Getting Botox injections is not at all a risky procedure. Botox has been FDA-approved for decades, and most patients go through the process without any worrisome side effects. However, there are a few minor risks to be aware of. As with any procedure that pierces the skin, there is some risk of infection. There is also a small risk of an allergic reaction to the toxin that is the active ingredient in the injections. Here's the good news, though. As small as these risks are, there are things you can do to minimize them even further. Take a look.
Only get Botox from a licensed medical doctor
There may be some spas and salons in your area advertising and offering Botox injections. However, they are not doing this legally, and salon professionals do not have the necessary education and training to administer Botox injections safely. Only get the injections from an actual doctor. They know how and where to inject to minimize the risk of side effects. They also follow proper sterilization protocols. Most cosmetic surgeons offer Botox injections, and a lot of dermatologists do, too.
Stop taking aspirin before your appointment
If you regularly take baby aspirin as a blood thinner or to help prevent heart attacks, you should stop a few days prior to your Botox injections. (Check with your doctor first, of course!) Aspirin can cause the small blood vessels in your skin to bleed more after the injection, leading to increased redness and inflammation. The inflammation, in turn, makes infection more likely.
Don't lie down directly after the treatment
Avoid lying down for at least 4 hours after the injections. If you can avoid laying down for 12 hours, that is even better. When you lie down, this limits circulation to your face, which could contribute to increased swelling. It also makes the toxin more likely to migrate, which makes it more likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Keep your face moving
It may feel a little strange to smile or move your face after your Botox injections. But moving your face is actually the best thing for it! This keeps blood moving, which helps reduce swelling, and it also reduces your risk of a blood clot — a very, very rare but possible side effect.
There is no reason to be scared of Botox. If it is very, very safe, and your chances of side effects are low, especially if you follow the tips above.