Both BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers offer a less invasive alternative to facial plastic surgery as a means to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and lips, as well as deeper lines, such as those on the forehead or between the brows. Patients that do not wish to undergo a surgical procedure can still improve their facial features using either BOTOX® Cosmetic or dermal fillers.
Dr. Mark Deuber has seen many patients who are interested in these services. It is not uncommon for some of these patients to ask about the safety of undergoing BOTOX® Cosmetic or dermal filler injection procedures while pregnant. Patients should not undergo these injections if they know they are pregnant. However, in many cases, women may have already undergone such procedures before finding out they were pregnant and are now, quite understandably, concerned about any possible effect.
How Do BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dermal Fillers Work?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a type of muscle relaxant that helps relax facial muscles that have contracted due to frown lines around the forehead or between the brows. Dr. Deuber will inject a small amount of BOTOX® Cosmetic into targeted areas around the forehead and brows.
Dermal fillers work for fine lines on the face. They are usually made up of collagen-like substance; collagen is a protein that the body forms naturally in order to fill out the skin over the musculoskeletal framework. These dermal fillers essentially replace collagen that has been lost, usually as the natural result of aging.
Safety during Pregnancy?
The short-form answer to the question of BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal filler safety during pregnancy is that we are not certain. While it is true that there have yet to be any large-scale studies to determine safety of these products during pregnancy, there have also not been any individual reports of adverse events in terms of birth defects.
Furthermore, only very small amounts of either BOTOX® Cosmetic or dermal fillers are used, and they are injected either just under the skin or into the facial muscles. Because they are not injected into a vein, they are highly unlikely to come into contact with the blood stream, where they could possibly cause harm to the developing fetus. Both BOTOX® injections and dermal fillers are also very stable, meaning that they are likely to stay in the specific localized area around the injection site. This also further reduces the chance that BOTOX® Cosmetic or dermal fillers will find a way to enter the mother’s blood stream.
Given the number of BOTOX® Cosmetic or dermal fillers that are performed each year on women, combined with the fact that many women may not know they are pregnant until they are at least six to eight weeks along, there is a reasonable chance that some women who undergo this procedure may be pregnant. However, we advise patients to err on the side of safety and avoid undergoing injectables treatment if they are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.