Botox, also called onabotulinumtoxin A, is a cosmetic treatment that is used to treat a variety of conditions from facial imperfections to medical conditions like migraines and diabetic foot pain. It is a prescription medicine that is commonly used to reduce moderate-to-severe frown lines, glabellar (i.e. lines between your eyebrows) lines, fine lines, nasolabial lines (i.e. laugh lines) and wrinkles in adults – for short amounts of time. Although Botox has a variety of benefits associated with, it is still a toxin. And, as with all toxins, there is a possibility of side-effects and complications.

If you have a chronic medical condition like diabetes, you may want to use Botox to paralyze (i.e. numb) the muscles causing your diabetic pain or you may want to use it to enhance your appearance, either way it is important that you understand the possible side-effects and contact your physician before having this toxin injected into your body.

Side-effects and complications commonly associated with Botox use:

Hypotonia (Muscle Weakness)

A common, but serious side-effect associated with Botox use is Hypotonia (muscle weakness). If you have a chronic illness, like diabetes, your risk is increased. Moreover, you may experience overall weakness and headaches, following a Botox injection, if you have diabetes. Why? Well, Botox can actually trigger or worsen blood sugar (i.e. blood glucose) irregularities (commonly associated with diabetes), weakness and/or headaches. So, if you decide to go ahead and get Botox, make sure that your specialist closely monitors your blood glucose levels, before and after the injection.


A life-threatening complication associated with Botox injections is pneumonia. This is especially true, if you have a chronic condition like diabetes. Botox is the most effective if you are healthy with a strong immune system. If you have diabetes, you should schedule to have blood work and a pneumonia vaccination, before your Botox treatment. In fact, it is important for anyone with a low immune system or an autoimmune condition to get a pneumonia vaccination, before getting a Botox treatment because it will protect you from developing Botox-related pneumonia. The good news is that most people only need one pneumonia vaccination in their lifetime.

Incontinence (Loss of Bladder Control)

If you have diabetes, you may be at risk for incontinence (i.e. loss of bladder control). Botox is a toxin that paralyzes your muscles. If not carefully, this toxin can spread to all of the muscles in your body such as your bladder muscles. When Botox travels to the muscles controlling your bladder, it can interfere with their function, causing a lack of bladder control.


Paralysis is a life-altering complication associated with Botox use. It is extremely important that you only allow a trained dermatologist, licensed esthetician (i.e. skin care specialist) or plastic surgeon to inject Botox into your body. Botox paralyzes muscles and nerves, which can alleviate diabetic foot pain, but also paralyze your foot, if not administered properly. Moreover, numb foot muscles and nerves can increase your risk of infection and injuries. In severe cases, the Botox solution can spread to other areas of your body, causing breathing difficulties, heart attacks, heart failure, strokes and even death.

So, to answer your question, yes you can use Botox, if you have diabetes, but it is extremely important that you allow your dermatologist or plastic surgeon to guide you through the process.

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