Taking plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, not smoking, drinking, and strenuous activities are some of the basic dos and don’ts when a woman is expecting a child. But what about cosmetic procedures?
A lot of Singaporean women and men turn to cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance or maintain the youthfulness of their skin. So, it isn’t unusual for women to ask if a cosmetic procedure that involves injecting a neurotoxin into your body like botox Singapore is safe during pregnancy.
This article by Dr. Chua Cheng Yu answers the important questions of pregnant women regarding Botox and how it can affect pregnancy and the unborn baby.
What is Botox?
In the cosmetic world, Botox is a widely used procedure for women of childbearing age, and, understandably, many questions whether undergoing it during pregnancy is safe. And to fully understand its adverse effects we need to know what Botox is.
Botox is the technical name for botulinum toxin type A, a concentrated protein that is used to temporarily relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes. It is the world’s most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure where tens of millions of women and men are continually enticed by the cosmetic benefits that they could get from the treatment.
Even though it comes from a botulism bacteria Clostridium botulinum that causes food poisoning, the compound is safe to use when it is injected in minimal amounts into the skin. In fact, there are different variations of Botox such as abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport), rimabotulinumtoxinB (Myobloc) and incobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin) that varies on the number of doses a patient needs.
Beyond cosmetic applications, healthcare professionals use Botox to treat a variety of medical conditions related to muscles that affect how the body functions. Examples include:
- Cervical dystonia – the muscles in your neck experience an involuntary contraction causing your head to twist or turn into an uncomfortable position.
- Lazy eye – the muscles in your eye that are responsible for the depth perception are not balanced causing a difference in vision between your eyes.
- Muscle contractures – the tightening and shortening of your muscles like in cerebral palsy, Botox injections can help mitigate the contraction.
- Hyperhidrosis – is a condition characterized by excessive sweating.
- Chronic migraine – if you have headache frequencies that exceed 15 days in a month, a Botox treatment can help reduce the number of headaches that you may experience.
- Bladder dysfunction – Botox prevents involuntary urination caused by an overactive bladder.
- Eye twitching – Botox can relieve the twitching of muscles around the eye.
How does it work?
As we grow older the natural collagen and elastin in our skin decreases and the cells lose their ability to produce more of their youthful component. This makes the skin sag and loses the necessary support so fine lines and wrinkles develop.
So, what the Botox does, is that it interrupts the signaling process in the nervous system that induces muscle contraction leaving the muscles paralyzed temporarily. For muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten.
Botox injections prevent the release of acetylcholine, which stops muscle cells from contracting and as the muscles are paralyzed, the wrinkles and fine lines start to relax and soften and stay flat.
What are the risks associated with Botox injections?
In every medical intervention, there is always a risk associated with it and as always you should weigh the possible benefits. Before committing to a certain cosmetic procedure, always ask yourself: is it worth it?
What are the risks? Why should I take a risk during one of the most precious times in my life such as pregnancy? To have a better idea, here are the possible side effects and complications when you get a Botox injection:
- Eye dryness or excessive tearing
- Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site
- Droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows
- Crooked smile or drooling
- Headache or flu-like symptoms
- Pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising
Botox and pregnancy
There is no scientific evidence that suggests that Botox is harmful during pre or post-pregnancy. But if we’re talking about the health and welfare of your child versus cosmetic enhancements, it is sensible that you prioritize your child first. Moreover, the lack of research surrounding the use of Botox during pregnancy should convince you that it is not worth the risk.
Even though there is no recorded research about the use of Botox during pregnancy in humans because of its unethical nature, some studies on Botox and pregnancy have been conducted with laboratory animals such as mice, rats and rabbits. In the case of mice and rats, they have garnered results indicating baby mice and rats with low birth weights and delayed bone development. Furthermore, for pregnant rabbits it’s much worse with results showing a high possibility of miscarriage and delivering babies with severe malformation.
So, if you’re pregnant and thinking of getting Botox for cosmetic purposes, you should be thinking twice right now. Also, doctors will always tell you that it’s better safe than sorry and besides, once you’re pregnant your skin will have it own natural glow.
How soon can I get Botox after pregnancy?
As soon as you stop breastfeeding it is okay to get Botox injections again, but the best time to get it is when your hormones have already returned to normal levels.
For other questions regarding Botox, you may contact me at my clinic at +65 8858 6689. You may also feel free to send in your aesthetic discussions or photos to my email address at firstname.lastname@example.org for partial assessment and for me to answer your questions about Botox and other cosmetic procedures in Singapore.
Dr Chua Cheng Yu
13 Stamford Rd, #B2-35 Capitol Piazza,
+65 8129 9789