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Botox Reactions

by Dr. Kouros Azar

Botox Cosmetic is a safe, simple and effective way to smooth away frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead creases – without surgery. This popular injectable rejuvenates the appearance, with no downtime. It’s the ultimate minimally invasive solution to lines and wrinkles. However, it’s important to know your Botox, the benefits, and the potential side effects before you schedule your appointment.  

Like any medical procedure, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the treatment, and the possible reactions. Dr. Kouros Azar is here to make sure that the only reactions you get from your Botox treatments are compliments! Botox is a tried-and-true way to get rid of stubborn lines and wrinkles, and achieve the smooth, youthful face that you deserve.  

First off, an allergic or adverse reaction to a Botox treatment is extremely, extremely, rare.  

Because Botox offers a temporary relief from lines, drooping, and wrinkling, people enjoy their results, and then keep coming back for more. After experiencing Dr. Azar’s artistry with this powerful cosmetic, you’ll also want to maintain your stunning results. Within 24 to 48 hours of your Botox injections, you’ll notice visible smoothing and wrinkle reduction, and the results can last up to 4 months. It’s the ultimate quick, non-invasive solution for many aesthetic concerns.

Dr. Azar has been delighting patients in Thousand Oaks and the Westlake Village for over a decade.

His spa-like, discreet office is the perfect place to pop in for Botox treatments that are strategically applied for a natural-looking refreshed face. 

Call our office at (805) 373-7073 and one of our knowledgeable, friendly staff members will schedule your appointment.

All About Botox

Botox lives up to the hype. And there’s plenty of hype! This cosmetic treatment has been discussed in over 528 articles of peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals, and has 16 years of published research proving its efficacy. That’s quite a bit. But did you know that Botox is also the most widely researched and studied treatment of its kind? That’s good news, because patients love Botox. The FDA has approved Botox for safety, efficacy, and for patient satisfaction. This cosmetic remains a safe and effective choice when it’s prepared to FDA standards and administered in the proper doses. 

A Proven Track Record

Doctors have been injecting Botox since 1989. Since then, studies have found that only a small percentage of adverse reactions were reported.(1) It’s good to keep in mind however, that Botox injections are just that – injections. When it comes to Botox, it’s the actual site of the injection where most patients commonly report its temporary side effects. 

A topical anesthetic and/or ice  is applied to numb the area before your injections, so chances are, you won’t feel a thing while Dr. Azar is performing Botox injections.

Possible Side Effects from Injections: 

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Mild Soreness

Botox injections use an extremely small and delicate needle. Unfortunately, even the tiniest needle and the steadiest hand may damage a small blood vessel in your skin. This is what causes the mild bruising after an injection. If you normally experience bruising after an injection or blood draw, prepare yourself for some discoloration and sensitivity at the injection site. 

Botox is injected directly into the muscle. It works its wonders by targeting the muscles that contract to cause wrinkles. This can result in light swelling. Although nowhere near as painful as other injections, your facial muscles may be a little sore after the introduction of this cosmetic, and as the Botox begins to take effect.

Preparing for Botox

Proper preparation before your Botox treatment will ensure a smooth recovery, and exceptional results. Before your injections, stop taking any blood thinning medications. Similarly, avoid alcohol the day before and after your Botox injections. Certain medication and alcohol can hamper the coagulation process, and may cause excess bleeding. 

No Botox for Babies 

Botox is not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have dairy allergies.

Take Care of Yourself After Botox

When you commit to taking good care of yourself and using common sense, you’ll be able to enjoy the confidence-boosting results of your Botox injections immediately.

Side effects from Botox injections are rare.  But, if you do experience side effects, they usually don’t last longer than several days and are typically mild. Over the counter medication will eliminate most symptoms and discomfort. 

If you are experiencing mild bruising or swelling, here’s some ways you can keep these side effects to a minimum:

  • Use pillows to keep your head elevated and reduce swelling
  • Apply ice or a cooling pack regularly for 2-3 days following your injections
  • Continue to skip taking blood thinners, unless your doctor advises otherwise
  • Avoid strenuous activities for 2-3 days after your treatment
  • Continue to refrain from enjoying alcoholic beverages

With the right precautions before your injections, and proper rest and self-care afterwards, you’ll soon be ready to celebrate your new youthful look and enjoy the compliments.

Treating Potential Botox Side Effects

If you’re experiencing side effects from your Botox, there’s no need for alarm. Keep in mind that Botox is temporary, and its side effects are too. Usually, simple over the counter treatments can help with any symptoms. For example, Eyelid ptosis or edema is easily treated with soothing, over-the-counter eye drops. You’ll also notice marked improvement as the effects of the Botox wear off. (2) For headaches and facial pain, over the counter painkillers like Tylenol can alleviate discomfort. In any case, be sure to drink plenty of water and get proper rest.

