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How safe is Botox?

Frown lines? Crow’s feet? Common signs of aging can show up quickly and without warning. Lines like these can be hard to cover with makeup and impact your overall confidence. If you’ve been doing some late-night Googling on how to reduce the appearance and worsening of these unwanted lines, Botox has likely come up in your research.

Since it’s FDA-approval 15 years ago, Botox has proven to be the go-to solution in the treatment for wrinkles and common signs of aging. According to the American Journal of Plastic Surgeons, this minimally invasive cosmetic procedure is so widely popular that in 2017, more than 7 million procedures were conducted in the US alone. Globally, Botox sales continue to rise. In 2017, the global market size was $3.84 billion and the figure is expected to reach $9.84 billion by 2025 according to figures provided by Reuters.

Interestingly, usage is not limited to the reduction of fine lines. The drug has a host of other non-cosmetic and off-label uses such as the treatment of cerebral palsy in children, controlling weak bladders, and in managing excessive sweating


How it Works

When using Botox for cosmetic purposes such as removing worry lines, only very low doses are required. Your practitioner will mix the drug with saline to reduce its potency then inject it into the necessary area. The toxin then blocks nerve signals within your muscles thus reducing the muscle contractions that result in wrinkles. When your facial muscles stay relaxed, the result is a smoother and younger appearance. When performed correctly, it will not be obvious you have had Botox. Instead, you’ll look naturally radiant and younger, with a reduced risk of developing deeper wrinkles in the future.


Is Botox Safe?

For a drug that yields results in as little as 3 days, safety concerns are bound to rise. Add to the fact that the drug is derived from a type of toxin, it’s only natural that you’ll feel dubious about putting it into your body.

The good news is that Botox is FDA-approved, making its use not only legal but also highly regulated. It is also produced in a tightly controlled environment and administered in minuscule amounts to ensure safety. Most importantly, the drug molecules largely stay within the injection site leaving little to no chance of it entering the bloodstream or migrating to other areas.

However, the drug should only be used in very controlled doses administered by a licensed dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Uncontrolled doses can exceed the safety limit, resulting in potential injury. Dosage varies from person to person depending on what you need and how big a muscle you need to be controlled. Doctors recommend that you do not rub or massage the injection site to reduce the probability of swelling or temporary weakening other facial muscles.



Botox is considered safe when it’s used in trace amounts and administered by a qualified injector. However, just like other medications, the drug comes with its own set of potential side effects. While some people experience no reaction or side effect to Botox, this does not apply to everyone.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists the following as some of the side effects of using Botox:

Bruising and pain at the injection site
Flu-like symptoms
Temporary facial weakness or drooping

In extremely rare cases, the toxin may result in more severe side effects such as breathing problems, slurred speech, or muscle weakness. If this happens, you should consult your doctor immediately to ensure that they are not a result of excessive dosage.


Bottom Line

Botox is a highly regulated and well-understood drug that is considered safe for cosmetic uses. You can stop injections at any time, or enjoy long-term use if you prefer.

If you decide Botox is for you, be sure to book an appointment with one of our friendly and qualified dermatologists to guide you through the process. If you have come across Dermal Fillers and are curious to learn the differences between Dermal Fillers and Botox we have you covered.

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