Patients Ask: Is Botox Cosmetic Safe?

Some of my patients have recently asked about the safety of Botox Cosmetic, in light of recent negative news reports involving “Botox.” No need to worry! It is widely known that Botox Cosmetic is derived from botulinum toxin. The recent news reports refer to adverse patient complications involving a different type of botulinum toxin than Botox Cosmetic. The “Botox” referred to in the recent news reports is instead a much more concentrated version of botulinum toxin, and it was being used to treat severe neuromuscular conditions in certain pediatric patients. These types of patients receive doses of the botulinum toxin at much higher levels than the normal cosmetic patient. In the cases recently reported in the news, a few children suffered serious complications because they received even more excessive doses of the botulinum toxin.

There are also occasionally news reports regarding adverse side effects or complications from the use of “Botox.” However, in many of these cases, the side effects are the result of (1) the “Botox” in question not being legitimate, branded Botox Cosmetic product, but rather botulinum toxin of some other concentration, or another product altogether from an unauthorized source; (2) the product was not used in the proper concentration; and/or (3) the product in question was administered by an untrained person who did not inject it properly or in the proper location on the patient’s face. Unfortunately, there are those physicians or medical professionals who purchase botulinum toxin of questionable quality and/or unknown concentration from unauthorized vendors who sell it at a significant discount. These products are not subject to the rigorous standards upheld by the legitimate US vendor of Botox Cosmetic (Allergan). These physicians or medical professionals then administer the alleged “Botox” product to their patients, often with adverse results.

For cosmetic purposes, the dose of Botox Cosmetic is miniscule compared to that used for other purposes. Statistics demonstrate that serious complications from properly dosed and regulated Botox Cosmetic are 1 in 16,500. In comparison, the same rate for aspirin is 300 times higher. Minor complications from Botox Cosmetic such as bruising or temporary eyelid drooping are short lived and transient.

In my opinion, patients should seek the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in the application of Botox Cosmetic. Patients should always ensure that they receive authentic, branded Botox Cosmetic in a safe, sterile medical setting. If these simple precautions are taken, Botox Cosmetic is not only safe but will make those pesky wrinkles go away!

Click here to learn more about Botox Cosmetic and see before & after photos. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dallas Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Burns, just call his office at 214-515-0002 or send an email through his website. Dr. Burns and his staff look forward to helping you.

Published by Dr. John Burns on March 3, 2008
Botox, Facial rejuvenation, Refreshing procedures
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