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Is Botox safe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding? Find out the safety concerns for Botox while pregnant, as well as safe alternatives to Botox while breastfeeding…
What are the negative effects of Botox?
We’ve all heard of botox injections, which work by paralyzing facial muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. Botox is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines.
The problem? Botox is literally a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species.
Botox has been known to sometimes spread from the site of injection, causing the FDA to release an official warning in 2009.
It’s also connected to heavy metal toxicity at times, which a percentage of individuals reported increased heavy metal presence in their body following injections (1.) Other adverse effects (2.) such as toxins entering the blood and nervous system (3.) have also been reported.
More adverse effects were reported when a plastic surgeon or dermatologist did NOT administer the Botox and each state has varying laws on who can administer Botox (see yours here.) When it’s done wrong, it can cause “botulism-like symptoms,” according to Mayo Clinic, which may include muscle weakness, trouble breathing, speaking or swallowing, bladder control issues, and vision problems.
How long does Botox stay in your system?
Some bodies can process Botox out of the system in two to three months, but on average it lasts 6 months. Since muscle action gradually returns, so will thee wrinkles, although many people report lines are less severe.
Plastic surgeons report Botox does not have a systemic effect. However, it may migrate up to 3 cm from where it was injected. Even if some molecules were to go into the bloodstream and travel to distant sites in the body, the cosmetic doses (typically less than 100 units) used are significantly lower than the toxic dose that would be harmful systemically (2,500-3,000 units). I found studies showing some reports of systemic weakness (4, 5) Although I do not believe this is the norm, I did want to share and note that sensitive populations (those suffering MS, and other conditions) have experienced this effect after receiving Botox.
Can you get Botox when nursing or pregnant?
There is very little data available on the safety of Botox use during breastfeeding. But, here’s what we do know:
- There is only a small amount of purified botulinum toxin type A in each injection of Botox.
- Doctors aren’t sure if Botox, a prescription medication made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, can be transferred through breast milk to your baby.
- If it does transfer to breast milk, there is no research on the amount of time it takes for Botox to metabolize out of breast milk (meaning pumping and dumping NOT recommended.)
- Research is limited with regard to the use of Botox injections during breastfeeding.
All this said, NO Botox is in no way proven safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding and I do not recommend the treatment during that time.
What are safe alternatives to Botox (including pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Facial Acupuncture: works by inserting small needles into the surface of the face. Participants in a small-scale study on the effects of facial acupuncture on skin elasticity saw significant improvement.
Frownies: are simple to use patches that retrain muscles while you sleep and can help eliminate some wrinkles. I have been using them for about a year. I like them and think they help, but you look ridiculous wearing them and you have to develop the habit of wearing them every single night to see any results. They are definitely safe and much less expensive then Botox. Grab them here.
Jade Rolling and Gua Sha: a simple and relaxing Chinese method of healing skin and possibly reducing wrinkles. Learn more here.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel: Formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying.
Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids clear away dull surface skin cells, while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids soothe and nourish to reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion.
Why is it safer? The Overnight Resurfacing Peel is formulated without fragrance, PEG’s, and formaldehyde-based preservatives commonly found in peels.
It uses a unique combination of both resurfacing acids and soothing acids that hydrate, replenish, and protect skin.
This precise combination of acids optimizes performance while maintaining a pH level that doesn’t cause irritation. And at just $63 per bottle, which will last for six months, this cost is a tiny fraction of what botox injections cost. And without the toxin risks to your blood and nervous system.
Botox, my personal experience and thoughts…
Honestly, I think there are much worse things than Botox. The body does metabolize it fairly quickly. There are things you can do like take a mineral drop supplement (like this one) to help your body in metabolizing Botox. But really, it’s there, and it does what it’s supposed to do, and then it’s out.
We all sometimes make decisions for beauty that may or may not be natural and Botox is probably a lesser of most cosmetic evils. I think what could potentially cause problems is something that you put in your body that stays there, such as fillers, which I wouldn’t recommend. And that’s not for everybody. Some people’s bodies can adjust to these things well, but for example in the case of implants of any kind, whether we’re talking about breast implants or the birth control implants, or anything like that. The issue with anything that stays in your body, is it’s likely fostering some chronic, at least local inflammation in your body, that doesn’t go away until you take the implants out.
That said, I do not get or recommend anyone get Botox, particularly while pregnant, breastfeeding or in sensitive populations, such as someone dealing with an autoimmune issue. I do think it’s a personal decision that may or may not result in health implications, as well as musculature issues down the road. In my personal circle, experts have shared instances where plastic surgeons report grey versus pink tissue when doing face lifts, in patients who have gotten Botox in the years prior. It’s reasonable to assume some implications in paralyzing healthy muscles over a period of time.