Many of us are familiar with Botox being used for reducing wrinkles in facial skin. Botox works by paralyzing the muscles of the face that surround the eyes creating crow’s feet or between the eyes creating a furrow. The FDA just released a new alert to include black box warnings that indicate a greater concern of the potential dangers of using Botox. What does this mean for those who receive Botox injections to their faces? Is it still safe?
The current warnings from the FDA are not directly aimed at using Botox for beauty purposes but are the result of a rise in the incidence of deaths where the Botox was used to reduce spasms and rigidity of muscles in adults and children suffering from cerebral palsy. There are three Botox products available for injection, each use a different dose and the overdoses were related to lack of attention of these differences.
The risk of facial Botox is touted to be very low. The most common side effects that might occur are bruising, swelling, eyelid drooping and facial asymmetry which is usually temporary. The new FDA warnings will now include that there is risk of spread to other body areas and that Botox carries risk of difficulties with breathing and swallowing.
If you are thinking about getting Botox injections to your face for cosmetic reasons make sure you take some safety precautions about where you go to receive this treatment.
1. Pick a qualified doctor.
2. Check that the doctor is trained in cosmetic skin surgery.
3. Ask about all risks and benefits. The FDA now requires doctors to give patients a medication guide when patients receive injections of Botox.
4. Select a setting that uses sterilized equipment and ask about how they handle emergencies.
Choosing to have elective medical beauty procedures is an individual choice each of us needs to make after weighing the risk versus benefits. Attention to safety cannot be over emphasized, especially when it comes to injecting a substance that is known to cause injury.
Michele is an R.N.