Is Botox® Dangerous? Unpacking Botox® Myths

For people thinking of getting Botox®, it’s good to have some background information around the treatment. Botox® is a drug used to treat muscular conditions and function. Cosmetically Botox is used to relax away wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles. It’s made from purified neurotoxin, and is effective in blocking nerve activity1. Botox® use is widespread, but misinformation abounds.

Myth #1: Botox® Is Dangerous and Toxic

There are safety concerns and side effects that come with any medication, and that includes Botox®. These can range from fatigue, nausea, or headache to more serious ones such as chest pain. But such effects are unusual and very uncommon. Botox® injections are an FDA-approved procedure, and are perfectly safe when overseen by a doctor – even after years of use2.

Botox® is designed for localized diffusion, which means that most side effects should be limited in scope to the injection site. However, knock-off or phony Botox® has been linked to serious problems, ranging from skin infections to respiratory arrest and even death. For people who have had issues with Botox®, it’s likely that they were using black market sources.

Myth #2: It’s Fine to Get Botox® from Non-Medical Sources

Buying cheap products means running the risk of getting fake product. Now, that’s not such a big deal for designer clothes, but with pharmaceutical items injected into the body, there are safety considerations to think about. Botox® is a brand name made by Allergan, and it is quality-controlled and researched.

If buying off the black market, patients may very well be getting something that’s contaminated or otherwise harmful. Even if they end up getting the real thing that had been exported out of the country and then re-imported cheaply, they don’t know what has happened to the Botox® in the process. Don’t risk it.

Myth #3: A Medical Professional isn’t Needed to Administer Botox®

It’s possible to get Botox® injections from any number of salons and other venues, but the truth is, Botox® is best injected by a doctor or trained cosmetic surgeon. Laws may vary by state on who can administer Botox® injections. In the state of Georgia only a MD, PA or NP can inject Botox®. RN’s can also inject if certified and under the direct supervision of a MD.

While rare, side effects do happen, and medical professionals are the best people to help treat any complications that may arise. These types of procedures require specialized training to be safely administered. Also, when getting Botox from someone other than a trained professional, the risk of getting black market Botox® is much higher.

The fact is, Botox® can help with fine lines and wrinkles, and can temporarily improve a person’s appearance in a safe and effective way. But don’t skimp on quality. We’re talking about your face here – and your health. Interested in benefiting from Botox®? We recommend going to a respected cosmetic medical practitioner, asking questions, and make sure you feel secure and confident that you’re getting authentic product and the best care.

Citations
1. Nestor M (2017). Key Parameters for the Use of AbobotulinumtoxinA in Aesthetics: Onset and Duration. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2017; 37(suppl_1): Pages S20-S31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28388717
2. Sundaram H (2016). Global Aesthetics Consensus: Botulinum Toxin Type A–Evidence-Based Review, Emerging Concepts, and Consensus Recommendations for Aesthetic Use, Including Updates on Complications. Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. 2016; 137(3): Pages 518e-529e. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26910696
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