Botulinum toxin side-effects

Side-effects of botulinum toxin

Undesirable implications, risks and side-effects.

Botox side effects

Is a botulinum toxin treatment dangerous?

A botulinum toxin treatment is generally not dangerous. For preventing wrinkles, treating wrinkles or hyperhidrosis therapie botulinum toxin has only little side-effects when an adequate amount is correctly and professionally administered. However, even if treatment is generally not dangerous, eventual side-effects should not remain unmentioned. That is why you will be informed in detail of possible side-effects at your first consultation. This is done less for legal purposes than for providing the patient with a clear understanding of the possible effects and side-effects of botulinum toxin. This knowledge simplifies acceptance and tolerance of the effects of the botulinum toxin.

Side-effects from the preparation

Headaches occasionally occur after a botulinum toxin treatment. An allergic reaction is very seldom. However, an allergy could occur from the complex protein of the stabilized botulinum toxin preparation. Temporary redness at the point of injection usually disappears within a few minutes.

Side-effects from treatment

Treatment could cause bruising, temporary redness and welts. An experienced physician that takes time to administer the botulinum toxin will produce less side-effects than an inexperienced practioner.

Side-effects from the practioner

The main effect of botulinum toxin, namely weakening the contracting elements of the musculature in unexpected proportions or of a neighboring muscle, is not a side-effect but the main effect of this preparation. A large part of complications and “side-effects” can basically be avoided by choosing a good physician, who provides adequate consultation resulting in a full understanding by the patient.

Typical unwanted effects

The most common complaint of an aesthetic treatment with botulinum toxin A is the unexpected weakening of neighboring muscles, or rather too strong an effect of the treated muscle group. This “side-effect” is, for example, sunken eyebrows after a forehead treatment.

Seldom “apparent” side-effects

After an incorrect treatment, sunken eyebrows will bother a patient immensely. But an eventual asymmetric articulation problem while speaking, eye coordination disorder or a droopy eyelid, is considered much more unpleasant and should definitely be avoided. All unwanted effects are not side-effects in the normal understanding, but comply with the main effect of the botulinum toxin to neighboring muscles. Inhibiting nerve signal transmissions on the acetylocholine synapes inhibit parasympathetic innervated gland cells. Occasionally dry eyes or reduced salivation could occur. All of these “apparent side-effects” are dependent upon dosage and are reversible.

The real side-effects of botulinum toxin

Headaches are quite common upon the first treatment of botulinum toxin when administering a higher dose. Allergic reactions are possible, but highly unlikely. Temporary redness at the site of injection – for a few minutes only – is normal. Not botulinum toxin but the injection itself could cause hemotoma (bruising) after treatment.

The right dose – how many units?

There is no right amount for the first treatment. Depending on the patient’s expectations, often too little or too much botulinum toxin is used. If the dose is not adequate the reduction in muscle activity will not be satisfactory and the lasting effect will be too short. A too high of a dose will weaken the muscle too much, especially neighboring areas and will last longer. Here it is important to create a level of awareness with the patient.

How long does the botulinum toxin effect last?

It is generally true that wrinkles need to be treated two times a year on average. It is however false that the botulinum toxin effect lasts 6 months. The body needs much less time to regenerate the nerve endings and to reproduce new synapses. A properly dosed botulinum toxin wrinkle treatment starts with closer treatment intervals, therefore, 10 weeks at the beginning, and then 12 weeks, 4 months and then 5 months. This is of course dependent upon each patient, their constitution and their realistic goals. The key element is reducing muscle mass and one’s exaggerated mimic activity.

Unwanted side-effects do not usually last that long because the uncomfortably weakened muscle group is generally trained more strongly afterwards.

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