Things you shouldn't do after the treatment of Botulinum Toxin A (BTA)

Botulinum toxin A (BTA) has gained more recognition in the field of cosmetic, aesthetic and anti-aging medicine in recent years. The appeal of BTA is undeniable in a society that places great emphasis on personal appearance. Even so, many are hesitant to take the first step because of niggling fears and negative perceptions. I had a patient asking me this after a BTA injection, “Doctor, can I go for jogging later?” And this was my answer, “It’s not advisable to jog immediately but there is no reason why you cannot do so by tomorrow.” I notice many patients harbor various concerns regarding BTA treatment and most are curious about the dos and don’ts after the treatment. I shall try to elaborate on that as well as provide the rationale behind them.

Ladies love their facial spas and massages. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in this form of self-pampering activity. However, it is best to schedule your appointments at least 48 hours after BTA treatment. This is to prevent diffusion of the BTA into adjacent muscles, which may result in unwanted effects such as drooping of eyelids.

Strenuous exercise or activities should be avoided at least a day after the treatment.  During the procedure, as a needle is inserted into the skin, it may nick a small capillary or vein. This minor bleeding is easily arrested with gentle compression without leaving any trace of bruising. Be that as it may, if you exert yourself, your heart rate will increase and more blood will be pumped to the face. The increase in blood flow to the already injured capillary or vein may cause it to re-bleed and increase the risk of bruising.

The same theory applies to alcohol intake, which should be avoided for at least 24 hours after treatment. Alcohol causes dilatation of the capillaries and veins. As previously explained, the injured capillary or vein tends to bleed again and the risk of bruising is increased.

Patient should make a concerted effort to avoid sauna or exposure to heat immediately after BTA. After BTA injection, you may experience redness and swelling at the site of injection. Under normal circumstances, these effects will gradually fade away without any treatment. However, the redness and swelling may persist and take longer duration to subside when exposed to heat.

Swimming is also not advisable right after BTA treatment. There will be minute puncture wounds over the face where BTA was injected. The number of puncture wounds is dependent on the extent of treatment. There is an increased risk of infection when these wounds come into contact with water from the swimming pool, which most often than not, are not very hygienic.

Lastly, avoid consuming blood-thinning supplements such as ginseng, ginko bilboa, vitamin E, fish oil and etc. These supplements may increase the risk of bruising. This may not be feasible for those suffering from heart-related conditions and are on long-term aspirin or warfarin. Considering the pros and cons of withholding the medication, it is far better to continue taking your medication and endure temporary aesthetic inconvenience than risk succumbing to your disease.

If there are further questions, feel free to approach any of us in Anna Hoo Clinic. We are more than happy to address whatever doubts and concerns you might have.

Sharing by Dr Ian Tan