How to Reduce the Side Effects of Botox

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Treatments for reducing the side effects of Botox depends on the type of side effect you are dealing with. Become familiar with how to reduce Botox side effects with help from a practicing dermatologist in this free video on Botox treatments.

Part of the Video Series: Dermatology Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Dr. Raphael Darvish with Skinpeccable Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Center, here in Los Angeles, California. This is Jasmine, and today we are going to be talking about how to reduce side effects from Botox use. So, Botox is a protein that relaxes muscle, mainly used to treat wrinkles on the forehead; these two wrinkles here, and the wrinkles across the top of the forehead, as well as wrinkles around the eyes. It is also used in on other areas of the face, but the vast majority of treatment that's done throughout the country are done in these three areas. The most common side effect that occurs with Botox is a side effect common with any injection, and that's a bruise. And the most common area that does bruise is the area around the eye. The skin is thin, and even using a very fine needle will put someone at risk for a bruise. So, as physicians, we do, we take some measures to ensure that our patient doesn't get a bruise. So, firstly, we use a very thin needle, either a 30 or 32 gage needle. And the higher the gage, the smaller the needle. And also, when we come to inject, we just barely put the tip of our needle in so that we don't run into an instance where our needle crosses the path of a little vein, and thereby causes a bruise. So, that's the first type of side effect, and what do you do when you get it? You use a little bit of Arnica cream or vitamin K cream. Both of those have been shown to decrease bruising. Furthermore you can pre-ice and post-ice around the treatment to kind of constrict those blood vessels to make sure that they are as small as possible, so that when we come to inject, we have a less likelihood of intercepting them. Secondly, the most common kind of complication that occurs is eyebrow droop. That occurs when too much Botox is injected to the frontalis muscle, or the forehead muscle, and it causes the droop. The frontalis is used to yank up the eyebrow. Things that you can do for that just give it a little time. Normally, within one to two weeks, it springs back up. But, if you can't wait that long or the symptoms or the heaviness of the brow is really bothersome, you can put or you can ask your physician to put a couple of drops of Botox right there at the lateral edge to spring up your eyebrow. Thirdly, you know, patient selection is very important from a physician's perspective. There are certain medical problems that prohibit us from doing Botox. And one of those, for instance, is Lambert Eaton Syndrome. We cannot do Botox on somebody who has a history of that problem. Furthermore, in the case of eyebrow drooping, you don't want, as a physician, we don't want to choose somebody with a very, very saggy upper eyelid. Or with...somebody with a lot of redundant skin on the eyelid, because when we do that, you know, at baseline those people are holding up their eyebrows to get that saggy eyelid off their eye. So, if you go ahead and inject the eye, or excuse me, the frontalis muscle, you remove their ability to hold up their eyelid with their eyebrow, and they'll get an eyebrow and eyelid droop, which is very uncomfortable. So, patient selection is also a very important, very important part of this. Lastly, very rarely, people can get a headache from Botox. It tends to be very temporary; it's thought to be maybe as a result of just the needles being poked across the forehead. And sometimes, very rarely, a flu-like symptom. Again, I have never seen it in my office, but it does happen, and there have been physicians who have reported it. It is a very temporary thing; just give it a few days and you'll feel better. I'm Dr. Raphael Darvish, and that's a brief overview of how to correct side effects from Botox use. Thank you.

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