Botox injections are used by both celebrities and commoners alike to keep skin looking young and healthy. Botox injections are derived from a deadly bacterial toxin, but they feature extremely small amounts of the toxin that pose minimal health risks when administered correctly. Nonetheless, some people are hesitant to use the treatment -- and there may be even more concern from a mother who is breastfeeding.
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Botox has both cosmetic and medicinal applications. Many use it to paralyze muscles in the face that cause wrinkles to develop. This paralysis can last for several months, diminishing the appearance of lines on the face. Injections are also used to treat neck pain, muscle spasms, lazy eyes, twitching eyelids, muscle stiffness, excessive underarm sweating and chronic migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic.
For individuals suffering from muscle spasms and pains, the injections can offer relief from pain and discomfort, allowing for painless motor function in various locations of the body. Botox can ease the severity of a lazy eye, which can be socially uncomfortable and impede vision. Debilitating migraines that are chronic in nature can be relieved, making it easier for you to function in your daily routine. Cosmetically, the injections can help you look younger by diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.
Several reactions and risks can develop when a Botox injection is given, although in most cases they are minor and go away over time. These include pain and bruising at the injection site, redness, headaches, nausea, itching and increased sweating, according to the Mayo Clinic. There is also a risk that the toxin could spread to other parts of the body, which can potentially influence a breastfeeding baby.
According to BabyCenter.com, being pregnant or breastfeeding may erase the need for Botox treatments at all. Facial tissue in pregnant women tends to become more plump, reducing the visibility of lines.
Although there is not any known risk to babies if a breastfeeding mother receives a Botox injection, the limited research available on the subject should be a deterrent for many mothers. The minimal gains do not outweigh the potential risks, and until more studies are available to paint a complete picture of the effects of Botox on infants, it's best to err on the side of caution.