Botox, also known as botulinum toxin, has a host of uses. It can be used to stop or slow down the formation of wrinkles. It also has therapeutic uses such as muscle pain relief of whiplash, curbing muscle spasms of the elbows, wrists and fingers, which are common occurrences after a stroke, and for excessive sweating in the feet, hands and armpits. For maximum safety, Botox must be administered by a qualified, licensed medical professional, preferably a physician.
After Botox injections, it is possible a patient will experience swelling and/or hematoma, also known as bruising. These are not uncommon and can be treated at home.
Stop taking the following over-the-counter medications and supplements at least one week prior to injection: Vitamin E, NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, fish oil, ginseng, ginko, flax seed oil, garlic and St. John's Wort. Doing so will help reduce incidences of swelling and bruising and can cut down on recovery time.
Stop taking aspirin 10 to 14 days before the injection, but be sure to get approval from your doctor first as the benefits may outweigh the risks. Aspirin thins the blood and can exacerbate bruising.
Tell your doctor about all prescribed and over-the-counter medications that you are currently taking. Some may have an effect on the amount of bruising and swelling you experince. This is also important for your general safety.
Apply a cold compress or pack lightly to the injection site immediately following the procedure.
Do not lie down for 4 to 5 hours after the procedure and do not massage the injection site. This can make swelling worse.
Apply firm pressure to any areas of swelling for at least five minutes after you've returned home.
Apply cold compresses or packs to the affected area for the first 24 hours after the injection. Never use hot packs. The cold packs will help reduce swelling.
Apply arnica topical cream or tincture to the affected area. Arnica, an herb, has been used since the 16th century to treat bruises and reduce inflammation. Apply as directed.
Take 250 to 500 milligrams of bromelain four times per day. Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple and aids in minimising bruising by helping the body digest proteins responsible for swelling and bruising.
Carefully follow aftercare instructions provided by your health care provider. Ensure your doctor knows of your intention to use arnica and bromelain. Heed her advice regarding application and dosage instructions. If you want to cover bruises with make-up, green-tinted make-up helps cover redness while yellow-tinted make-up helps cover blue bruises.
Do not use arnica for a prolonged period of time as it may irritate the skin.
Tips and warnings
- Carefully follow aftercare instructions provided by your health care provider.
- Ensure your doctor knows of your intention to use arnica and bromelain. Heed her advice regarding application and dosage instructions.
- If you want to cover bruises with make-up, green-tinted make-up helps cover redness while yellow-tinted make-up helps cover blue bruises.
- Do not use arnica for a prolonged period of time as it may irritate the skin.
- University of Wisconsin Health: Botox Used to Treat More Than Just Wrinkles
- FDA: FDA Approves Botox to Treat Spasticity in Flexor Muscles of the Elbow, Wrist and Fingers
- Doc Shop: Botox Parties--A Dangerous Trend?
- Colorado Center for Photomedicine: Treatment for Bruising and Swelling
- Doc Shop: After Botox Treatment--Recovery