We have lots of beautiful, expectant women ask us if they can receive Dysport® or Restylane treatments in our Broomfield, Colorado office when they are pregnant. And, as much as we want our pregnant patients to feel as beautiful as possible, the answer is no.
Botox/Dysport/Xeomin & Fillers – What are they?
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are neuromodulators, or neurotoxins, formed from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. They are all similar with a few differences in how they are produced and processed. Neurotoxins work by paralyzing or relaxing muscles near the injection sites. We use Dysport and Xeomin in our practice because we have found them to be more effective in the long term for our patients. What is best for you is ultimately your decision, however.
In short, fillers help to diminish facial lines, restore volume, and add fullness to the face. As we age, we all lose volume in our faces (lips, cheeks, under eyes) as there is generally a loss in subcutaneous fat. As there is less fat, our muscles work closer to the skin, creating deeper smile lines and crows feet. There are other factors that contribute to deeper lines and loss of volume, including sun exposure, lifestyle, and genetics. Cosmetic fillers can literally fill in the areas of volume loss, giving us the appearance of a more youthful face, at a fraction of the cost (and downtime) of “traditional” surgical facelifts.
Wrinkle fillers can also be used as “volumizers” – plumping and lifting trouble areas like cheeks, jawlines, chins, and temples, or filling in thin lips – or to help fill in acne scars.
Treatments are usually quick and easy. For the most natural looking results, you want to work with someone who has experience, as well as artistic eye for detail. Ideally, the use of dermal fillers help you look like a younger, natural, refreshed version of yourself.
In our Broomfield, Colorado office, Dr. Janowski prefers a variety dermal fillers. Each offer slightly different results, and can be used in different areas. He will recommend what will work best for your concerns in your one-on-one consultation.
What can neuromodulators be used for?
In addition to cosmetic uses – softening of fine lines and wrinkles – neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport have a variety of medical uses:
- Neuromuscular conditions that affect muscle control, like cerebral palsy
- Migraine headaches
- Excessive sweating – hyperhidrosis
- Eyelid spasms
- Muscle spasms
Are they safe while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Neuromodulators like Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin are absolutely contraindicated for pregnant or breast feeding mothers, meaning there is a very rare but possible chance that the substance could get into your blood stream and have some effect on your baby. The effects of Botox®/Dysport® during pregnancy have not been studied, and while it probably won’t have any effect on your little one, it is better to play it safe.
The same is true of Juvederm, Restylane, and other dermal filler products. Although Juvederm is made from hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in your body, no research has been conducted on the safety of Juvederm injections while pregnant. So again, it is better to be safe than sorry.
You will also want to avoid Latisse (for eyelash growth), and any topical skin care products with Hydroquinone. Retin-A is also a “no-go”, as the high levels of Vitamin A can have some possible negative effects on your baby. Again, there is no conclusive research that these products are harmful, but you want to be extra cautious.
We also offer a range of amazing medical grade chemical peels, but again, it is best to avoid these treatments. Your skin experiences many hormonal changes when pregnant and you want to avoid causing any harm to sensitive skin.
Speaking from personal experience, I had sorely missed my Dysport® treatments, and was sad to see my old wrinkles emerging as my Dysport® wore off. I look forward to receiving treatments again once I am done breastfeeding.
If you are seeking any safe enhancements to your pregnancy “glow”, I can personally recommend a few things:
- Using a Clarisonic cleansing brush morning and night. Some of us suffer from the oh-so-lovely pregnancy acne, and the Clarisonic keeps your skin clean, exfoliated, and happy. I use mine morning and night, and it has given my skin a nice even tone.
- The Plasma Facial is also a great little boost. The Plasma Facial combines your own PRP (Plateltet Rich Plasma) with microneedling to enhance skin tone, firmness and texture. Now that I am in the final (sleepless) months of my pregnancy, I’ve found that the Plasma Facial fights the effects of insomnia on my skin and makes my skin glow. Because you are using your own PRP, it is completely safe. The only precaution is that your skin may be a bit more sensitive during pregnancy, and therefore you might have a little more redness post-procedure.
- Our gentle, popular and good-for-everyone, Ultrasonic Microdermabrasion facial. It is a gentle, exfoliating treatment. More gentle than a traditional microderm, it doesn’t pull at your skin. You will feel relaxed during the treatment, and emerge looking refreshed, radiant, and renewed. We can also do a medical facial to spot treat any acne breakouts you have during your pregnancy or breastfeeding. I know my skin has been a little wacky and uneven.
Overall, while you may not always feel that “pregnancy glow”, enjoy the beauty of pregnancy and the natural radiance it brings with it, and save the more invasive cosmetic procedures for after your little baby is born.
My personal story:
I breastfed for the first 6 months, and avoided all Botox®, Dysport®, and fillers as is recommended. As soon as my son stopped nursing, I was definitely motivated to get Dysport® again. The lines and wrinkles I had kept at bay with Dysport® had reappeared. I also had a different shape to my face. The rapid weight gain and weight loss I experienced while being pregnant changed my face – and my mid-face appeared more hollow. This is a very common experience and change post-pregnancy.
To add back the “apples of my cheeks” and give myself a more youthful fullness, I received 2 syringes of Restylane in the cheeks. I loved the look of my new cheeks – and felt the filler simply restored my pre-pregnancy youthful face shape. I am now obsessed with how a little added cheek volume makes a face look younger and more radiant.
I also began to use Latisse again, and was able to regain the length and fullness to my eyelashes that I had become so accustomed to (and in love with) pre-baby.
I also have begun a series of chemical peels. I had some slight melasma from my pregnancy, which is a common side-effect of pregnancy hormones, and the chemical peels is able to keep that discoloration at bay. The chemical peels also give me a deep exfoliation that makes my skin appear tight and radiant. I love that! The skin care product, hydroquinone 4%, which we sell in the Obagi products, also clears up and controls hyperpigmentation post pregnancy. Hydroquinone should be used in conjunction with the peels. (But definitely avoid hydroquinone when pregnant and nursing!)
My other new favorite post-pregnancy treat is the TNS Essential Serum by Skin Medica. It is a growth factor (actually, the highest concentration of growth factors available at 97%) plus a potent antioxidant mixture. People tell me that my skin looks tight, youthful, and young. Considering my son still isn’t sleeping through the night, I credit the TNS Growth Factors with keeping my skin in it’s best shape. It is a truly “game changing” product and I am addicted to it. It is not recommended to use growth factors during pregnancy, as the hormones in the product can affect your skin, but post-lactation, it is a product that will truly enhance your appearance, and keep aging at bay.
Overall, pregnancy and breast-feeding put your body through the ringer, and there are many cosmetic treatments you should avoid. Be sure to think about your safety and the safety of your baby first. Once you are done breast-feeding, we will be here to help you get your groove back on, and give you the mommy makeover you deserve! Happy Mommy = Happy Family!
*Results may vary from patient to patient