Are There Long-Term Effects Of Botox? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Learn about the good (and not-so-good) long-term effects of Botox, how it works, and if there are any side effects to keep in mind.
long-term effects of botox

Ever since Botox emerged in the 1980s, people have been using this injectable to cheat the aging process. But how does Botox work? And are there any long-term effects to consider before making that appointment? Keep reading to learn about the good (and not-so-good) long-term effects of Botox. 

What is Botox? 

Long term effects of botox you should know

Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It’s actually the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism! And as you probably already know, doctors use it in small doses to treat health problems, and it’s also more commonly used to smooth facial wrinkles. When it’s used to smooth wrinkles, it temporarily prevents the communication between your nerves and muscles for three to six months. There are even studies that have shown that regular treatments with the neurotoxin can enhance mood and fight depression.

How to Use Botox

Botox injections should only be administered by a trained healthcare professional, typically a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The procedure involves injecting small doses of Botox directly into targeted muscles using a fine needle. The number of injections and dosage depends on the area being treated and the desired results.

Before the procedure, the healthcare provider will assess your medical history, discuss your expectations, and mark the injection sites. The injections may cause slight discomfort during the procedure, but most patients tolerate them well without anesthesia.

After the procedure, it’s essential to follow post-injection care instructions provided by your healthcare provider, which may include avoiding strenuous exercise, massaging the treated area, and refraining from touching or rubbing the injection sites.

Overall, Botox is a versatile treatment option for both cosmetic and medical purposes, offering temporary relief from wrinkles and various health conditions. However, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if Botox is suitable for your specific needs and to minimize the risk of potential side effects.

long-term effects of botox

The Long-Term Effects of Botox

While generally safe when administered by a qualified medical professional, Botox can cause side effects, including:

  • Temporary bruising, swelling, or redness at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Drooping eyelids or eyebrows (ptosis)
  • Crooked smile or asymmetrical facial expression
  • Dry eyes or excessive tearing

So, what are Botox’s long-term effects? Well, the drug has only been around for about 40 years, so there isn’t a lot of information about its long-term effects. But here’s what we know now. 

Botox may cause weak muscles.

Muscles that aren’t used tend to become weaker over time. So, as Botox weakens the communication between the nerve and muscle, the affected muscle isn’t used as much. However, Botox is used in discrete locations on the face, so you only need to keep an eye on the muscles directly affected by the injection. Don’t worry, though — your face has plenty of muscles for normal facial expression. And your muscles will regain strength after taking a Botox break. 

Your skin may appear “wavy.”

Some Botox patients may notice a visible waviness of the skin over the muscles being treated. This is more of a side effect, not a long-term effect. And the good news: it’s totally preventable. This wavy appearance can be avoided by changing the injection pattern for a more uniform distribution. You may also want to consider giving your skin time to settle down before heading back for another appointment. 

You may not need as much Botox in the future.

If you’re a Botox enthusiast, your muscles will become weakened, and you may not need as much over time. Think of it as your muscles become “trained” not to move. This will also prevent wrinkles and help with the aging process. Years of Botox use may mean you’ll need less and less maintenance over time. 

Your skin may look thinner.

After years of Botox use, some patients notice visible thinning in affected areas. This can be a side effect of starting Botox “too early,” causing forehead skin to get prematurely thinner. If you notice forehead thinning and continue, your brows and eyelids may start to look heavy. Ask your Botox professional about your risk for this side effect before trying Botox. As always, applying sunscreen daily will also help.

You may experience eye irritation.

Patients who receive Botox treatments near the eye may be at risk for eye-related side effects, like irritation and dryness. Some patients also report blurred vision or droopy eyelids. Discuss these side effects with your physician before resuming Botox treatments. 

You’ll still look younger if you stop treatments.

When you get Botox treatments, those targeted muscles stay out of use. This helps the aging process and slows wrinkles! So, don’t think you’ll develop lines overnight if you stop treatments. 

You’ll be more aware of your facial movements.

As you continue to get Botox treatments, your muscles will become trained not to make wrinkle-forming expressions. And once you get used to having less movement in your forehead, you’ll definitely be more aware of movements in the future.

The Takeaway

Woman with curly hair looking at herself in the mirror

Botox is a fast and effective treatment against wrinkles. It’s been used safely for decades, but like any treatment, it does come with possible side effects and long-term effects. 

You should always go to a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for Botox injections. You’re more likely to experience adverse side effects if your injections aren’t prepared according to FDA standards or injected by an inexperienced doctor.

Related Article: It seems like every day, we hear about the latest anti-aging ingredient in skincare. But when we hear about a topical ingredient that’s been compared to Botox, we have to stop and listen. If you’re a fan of Korean beauty products, you’ve probably already heard about sodium deoxycholate. But just in case you haven’t, anything with this ingredient may be worth trying. Learn more about sodium deoxycholate, how it works, and why it may just be the topical equivalent of Botox.  

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