Are Botox and fillers safe?

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Procedures that promise rejuvenated and youthful skin have always been popular – Botox and fillers are no exception. Even though they’re commonly used together, they work differently and are used for different reasons. 

Like any cosmetic procedure though, there are risks. But fear not, Botox and fillers are safe if you do your research.

What is Botox?

Botox is the name of a specific brand of drug made from the toxin botulinum. When injected, it temporarily weakens or paralyses the muscles to reduce dynamic wrinkles, which appear when expressing emotion (think frown lines and crow’s feet). Aside from cosmetic purposes, it can also correct underlying muscular issues like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), teeth grinding, and chronic migraines.

One downfall of Botox is that it doesn't work on fine lines and static wrinkles (these are wrinkles that are visible when your face is relaxed). Botox is not a one-and-done treatment. It usually takes several sessions for the wrinkle-reducing effects to appear. When they do, they usually last between 3-4 months. 

What are fillers?

Dermal fillers, or soft tissue fillers, are injected beneath the skin to plump up thin lips, reduce static wrinkles, and fill in or soften areas of the face. 

Depending on what material they’re made of, the plumping/softening look can last for up to six months, while others can last up to two years. Fillers comprised of hyaluronic acid are the most common, but you'll also see fillers made of calcium hydroxyapatite, a mineral-like compound found in bones, and polylactic acid, which stimulates the skin to produce more collagen.

Botox side effects and complications

Botox is deadly in large amounts. Don’t let this scare you though – it’s highly regulated and has been used safely for decades. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) considers Botox to be safe, but there are still some possible side effects you should be on the lookout for:

  • Weakness or paralysis of muscles near the injection site
  • Bleeding, bruising, and numbness at the injection site
  • Rashes, itching
  • Drooping of the brow or eyelid 
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision 
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Flu-like symptoms

You should not rub or massage the area after the treatment, as experts advise that doing so could spread the toxin to the surrounding skin, causing muscle drooping. There’s not enough research to determine the long-term effects of Botox, but as far as we know, it's generally safe in the short term. 

Fillers side effects and complications

Like Botox, fillers are generally safe, but you should be aware of any side effects that could present after your session. 

  • Brushing, bleeding, or swelling at the injection site
  • Itching and redness
  • Bluish skin discolouration
  • Acne-like bumps under the skin 

The Tyndall effect is a blueish discolouration that can appear after fillers are injected near the eye. It occurs if the filler is injected too close to the surface of the skin, the dose is too high, or the incorrect type of filler is used. 

In very rare cases, the filler may be accidentally injected into your blood vessels instead of under your skin, blocking the blood flow to your eye. If this happens, you could lose your eyesight. 

Even though these rare complications seem scary, they’re more likely to occur from improper injection. Ensure your doctor or dermatologist is qualified, reputable and has the necessary experience and training to complete cosmetic procedures safely.

Are botox and fillers safe?

The most important way you can ensure your safety when receiving a cosmetic injection is by making sure you go to a qualified and reputable cosmetic nurse or healthcare professional who is trained in the proper use of fillers and Botox so you can reduce your likelihood of any complications occurring. 

Anyone who performs a cosmetic injection, whether that's a dermatologist or a doctor, should have the required training, experience, and knowledge to do it safely. Qualified healthcare professionals understand that even though they’re minimally invasive, cosmetic procedures are still procedures. They know the risks and are trained to properly educate patients and address any complications.

Final word

Even though fillers and Botox are some of the safest cosmetic procedures, you should still consider discussing any potential procedures with your GP and take steps to ensure that the doctor or dermatologist conducting the procedure is fully qualified. They should be aware of the potential risks, explain them to you, and know how to deal with any complications should they come up. 

Hannah Geremia
Written by
Hannah Geremia
Hannah has had over six years of experience in researching, writing, and editing quality content. She loves gaming, dancing, and animals, and can usually be found under a weighted blanket with a cup of coffee and a book.

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