Get the Skinny on Botox…Is it Worth the Risks?

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The Dangers of BotoxBotox injections have become extremely common for many women and men of all ages.  People in their 20’s are even getting botox with the hope of preventing wrinkles.  So many women in my community get injected on a regular basis with concerns of forehead wrinkles, laugh lines and crows feet.  So the big question is, is botox safe?  I get asked my thoughts on botox quite often so today I’m sharing what I’ve learned and my personal opinion.

With safer ingredient awareness on the rise as well as concerns with animal testing, it is smart to explore what exactly is botox, what are the side effects and what are the risks and is animal cruelty a factor.

I’d like to preface this post with a non-judgmental stance.  I’m a live and let live person.  I just want to shed light on what many people aren’t questioning.  I don’t personally know what it’s like to be upset with wrinkles.  I’m not saying I don’t have wrinkles but the ones I have don’t bother me.  It’s not what I see when I look in the mirror.  Will I still feel unaffected in 10 years?  I have no clue but for now, this isn’t something that’s hard for me to say no to.  I get that in a toxic world, we must pick our poison.  If botox or any other type of plastic surgery is what you need to help you feel better and you understand the risk, there’s no judgement from me.

What Exactly is Botox?

Through the centuries, Botox or Botulinum toxin is produced naturally by a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. It has been called “sausage poison,” because it lived in mainly improperly prepared meats like sausages and ham. Botulinum comes from a Latin word botulus, meaning sausage.

Botox is injected into the skin where wrinkles exist. If you contracted this poison naturally, a side effect is actually weakness and numbness in the face along with vomiting and diarrhea.

Botulinum toxin: A toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that is the most poisonous biological substance known. Botulinum toxin acts as a neurotoxin. It binds to the nerve ending at the point where the nerve joins a muscle, blocking the release by the nerve of the chemical acetylcholine (the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction), preventing the muscle from contracting. The result is weakness and paralysis of the muscle. The muscle atrophies. The blockage of acetylcholine release is irreversible.

Funny fact: Botulinum comes from a Latin word botulus, meaning sausage.

Side Effects of Botox:

  • allergic reactions
  • rash
  • itching
  • headache
  • neck or back pain
  • muscle stiffness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle weakness
  • injection site reactions including
    • bruising
    • bleeding
    • pain
    • redness
    • swelling
    • infection
  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • flu symptoms
  • cold symptoms
  • respiratory infections
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • tired feeling
  • anxiety
  • dry mouth
  • ringing in your ears
  • increased sweating in areas other than the underarms
  • urinary tract infections
  • burning/painful urination
  • difficulty urinating

Botox has it’s physical risks-I waded through quite a few shocking “botox gone wrong” pictures.  It takes a doctor that is highly trained to know how much and where to put it and even then, some people’s bodies rebel and reject.   The saving grace (and less economical side) of botox is that it typically only lasts for 2-4 mos. before it’s out of your system.

Botox Lawsuits:

Let me just say there are a lot.  Multi million dollar lawsuits that the drug company, Allegran has paid to botox injured people.

One in particular was a lawsuit from a doctor in my state.  In May 2014, an Oklahoma jury ordered Allergan to pay $15 million to an Oklahoma City doctor who said she suffered botulism poisoning after using Botox to treat wrinkles. Dr. Sharla Helton complained of severe side effects after getting injections of 50 units of ‘Botox’ Cosmetic on July 14, 2006. She eventually sold her medical practice and stepped down as medical director of Lakeside Women’s Hospital because of pain and weakness resulting from ‘Botox’ side effects.

Helton was represented by Ray Chester who, along with his litigation team, have represented dozens of other Botox victims. In 2011, a client of theirs received a verdict of $212 million from a Richmond, Virginia federal jury in Ray v. Allergan.

Allergan has settled approximately 15 other Botox cases with Chester’s firm.

Animal Testing-

Botox has killed 400,000+ animals a year due to animal testing. Animals are injected with the toxin and due to muscle paralysis, usually suffocate conscious.

In Conclusion:

I hope this post will shed light on all you need to know before you get or continue to get botox.  I truly believe that what we eat along with a healthy lifestyle have a huge effect on how we age.  While I’m not a huge fan of SPF all over, 24-7-it is true-the sun will age you.  I focus on protecting my face and limit “laying out” to no more then an hour at a time.  A diet high in veggies/fruits and non processed food helps greatly.  My skin has never looked better since I quit grains and limit dairy.  Getting enough water and sleep will do wonders.  Managing stress is a must.  Stress resonates deep within the body causing disease and wreaking havoc on our appearance.

Consider regular exfoliation.  Exfoliating the skin can actually remove fine lines and wrinkles in some cases!  Properly moisturizing the skin with a high quality, organic facial oil is a must!

xx, Jenni

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Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 7 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on living a natural lifestyle.

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