox injection. Originally Botox injections were used in medical procedures to treat excessive muscle spasms and other muscle related problems that can be treated by blocking the overactive nerve impulses.
Botox as a clinical treatment is approved for use in over 80 countries worldwide and it has been in use for over 20 years for treating:
Increased muscle stiffness
Neck pain associated with cervical dystonia
Abnormal eye spasms
Excessive sweating from the underarms
These treatments, however, are age specific; some cannot be prescribed for people under 18 years and others under 16.
Later on towards the late 1990s cosmetic surgery started to use Botox injections to help people mask frown lines but it was not until the early 2000s that these treatments became approved for cosmetic use in moderation for people between the ages of 16 and 65.
Cosmetic Use of Botox Injections
In cosmetic surgery, Botox injections are used to smoothen the skin on the face where there may be frown lines especially between the eyebrows, which make people look angry, tired or old. Sometimes the injection is used to remove the lines that come because of smiling a lot or just as a result of old age.
It is important to know how this injection affects the body. Botox causes a temporary state of muscle relaxation so they will not contract, which is usually what causes those lines or twitches in the case of people with muscle spasms. This effect is what can help you determine how healthy Botox may be for you.
How Safe is Botox?
Generally, Botox injections are delivered by a trained and experienced cosmetic surgeon or clinical doctor and should be safe as long as it is administered in the right way and right place. However, there are side effects that may cause worry.
Possible Health risks of Botox Injections
Patients are always advised to immediately contact the surgeon if they experience any of these side effects after receiving Botox treatment.
Problems breathing or swallowing as a result of inability of the associated muscles to function. Sometimes this is a condition someone may have even before the surgery and getting Botox injection may make it worse. If one has such a problem, they are advised to let the doctor know beforehand.
Affection of muscles away from the injection site like the eyelid muscles, general weakness of all muscles and loss of bladder control. It is important to understand that Botox is indeed a toxin and needs to be administered in controlled dosage, if too much of it is administered, you could very well end up with muscular problems which can lead to death, or can affect your eyesight.
In case any of these symptoms is experienced, urgent medical attention is needed. There are also other conditions that can make Botox injections harmful to your health.
Just like any medicine, some people may be allergic to ingredients in it. Botox contains Myobloc, Xeomin and Dysport which may cause allergic reactions in some people.
People with skin infections in the area where the injection will be administered.
People with Asthma.
Depending on the treatment, people under the age of 16 and other cases 12 years old.
Pregnant women are also discouraged from getting Botox injection even if it is more of an ethical reason that safety.
So all things considered, Botox injections are just like any other treatment that may require a competent surgeon or doctor to administer it and certain guidelines and dosages have to be followed. So under ideal circumstances, Botox treatment should be safe.