As with any kind of injectable treatment, there are risks and side effects involved with injectable treatments like Botox and fillers that you should know about before going under the needle. The good news, though, is that these anti-wrinkle treatments are pretty low-risk, especially when carried out by medically qualified practitioners. But, let’s look at some fillers and Botox side effects and risks so you know what to expect.
Fillers and Botox side effects
Botulinum toxin side effects and risks
Okay, let’s start with some Botox side effects you could encounter. Most of these can be treated effectively with paracetamol and topical treatments, or by simply waiting for them to pass - so there’s not much to worry about! But, after your Botox treatment you could experience:
- A headache or flu symptoms
- Some swelling and redness in the treated areas
- Slight bruising and tenderness around the points of injection
- Minor bleeding around injection sites
- Dizziness and nausea
The above side effects might be quite annoying (a bruised forehead and swollen temples perhaps aren’t the best looks!), but they should disappear shortly after the treatment. In rare cases, though, anti-wrinkle injections can cause more serious complications, like the ones I’ll tell you about now:
- Temporary drooping in the eye area
- Teary eyes or eye dryness
- Drooling or an uneven mouth
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced or loss of bladder control
When Botox is injected around the eye area, visual impairment or visual difficulties can also sometimes arise. And, on rare occasions, people can experience breathing difficulties, trouble speaking and difficulty swallowing. But, again, this happens (and I stress!) very rarely. If you do experience adverse, botulism-esque symptoms like these, make sure you seek medical assistance ASAP.
Is Botox right for you?
Risks and side effects aside, it’s also important to know if you’re a suitable candidate for this anti-ageing procedure. Botox is not recommended if:
- You have a skin infection
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have muscular diseases such as Bell’s Palsy, myasthenia gravis and ALS
- You are currently taking certain medications, antibiotics or supplements
- You have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Botox injections
Not sure whether Botox is appropriate for you? Consult your practitioner for advice - it’s always better to check first. And, to get even more clued-up on what to expect after a Botox procedure, give this article a read. Prior to any anti-wrinkle treatment, you should have a face-to-face consultation with your prescriber, where they will take a detailed medical history, to determine the correct treatment plan for you.
What are the side effects and risks of dermal fillers?
Whether you’re considering fillers to get rid of lines, plump cheeks and lips, or get the chiselled jawline you’ve been chasing, there are several mild side effects to keep in mind. These are similar to those associated with Botox, so prepare for some déjà vu! It’s normal to experience the following dermal filler side effects:
- Redness and itchiness
- Mild swelling
- Some bruising
- Slight pain at the injection sites
- Slight bleeding around the injection points
- Cold sores (if you’re prone to them)
Luckily, the above side effects shouldn’t be long-lasting. So, it won’t be long before you’ve got your full glow on. More severe risks are possible, though (thankfully!) not common. But, you should still monitor the treated areas for the first couple of weeks after your aesthetic treatment, just in case. Look out for:
- Infection where the fillers were injected
- ‘Bumpy’ texture beneath the skin’s surface
- Scarring from skin damage
- Migrated filler, which can require surgery to remove
- Breakouts that resemble acne
- Granulomas (areas of inflammation)
- Vascular occlusion (a blocked blood vessel which can lead to the death of skin cells or tissue)
- Blindness, caused when the filler inhibits blood flow to the eye
When should you avoid fillers?
Just like Botox, you need to know if the treatment is right for you before going ahead with fillers. Your practitioner should assess you for anything that might make you unsuitable for the treatment (or which will require extra care during the procedure). For example:
- If you have a disorder which affects blood clotting
- If you are particularly susceptible to scarring
- If you have a history of seizures
As with Botox, dermal fillers are also not appropriate if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and shouldn’t be used on swollen or damaged skin. Ignoring factors such as these could put you at more risk of complications - so it’s best to listen!
If you want to do some more reading before deciding if dermal fillers are right for you, check out our considerations before having fillers. And speak to your practitioner - they will advise whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment or not.
How can you avoid a botched job?
Unfortunately, not all side effects or risks are completely avoidable. But, you can definitely limit them.
What’s one of the best ways you can do this? Making sure you choose the right practitioner. This is so important. After all, you are trusting someone to put needles in your face! An unqualified, inexperienced practitioner could cause serious harm, potentially resulting in permanent, irreversible damage - no, thank you! So, minimise the chance of complications by doing your research when choosing a clinic. Looking at a practitioner’s qualifications, before and after photos and reviews can all help.
You also need to pay attention to price. Whilst cheap Botox and fillers might seem appealing, they’re not worth the price of a botched job! Be suspicious of cheap anti-wrinkle injections which could not only produce undesirable results, but also have dangerous implications.
Now, I know what you’re thinking - all of these fillers and Botox side effects and risks sound pretty scary! But, choosing an experienced, medically qualified practitioner - like the ones listed on Glowday - hugely reduces the likelihood that you’ll encounter risks. And being aware of the worst case scenarios (no matter how terrifying they might seem) is helpful for making an informed decision when selecting your aesthetic procedure.
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