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Can You Have Botox When Breastfeeding?

Botulinum toxin injections are among the most popular anti-wrinkle treatment enhancing the appearance and maintaining a youthful look. This article discusses botulinum toxin injections used with breastfeeding clients, including how it works, their benefits, and alternatives for breastfeeding patients.

The postpartum period can be challenging, especially if a patient is unsure what to do or not do while breastfeeding. Most clients eat or use things out of bounds during pregnancy during this period. However, a breastfeeding client may need caution when using medications and somecosmetic products. Some substances transfer to the baby through breast milk. Cosmetic doctors are unsure if botulinum toxin injections can be transmitted through breast milk. Besides, no study shows the adverse effects of botulinum toxin injections while breastfeeding. Patients should consult a cosmetic doctor before getting a botulinum toxin treatment while breastfeeding.

What Is Botulinum Toxin Injection?

Botox is a drug that contains a neurotoxic protein known as Botulinum toxin-A, derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum). Botulinum toxin is an extremely toxic substance. However,  Dutta et al. (2016) suggested that the toxin can kill over one million people if evenly dispersed and inhaled. However, botulinum toxin injection is generally safe and effective if used correctly in therapeutic contexts.

How Does Botulinum Toxin Injection Work?

Wang et al. (2020) suggested that botulinum toxin treatment works on the nervous system, disrupting nerve-signaling systems by inhibiting the release of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle cell contraction. When released to the nerve-ending terminals, it causes muscle cells to contract. This is the major cause of wrinkles and facial creases during aging. Kwon et al. (2019) showed that botulinum toxin treatment is injected into specific muscle cells, relaxing them temporarilyand reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines over time. The anti-wrinkle treatment doesn’t start working immediately after the procedure. The results of a botulinum toxin injection begin to show a few days after the procedure. Besides, the effects of treatment are only localized to the injected area.

Uses of Botulinum Toxin Treatment

Botulinum toxin treatment is used for cosmetic purposes and treating other medical conditions. In cosmetics, Botulinum toxin injections are used as an anti-wrinkle treatment. According to Nestor et al. (2020), botulinum toxin injections’ ability to temporarily freeze muscle cells causes reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Botox was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a temporary treatment for severe forehead wrinkles, frown lines, and crow’s feet in adult patients.

Park &Ahn (2021) noted that botulinum toxin injections are also used to treat certain medical conditions, especially those related to the neuromuscular system. Bach &Simman (2018) noted that botulinum toxin treatment is an approved treatment for medical conditions such as:

  • Blepharospasm
  • Strabismus
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Upper limb spasticity, and
  • Overactive bladder symptoms

Botulinum toxin injections are effective in many health conditions that remain unknown. Most of them are dermatological conditions such as:

  • Rosacea
  • Annal fissure
  • Raynaud phenomenon
  • Hypertrophic scars and keloids
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa and others.

Can You Have Botulinum Toxin Treatment When Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is an investment in a child’s health, not just a lifestyle decision. Breastfed infants have lower risks of health conditions such as type 1 diabetes, asthma, obesity, ear infections, and gastrointestinal infections, among others. The Food and Drug Administration initially approved botulinum toxin injections to treat certain conditions, including facial wrinkles, muscle spasms, chronic migraine, and extreme underarm sweating. There are no clear studies indicating the dangers or safety of anti-wrinkle treatments while breastfeeding. Besides, it has not been formally approved for use by pregnant or breastfeeding clients.

While Botulinum toxin treatment is injected into muscle cells, no studies show whether it is absorbed into the bloodstream or gets into breast milk. While the treatment results can be alluring, breastfeeding patients should skip the injection to avoid taking chances with an infant.

Due to insufficient research, many aesthetic practitioners warn against using Botox while pregnant or breastfeeding.Ray-Griffith et al. (2018) revealed that limiting botulinum toxin injection procedures during pregnancy and postpartum is best to minimize the risks of unwanted complications to a lactating patient and achild. The risks of having anti-wrinkle treatments while breastfeeding outweighs a patient’s desire for wrinkle-free skin.Since taking chances on infants’ health is absurd, it is better to skip the treatment. Breastfeeding clients can consult with a cosmetic doctor concerning getting botulinum toxin treatment before the procedure since it is not allowed.

