Botox Frequently Asked Questions

In Dermatology by Alim R. Devani, MD

If you’re considering Botox for wrinkles, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), or other conditions, you may have questions that aren’t answered yet. Here are some of the most common botox frequently asked questions.

Q: If Botox is made from the botulism bacteria, isn’t it dangerous?
A: Botox is made from a living bacteria called Clostridium botulinum but it is actually a purified protein made from the bacteria, not the whole bacteria. The purified protein is called a neurotoxin. The whole bacteria is what causes disease, not the purified protein.

Q: Can Botox cause side effects?
A: The main ‘side effects’ of Botox are wrinkle reduction, stopping and preventing severe migraines, and stopping the excessive sweating that occurs in those who have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.

There may be negative side effects, too. Botox is a medication, and all medications have potential side effects. These side effects don’t occur in a large proportion of patients – and millions of injections have been given to patients over a few decades without experiencing the negative side effects. Always look for any hint of these side effects – and if you see them, call your doctor immediately:

  • droopy eyelid or eyebrow
  • bruising after the injection
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • allergic reactions such as itching, welts, rash, wheezing
  • problems swallowing, speaking or breathing
  • change in voice or hoarseness

Q: Is Botox tested in medical laboratories?
A: Yes, Botox has been repeatedly tested in hundreds of medical studies in the U.S. and in other countries. Some studies test different dosages of botox for safety and efficacy while others test different brand names.

Studies also test botox on people who have different conditions such as crow’s feet, deep forehead creases, excessive sweating and even migraines. The studies have been so successful that the FDA allows medical doctors to use botox for these conditions – and others as well.

Q: Can men receive Botox?
A: Yes, absolutely. More and more men are concerned about how they look and choose the procedure for the extra youthful edge in business and in their social life.

Q: Can children receive Botox?
A: There are specific medical conditions that allow the use of Botox on children. Check with your doctor on this if you have any specific questions for your child.

Q: Sometimes I see celebrities who had Botox and they look as if they are scared. What happened? I don’t see this in everyone with Botox.
A: When Botox injections were first used, some patients received large doses that were too big for the size of their forehead muscles resulting in the ‘scared’ look. By carefully choosing a doctor with years of experience in this procedure, you won’t have this effect.

Q: If I get Botox for facial wrinkles, how much aging can come off my face?
A: Aging affects each of us differently, and there are different types of wrinkles. Some are deeper than others, and make us look a lot older than the more superficial wrinkles. Once the botox is injected into a muscle that has wrinkled, it smooths out that wrinkle, almost erasing it before your eyes. Thus, if you have only superficial wrinkles, botox for facial wrinkles may make you look 5 years younger. With deeper wrinkles, botox could make you look 10 or more years younger.

Q: Do the Botox shots hurt?
A: There is a sensation of pain when the injection first enters the pain, similar to a vaccination. The sensation does not last long and is not felt once the needle is removed. The injections only penetrate the outer skin and do not go deep.

Q: Can Botox injections be helpful for excessive sweating?
A: Yes, definitely. Many medical studies confirm that Botox stops the excessive sweating by greater than 80%. Some people have suffered from this condition for years but will notice a big difference in just a few days.

Q: Is Botox permanent?
A: No, Botox is a temporary solution for aging, excessive sweating, and migraines. The effects last anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, depending on the type of condition treated. For example, botox for facial wrinkles lasts about 3 to 3-1/2 months. Botox for excessive sweating lasts 141 days to 152 days according to the studies, although some patients will say their results lasted about 7 months or occasionally longer.

Q: Are there things I shouldn’t do after the Botox injections?
A: Yes. Refrain from touching your skin in the area of the injections. Your doctor will give you a list of things to do and not do during your appointment.

Botox can be your solution for anti-aging, hyperhidrosis and other conditions.

To learn more about whether or not you would be a candidate for a Botox procedure to look and feel your very best, call us for a free cosmetic consultation at 403-271-3627.