Botox is a cosmetic treatment that involves injecting a small amount of botulinum toxin into the muscles of the face to temporarily paralyze them. The result is a smoother appearance. While Botox has been widely used for years and is considered safe when administered by a qualified professional, there are several reasons why individuals may choose to avoid it, as well as some long-term effects that many people may not be aware of.
According to licensed esthetician and skin expert Emily Trampetti,"Botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A), commonly known today as brands such as Botox, Dysport and Xoemin, was only just approved for cosmetic use in 2002. And while there have been studies showing safety and efficacy since, it’s still a fairly new pharmaceutical. And like all pharmaceuticals out there, there are many health and safety risks associated."
There is the potential for adverse side effects, including bruising, swelling, pain, and infection at the injection site. In rare cases, the toxin can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems, such as muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, and even death.
Emily Trampetti warns that Botox and other temporary cosmetic injectables are temporary insecurity BandAids at best, and potentially dangerous toxins at worse. "To pretend that Botox is doing anything other than paralyzing muscles temporarily to prevent human expression is a far reach. The real question we need to ask ourselves is, “Is Botox truly helping me care for myself better, or am I using it as a way to fit in, feel worthy or receive love?”
Studies have suggested that repeated use of Botox can cause the muscles to atrophy over time, leading to a loss of facial volume and a more aged appearance. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that Botox may affect the brain and nervous system, potentially leading to cognitive problems and mood disorders.
Trampetti emphasizes that there is a serious disconnect between what some believe these injectables do and don’t do, "botulinum toxin A (the toxin in Botox, Dysport and Xeomin) temporarily paralyzes muscles in a controlled way (it’s the same toxin that gives someone Botulism) and can prevent and smooth dynamic expression lines for about three months. it really doesn’t “prevent” or slow down the ageing process."
This is especially true if you’re not slowing it down with more effective and proven long-term tactics like a healthy lifestyle.
The skin expert also discusses the effect it is having on mental health, and why it is at a high risk when it comes to the influx and influence of teens and 20-somethings thinking they need an injectable to prevent ageing. In the UK, there is currently a battle with pharmaceutical companies illegally advertising Botox, which violates the Human Medicines Regulations of 2012.
"When it comes to all potent pharmaceuticals, we would be irresponsible to continue pushing these cosmetic injectables as innocuous beauty products. They are not. They are not even adequate or healthy skincare tactics. They are muscular paralysis drugs. And while there is some very promising data that these drugs can actually help with painful or debilitating health conditions like TMJ and migraines, I would advise most people to first seek non-pharmaceutical cosmetic options before turning to neurotoxins or fillers", argues Emily Trampetti.
While injectables like Botox can be a lucrative business model for those involved in their production and distribution, it is important to note that any medical treatment, including cosmetic procedures like Botox, carries some degree of risk.
Ultimately, the decision to undergo Botox injections or any other cosmetic procedure should be made after careful consideration and discussion with a qualified healthcare provider. It is important to always prioritize safety and informed decision-making.