Botox: Is It Safe?

Part 3 of 6: How safe are Botox injections |

Botox safety

Botox is one of the most popular facial treatments for anti-aging and wrinkles. The goal of this whole section about Botox on is to provide honest and well-researched information about this facial treatment for you to determine whether or not Botox is right for you.

This is Part 3 of 6. If you haven't been following along, Part 1 discussed the benefits of Botox, including a before and after picture of my mom's own Botox treatment. Part 2 discussed how much Botox costs and how long the results last.

This section will go over the safety of getting cosmetic Botox injections. It's a toxin, right? So is it really that safe to use in your skin? Keep reading to find out!

Is Botox safe?

People wonder about the safety of Botox because of the "tox" or "toxin" part of its name. Botox, or "botulinum toxin type A," just sounds like a dangerous poison! In fact, it is a poison and the botulinum toxin is one of the most powerful neurotoxins around. However, you can rest easy because the botulinum toxin type A used for Botox is meticulously purified and produced in a laboratory setting. Very small amounts of Botox is used for cosmetic treatments (20-50 units compared to 100-400 units for cerebral palsy), making Botox very safe.

However, Botox is not recommended in the following situations:

  • If you have a Botox allergy
  • If you have an infection where Botox will be injected
  • If you have breathing, swallowing, or bleeding problems
  • If you have a muscle or nerve disorder
  • If you recently had or will have some sort of surgery
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding

In any situation, a reputable doctor will be able to determine whether you are a good candidate for a Botox treatment. If you have any concerns about your skin issues and whether Botox is right for you, do not hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have!

The fact is, cosmetic Botox has been used for almost 30 years all over the world and when it is properly administered, safety has not been an issue. When something does go wrong with a Botox treatment, the culprit is usually: contaminated Botox (fake or not made by Allergan), off-label and/or unapproved uses, poor technique, or improper dosage.

Botox is one of the most researched cosmetic treatments and many expert doctors would not hesitate to inject their parents, family, or children (not young children, of course!) with Botox. I certainly would not have allowed my own mother to get Botox injections if it were not a safe treatment. Then again, if you are not comfortable using Botox, there is absolutely no reason why you should get it. Do your research, ask your questions, and make your own decision.

Bottom line: Botox is safe if 1) the above situations (for non-recommended Botox use) do not apply to you, 2) you get real, FDA-approved Botox made by Allergan, and 3) you get Botox injections from a well-trained, board-certified physician who understands your facial anatomy.

Even though cosmetic Botox is safe, that doesn't mean it is without side effects. The next section explores Botox side effects and complications, as well as how they can be minimized.

Last updated: November 15, 2012

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Part 4: Botox Side Effects and Complications