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Botox Injections: Can you be allergic to Botox?!

When it comes to treating smile lines around the eyes or frown wrinkles between the eyebrows, Botox is the most popular anti-aging noninvasive cosmetic procedure that makes those lines disappear. As with all medical procedures, Botox has a risk of adverse reaction.

While a true allergy to Botox is VERY rare, some serious side effects can ensue.

Botox is the brand name for a drug made from botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Botox is considered safe and effective for reduction of facial wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause them. Botox is applied directly underneath the skin into muscles to block nerve impulses that are responsible for muscle contraction. That is why it is so effective on the dynamic wrinkles, as it freezes them.

While Botox cannot completely erase deeper wrinkles, it does help to smooth them. This results in skin that has a more youthful and refreshed appearance. It is also used to treat other medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, cervical dystonia, migraines, excessive underarm sweating, bladder dysfunction, eye twitching, and others.

Common side effects related to Botox use are pain at the injection site, bruising, and swelling. These symptoms usually resolve within hours to a couple of days.

Ptosis (upper eye lid paralysis and droopiness) can also happen when injections are not done properly and wrong muscle was paralyzed.

Hypersensitivity reactions (true allergy) to botulinum toxin have been described in the literature including one fatality in which lidocaine was used as the diluent, and consequently the causal agent could not be reliably determined.

Anaphylaxis symptoms include systemic hives, severe generalized itching, wheezing, difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Those patients with multiple drug allergies are at higher risk for developing an allergic reaction to Botox.

If you are considering Botox injections and concerned about having an allergic reaction to Botox, it is advisable to see a specialist for a consultation. An allergist can perform a skin test, during which a small dose of Botox is injected into your arm to make sure that you are not allergic.

Call our office to schedule your allergy testing.

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