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Botox: Side Effects and Biggest Risks

Botox is a cosmetic compound synthesized from botulinum toxin and made into an injectable liquid/gel. Popular and widely known use by celebrities catapulted the Allergan-patented wrinkle-reducer to the top of the list tallying non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Negligible pain, temporary outcomes, and relative affordability have sustained Botox as a leader in anti-aging cosmetics. And typically, there are only a few minor side effects to contend with. But can Botox injections go awry?

Botox Side Effects

Botox is usually injected into areas comprising the top third of the face, used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes. Generally Botox side effects are non-life threatening and usually pass within a matter of hours to a few days. These include, but are not limited to:

  • -Minor pain
  • -Swelling in the injection area
  • -Bruising
  • -Itching in the injection area
  • -Headaches
  • -Flu-like symptoms

This list of woes is a small price to pay in exchange for prolonged youth. However, these side effects may occur when administered by a well-practiced and successful doctor with all the right credentials to provide Botox. So what can happen if you choose an inadequate practitioner?

When Botox Goes Awry

Wrinkles are caused by muscle contractions wrenching the skin together. The mechanism of Botox is to inhibit the nerve signal that causes certain muscles to contract. When the serum effectively does this, the muscles remain relaxed, thus, the skin on the surface remains smooth.

If an inexperienced practitioner uses too many units of Botox or does not inject it properly, it can target and affect the wrong muscles. The results of this can cause additional Botox side effects, including but not limited to:

  • -Blurred vision
  • -Stinging in the eyes
  • -Droopy eyelids
  • -Droopy eyebrows

Fortunately, the results will wear off in 4 to 6 months (yes, you have to live with the results for 4 to 6 months) and you can choose never to go to that doctor again.

Botulism as a Result of Botox

Botulism is an extremely rare disease that slowly paralyzes the body, starting from the face and working its way through the limbs to the respiratory system, which leads to certain death if left untreated. It is caused by the bacteria botulinum toxin, the most virulent and deadly substance known to man, millions of times more poisonous than cyanide. And yes, the same key ingredient bioengineered for the production of Botox. However, this toxin is most commonly contracted through ingestion (spoiled meats), not injection, and even in the case of ingestion the odds are only 1 in 14,970,000. Point being, a person is astronomically unlikely to contract botulism from Botox injections.

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