When Botox Makes Moves

Botox is a type of neuromodulator. Contrary to popular belief, Botox does not “paralyze” all  the muscles of your face. Neuromodulators temporarily inhibit communication between muscle tissue and nerve cells. As a result, muscles just don’t “get the message.” This limits the extent to which the muscle is able to tense or contract. Muscles simply can’t contract during intense emotions or stressful situations like they normally would. As a result, patients enjoy a composed, even countenance that helps them project professionalism, control, and confidence. This is the magic of Botox: no laugh lines, crows feet, “bunny nose” or furrowed brows: just smooth, youthful skin

Most side effects of Botox occur when it migrates to nearby areas after injection. This can affect other muscles as a result. On occasion, Botox injections in the upper area of the face may seep into the upper eyelid and temporarily paralyze the muscle that holds the upper eyelid up. When this occurs, simple over the counter treatments can help with the symptoms. However, only about 5% of patients have reported the experience of ptosis, or sagging in other areas of their face after Botox treatments. 

The chances of experiencing an adverse reaction after Botox injections is very low. However, depending on where you’ve had injections can predict what kind of side effect you might experience after Botox treatment. 

Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that produces Botox, has compiled average rates of side effects based on the location of the cosmetic injection. In general, these rates are low. For patients who treated glabellar lines, or “the elevens” between the eyebrows and above the nose, only 1% experienced pain, weakness, or slight paralysis of the face. 3% of patients noticed drooping, or ptosis of their upper eyelids after Botox. Less than 10% of patients who treated lines in their forehead reported headaches, while only 2% had drooping brows, and another 2% noticed drooping eyelids.

Other Side Effects

botox side effects

Doctors are generally divided in opinion as to whether other rare side effects are in fact the result of Botox injections, or are instead the result of underlying conditions. In extremely rare cases, patients have experienced unusual side effects after Botox. However, these side effects are usually associated with injections in places other than the more common wrinkle locations. 

Dry Mouth

Having dry mouth is much what the name implies. Some patients do experience dry mouth after Botox injections. An unpleasantly sticky or dry mouth, or a gravelly voice and or hoarse throat are some of the hallmarks of dry mouth after Botox. While experiencing dry mouth, patients may also notice unusual, stringy saliva or insufficient amounts of saliva. Luckily, dry mouth is easily remedied and usually departs after a few days.

If you’re experiencing dry mouth after your Botox injections, be sure to hydrate consistently. You may also opt for sugar-free lozenges or gum to stimulate saliva production. Using alcohol-free mouthwash, or a specialized mouthwash designed to treat dry mouth, can also improve this unpleasant side effect.

Dysphagia (Trouble Swallowing)

When Botox accidentally spreads into the surrounding muscles, it can also cause dysphagia. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, you may also have trouble swallowing. However, isolated instances of dysphagia can occur 2-10 days after Botox. This is a rare side effect, but like dry mouth, it typically resolves itself.

If you’re having difficulty swallowing after your Botox, be sure to eat and drink carefully:

  • Chew small bites of food thoroughly 
  • Drink plenty of fluids while eating to ease swallowing
  • Choose soft foods like soups or yogurt 
  • Avoid crunchy, crusty food for a while. If you’re having trouble swallowing liquid 
  • Drink through a straw to ensure that you remain sufficiently hydrated.

When Should I talk to my Doctor about my Botox Side Effects?

Dr. Azar and his staff are here for you. Don’t hesitate to call his Thousand Oaks office at (805) 373-7073 if you’re experiencing side effects after your Botox injections.  We want to make sure that you have the best possible experience, and get the results that you desire. Stay current with Dr. Azar’s blog to learn more about the newest treatments, and what our office can do for you. Dr. Azar will always put your health and safety first. Your feedback will allow us to make further suggestions to make sure you’re satisfied and comfortable. Additionally, learning about any side effects that you may have will help us tailor your future Botox treatments, and design a regimen that’s best for you. 


  1. Coté TR, Mohan AK, Polder JA, Walton MK, Braun MM. Botulinum toxin type A injections: adverse events reported to the US Food and Drug Administration in therapeutic and cosmetic cases. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005;53(3):407-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2005.06.011
  2. British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. (2016). Botox: Botulinum Toxin Injections.Accessed January 20, 2021. https://patient.info/cosmetic-surgery/cosmetic-facial-injections/botox-botulinum-toxin-injections  

Schedule your Thousand Oaks plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Azar today

Dr. Kouros Azar, founder and medical director of Azar Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, is an attentive listener, a devoted surgeon and doctor, and a highly-skilled biomedical engineer. He matches his patients with the best possible treatments by drawing on his extensive expertise, compassion, and research skills. Make an appointment with Dr. Azar now to discuss your rejuvenation options.

425 Haaland Dr #200, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361

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