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What are the Risks of Botox?

Botulinum toxin injections are relatively safe non-surgical procedures, although they could have some side effects or complications. This article explains the risks of botulinum toxin injections and commonly asked questions regarding anti-wrinkle injections.

Botulinum toxin injection has become one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures. Its effectiveness in smoothing and preventing deep facial formation has made the toxin very popular. However, the non-surgical procedure comes with limitations. It is crucial to have an extensive consultation with a cosmetic doctor before the procedure; discuss its benefits and risks. The patients should also establish the remedies associated with the products before taking the procedure. Most patients focus on the benefits and overlook the safety of the procedure, which is equally important.


Botulinum toxin injection, commonly referred to as Botox, is a muscle relaxer used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. It also has health benefits like relieving muscle pain and treating migraine and bowel contraction problems (Chang et al., 2015). The toxin causes botulism in food poisoning. In cosmetics, the toxin helps to smooth and prevent the formation of facial creases, enhancing appearance. The toxin is injected into facial muscles that move when making facial expressions causing localized muscle paralysis, thus preventing muscle movements. The toxin does not have immediate results, but the patient can notice changes after three to five days, minor changes after 10 -20 days, and full results after a month. The toxin will wear off after three to six months, and the facial creases reappear. Doing touch-ups and hydrating more often prolongs the lifespan of the anti-wrinkle toxin. 

Risks of Botox

Side Effects

Botulinum toxic effects are normal and expected after the procedure. They do not require medical expertise and subside after a few days. After the procedure, the patients will experience swelling, bruising, and pain at the injection site. Other common side effects include eyelid drooping, nausea, fever, muscle weakness, and headache. Some side effects are common to the area treated; if the patient gets botulinum toxin around the eye, they may experience uneven eyebrows, dry eyes, excessive tearing, and drooping eyelids. Side effects that last more than two weeks are uncommon, and patients should see a cosmetic doctor.

Botox Complications 

Botulism-like Symptoms

Botulism-like symptoms are the common complication of botulinum toxin, which occurs when it spreads beyond the injection area. The patient experiences difficulties in breathing and swallowing and slurred speech. 

Eyebrow Dropping 

The eyebrow drops result from blocking the elevator muscles and the toxin placed close to the eyebrow. Eyebrow drop also results from too much toxin. The dropping can worsen in patients with an already existing eyebrow drop, mostly in older patients. This complication can limit or block normal vision. Eyelid ptosis is also common due to forehead and glabella treatment. 

Lip ptosis and asymmetry

 According to King (2016), lip ptosis and asymmetry result from too much toxin when treating smokers’ lines. Lip dropping can also result from the toxin spreading beyond the injected muscle. The affected lip may become asymmetrical.


Asymmetry is a common complication of botulinum toxin injections resulting from the wrong placement of the toxin or the toxin spreading beyond the injected area. 

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reaction to botulinum toxin involves signs and symptoms like hives, itching, wheezing, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Allergic reactions occur immediately after injection but can also occur after some time.

Remedy for Botox Complications

Patients should contact a cosmetic doctor if they experience side effects or complications. The patient should visit the hospital immediately for adverse complications such as botulism. No remedy will reverse botulinum toxin asymmetries; the toxin wears off after a few months. Chang et al. (2015) note that exercising and massaging the treated area speeds up the rate at which the toxin wears off. Massaging should be done after at least two weeks. After two weeks, the patient can also use a warm press on the treated area.

Preventing Botox Risks 

Patients may adopt the following strategies to reduce the risks associated with botulinum toxin injection; the patient should avoid;

  • Touching, massaging, or sleeping on the treated area; prevents the toxin from spreading beyond the treated area. 
  • Taking blood thinners for at least a week before the procedure, blood thinners slow blood clotting, which makes bruising severe. The patient should also avoid alcohol 48 hours before and after the procedure.
  • Unqualified aesthetic practitioners; quacks should not do the toxin procedure. The procedure should also be done in a hospital setting where patients can get emergency services in case of complications.
  • Taking hot showers or sitting in saunas after the procedure; heat will increase blood flow to the treated area, worsening swelling and pain. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Botox

Is Botulinum Toxin Injection Safe?

Botulinum toxin injection involves a simple procedure with minor side effects and rare complications. The patient should not worry if the person doing the procedure is qualified and experienced. Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not have Botox.

What Is the Cost of Botox?

The average cost of botulinum is £ 600, depending on the aesthetic personnel, treatment area, and several injections. For safety purposes, patients should consider the quality of the procedure rather than the cost. Safe and quality procedures are costly. 

When Will I See Botox Results?

The patient can see minor changes after five days, the minor result after 10-20 days, and full results after a month; results could show sooner if the treated area has shallow creases.


Botox is safe when qualified personnel does the procedure. Side effects like swelling, pain, and bruising are common at the injection site. Complications with Botox are rare, but a patient can experience asymmetry, eyebrow dropping, lip ptosis, and allergic reactions. Botulism-like symptoms are, so far, the riskier complication of anti-wrinkle injection; it occurs when the toxin spreads beyond the injected area. There is no remedy to reverse the botulinum toxin injection procedure, but the toxin will wear off after a few months. The patient can minimize the risks by doing the procedure in a hospital with a qualified cosmetic practitioner. 


Chang, Y. S., Chang, C. C., Shen, J. H., Chen, Y. T., & Chan, K. K. (2015). Nonallergic Eyelid Edema After Botulinum Toxin Type A Injection: Case Report and Review of Literature. Medicine, 94(38), e1610.

King M. (2016). Management of Ptosis. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 9(12), E1–E4

Crystal Kadir
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