Does Botox Stop You Catching Covid?

Like we need an excuse...

Book your consultation for the treatment of lines and wrinkles right here on Glowday.

Alas, this is a friendly warning to make sure you ignore newspaper headlines!

Somewhere among all the pandemic trials, tests and data some French scientists thought 'I know, we should see if people who have Botox are less likely to catch Covid'. Why? Who knows, but we're here for it. Actually, I do know, because I have read the journal - the fellas involved had seen some research about a possible protective effect of nicotine against Covid - and there's some kind relationship between the chemicals in nicotine and Botulinum Toxin. But anyway, you're not here for a science lesson, you just want to know....

Does Botox prevent Covid?

So, let's be clear here. This is one small study carried out in one hospital where the doctors diagnose and treat patients with diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck. Botox is used a lot in medicine (it's not just for lines and wrinkles - that came much later in the evolution of its uses) so they're often injecting patients with Botox to treat conditions such as migraines, teeth grinding (bruxism), post-operative pain after cervical spine surgery, facial palsy, hypertrophic and keloid scars, glands in cerebral palsy (drooling) and spasmodic torticollis.

They surveyed the patients who they injected with Botox and compared the percentage of COVID cases with the percentage in the general population, in France.

And what did they find?

193 patients were given Botox between May and July 2020. The sex ratio was 146 women /47 men from 18 to 89 years.

Only 2 patients developed a clinical presentation consistent with COVID-19 infection: A 53-year-old woman and a 70-year-old woman. The 53-year-old patient had just come back from Las Vegas when she showed signs of COVID 19. Neither of these tested positive for Covid, they were just 'suspected'.

They also noted that one of their patients lives in a small hamlet in Lozere (a sparsely populated French mountainous region) where a cluster was declared and she was the only person not to be affected, even though she is 64 years old and has associated morbid conditions.

And another patient's daughter was positive for Covid, while she herself didn't have the slightest problem, although she has many health problems.

The percentage of their patients infected was less than 1%, whereas, 4.4% of French people have reportedly been infected. The team are therefore hypothesising that Botox may, in really simple non-sciency terms, assist the immune system in fighting Covid.

Are French women really less likely to catch Covid19 because they get Botox and smoke? Probably not!

So Botox will stop me getting Covid19? Should I book an appointment today?

NO. NO. NO. Not to prevent Covid anyway! But if you want to sort your frown lines out, go for it! There's a few important caveats to this study. The region that the study took place is one of the least affected regions in France, the study isn't thorough enough, and cause and correlation are not the same thing. It's one small study and lots more would need to be done. To be fair, the men who conducted the research do conclude that to confirm their hypothesis, a microbiological study would be necessary, and even if it's effectiveness is proven, Botox should not be used as treatment for Covid under any circumstances.

Other Scientist have spoken out

Professor Willem van Schaik, director of the institute of microbiology and infection at the University of Birmingham, criticised the study.

He told MailOnline: 'This paper cannot be used as evidence, not even as weak evidence, that Botox can protect against Covid.

'The gold standard to determine whether a treatment is effective in treating or preventing Covid is to perform a randomised clinical trial in which you compare the treatment with a placebo. This paper describes no such thing.'

Professor van Schaik added: 'The rest of the paper does not give much in terms of a mechanistic explanation of Botox on infection by SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid) and is highly speculative.'

He said on Twitter: 'Extremely poor papers on Covid continue being published in peer-reviewed journals.'

So, Botox won't prevent me getting Coronavirus?

There's simply not enough evidence or scientific studies and even it it turns out it that it might be effective, it's no reason to get Botox! Don't be lured by headlines that may suggest otherwise, and don't assume all scientific studies are good studies! Same message applies to smoking, don't light up because nicotine might offer some protection against Covid19!

If, however, you're interested in antiaging treatments such as Botox for the treatment of lines and wrinkles, then it's worth seeing who we have on Glowday and booking in for a consultation!

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