Botulinum Toxin Injections Alternatives for Breastfeeding Women

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is an effective ingredient to include in your skincare regimen. Clients can find this compound in various skincare products, including creams and serums. According to Draelos et al. (2021), hyaluronic acid attracts water molecules, addingplumpness to the skin. This makes clientslook young and refreshed. Besides, it is naturally found in the body, so there are low chances of causing any damage to an infant.

Glycolic Acid

OfirArtiz et al. (2021) suggested that glycolic acid is a safe ingredient when breastfeeding. It exfoliates the skin and stimulates collagen production, making it smooth and plump. According to Park & Lee (2018), glycolic acid can also get rid of dead skin layers revealing more refreshed and young-looking skin. Breastfeeding patients can get it in various skin care products such as chemical peels, serums, and moisturizers.

Vitamin A

Retinol, a Vitamin A, is found in most anti-aging creams and supplements. Anikata (2021) showed that vitamin A boosts collagen production and attacks free radicals in the skin, preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A also improves the skin’s elasticity by eliminating damaged elastin fibers. It promotes the formation of new blood vessels, making the skin look plump. Breastfeeding clients should go for skin care products with Vitamin A as a substitute for Botulinum toxin injections, which might cause some side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Botulinum Toxin Injections When Breastfeeding

Does Botulinum Toxin Injection Get into the Bloodstream?

Botulinum toxin injection does not get into the bloodstream. It is injected into muscle cells. Besides, it is localized in the injected area unless disrupted before it settles in.

When Can I Resume Botulinum Toxin Injections?

Patients can safely receive botulinum injections when they stop breastfeeding.

Can You Flush out Botulinum Toxin Injections?

There is no known way to get rid of botulinum toxin injections from the body before it naturally wears off. Patients should follow their cosmetic doctor’s instructions to avoid complications.


Knowing what to do or not to do while breastfeeding can be challenging, especially whether or not to receive botulinum toxin treatment for wrinkles. Botulinum toxin causes temporal paralysis in the muscles. No clear studies indicate whether botulinum toxin treatment can be transmitted through breast milk or cause any adverse effect ona baby during breastfeeding. Most aesthetic practitioners recommend avoiding the treatment until done with breastfeeding. Since the anti-wrinkle treatment can stay active in the body for up to 6 months, it is best for breastfeeding patients to avoid it. Patients should consult a cosmetic doctor before using botulinum toxin injections when breastfeeding.


Bach, K., &Simman, R. (2022). The Multispecialty Toxin: A Literature Review Of Botulinum Toxin. Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, 10(4).

Draelos, Z. D., Diaz, I., Namkoong, J., Wu, J., & Boyd, T. (2021). Efficacy Evaluation Of A Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum In Facial Photoaging. Dermatology And Therapy, 11(4), 1385-1394.

Dutta, S. R., Passi, D., Singh, M., Singh, P., Sharma, S., & Sharma, A. (2016). Botulinum Toxin The Poison That Heals: A Brief Review. National Journal Of Maxillofacial Surgery, 7(1), 10.

Kwon, K. H., Shin, K. S., Yeon, S. H., & Kwon, D. G. (2019). Application Of Botulinum Toxin In The Maxillofacial Field: Part I. Bruxism And Square Jaw. Maxillofacial Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, 41(1), 1-13.

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OfirArtzi, M. D., Lee Heyman, M. D., Rafael, L., & Joseph, N. (2021). The Efficacy And Safety Of A Novel Protective Complex Combined With 50% Glycolic Acid Peel: A Double-Blinded, Split Face, Controlled Study.

Park, M. Y., &Ahn, K. Y. (2021). Scientific Review Of The Aesthetic Uses Of Botulinum Toxin Type A. Archives Of Craniofacial Surgery, 22(1), 1.

Park, S. Y., & Lee, J. N. (2018). The Effect Of Glycolic Acid Peeling And Seaweed Peeling On Keratosis Pilaris. Journal Of The Korea Academia-Industrial Cooperation Society, 19(4), 492-504.

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Marie Salbuvik