As with any drug or injectable treatment, Botox has its risks. In 2009, the FDA added a safety warning stating Botox “may spread from the area of injection to produce symptoms of botulism,” including muscle weakness and difficulty breathing, which can occur hours or weeks after an injection.
However, most of the side effects are associated with the injection process itself, says Engelman. “Bleeding, bruising, pain, swelling. Temporary headaches can also occur and if improperly injected, brow ptosis (drooping) can occur,” she says. The needle will leave tiny red spots that look like bug bites that usually disappear in the hours after your appointment.
To minimize risks, seek a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic injectables. “It’s important for patients or those interested in receiving a treatment that they go to a licensed and trained physician with experience,” Engelman stresses.
You’ll also want to avoid intense exercise like hot or aerial yoga for a day or two after the treatment (we’re serious). This will minimize the risk of the Botox migrating from the site of injection before it’s had a chance to settle.