Is Botox Safe To Use In My Face If I've Had Bells Palsy?

I am 33 year old and I had a bell’s palsy around 15 years ago and still I have left with a few residual drooping in my left eye and eyebrow. I want to have botox for cosmetic purpose to reduce my face wrinkle especially around my eyes and frown line, I want to know is botox injection risky for my face or not? Could it cause my problem to come back again? My wedding is September and I am so afraid if something bad happen to me. Please help me.

Doctor Answers 12

Botox to correct persistent bells palsy wrinkles

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I have had great success treating a patient of mine who had Bells palsy about 20 years ago. She is a Ford model and no one even comments on her asymmetry! I have been able to reduce her asymmetry with Botox by treating a few overacting muscles and avoiding treating areas with persistent weakness. She and I are both very pleased.

Sonoma Valley Dermatologist

Bells Palsy and Botox, you should be careful

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IMHO, you want to go slowly using Botox in areas where you have residual muscle weakness from your Bell's palsy 15 years ago.  I have been a plastic and cosmetic surgeon for over 20 yewars and I woiuld not consider giving you Botox to the forehead and Crow's feet, with that history, and a wedding in September.  Wait until after the wedding, IMO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Yes and no.

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BOTOX can be great for this situation.  However, what you need is an experienced injector with experience treating patients with Bell's Palsy.  This is not a situation where you should go down the street to the store front with the "nurse" doing treatment with no doctor around.  Oculoplastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and specialized general plastic surgeons are going to be better choices for core specialists treating this situation.  You might consider looking at my Microdroplet BOTOX method which has the advantage of being adaptable to the individual and it creates lift.  Precisely what you need very much depends on your examination and how the muscles of facial expression were affected by the Bell's Palsy.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox and Bells' Palsy

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Dear Kate, Botox is certainly an option for someone who has had Bells Palsy in the past.  In fact, it is a treatment for Bells Palsy patients who have developed synkinesis, or abnormal re-wiring of the nerves as they heal.  This often causes spastic contraction of the surrounding muscles.  So a history of bells palsy alone is not a contraindication.  However, I would suggest you see an oculoplastic surgeon who is experienced in botox injections and Bells Palsy, because certainly if done incorrectly, can add to your residual weakness.  It may be a good idea to wait until your wedding is over just in case you don't like the results.

Good Luck,

Jasmine Mohadjer MD

Oculoplastic Surgeon

Tampa Bay, FL



Jasmine Mohadjer, MD
Tampa Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Okay to use BOTOX on a Bell's Palsy patient

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BOTOX is safe to use on a patient with a history of Bell's Palsy. However, I strongly recommend that this injection be done by someone who is very familiar with anatomy of the face and familiar with injecting patients with Bell's Palsy.

BOTOX® is sometimes used to restore symmetry to faces affected by Bell's palsy and similar disorders

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BOTOX® is sometimes used to restore symmetry to faces affected by Bell's palsy and similar disorders. In such cases, the other side of the face is relaxed with precise doses of BOTOX®, so that both sides are equally relaxed. Treatment is repeated from time to time to maintain the desired degree of relaxation and facial symmetry.

Kevin C. Smith, MD
Niagara Falls Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox and Bell's Palsy

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I would go in and see an experienced injector for a consultation and get a full evaluation of your needs and concerns. A judgment would be made to the pros and cons of treating you. I do not suggest that any patient do anything immediately before a large event such as a wedding! Botox takes three to four months to wear off so I would suggest planning for this ahead of time. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Botox is given to some patients with Bells Palsy

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Some patients have Botox to recreate symmetry after being affected by Bell's Palsy. However, if there is a risk for you to have an unsatisfactory cosmetic result and it is within five months of your wedding, I would suggest you not have the Botox as it could take four months to have the effect fully disappear and you need time for photographs possibly before the wedding. If you have a treatment more than five months before the wedding and like the results, then you might consider having the same treatment two months before the wedding by the same doctor with the same number of units understanding that at any treatment there could be a result that will be unsatisfactory. The risk of this may not be worth it prior to the wedding! 

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Botox injections if you have Bells Palsy...

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If you have a history of Bells Palsy and are thinking of getting botox injections for wrinkles, you should see a physician with a lot of experience with these injections.  Often times, the patient  will have excessive wrinkling and muscle movement on the unaffected side, and Botox treats this wonderfully.  If an area is drooping it may not actually lift it, but weakening of the stronger side could make you look more symmetrical.  If an area of the affected side is contracting in a spastic manner, Botox could also improve that as well.  It is a safe treatment option as Botox has been around for more than 25 years.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 220 reviews

Botox treatment and Bell's palsy

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In fact Botox can be used to correct the facial asymmetry of Bell'sPalsy. I don't feel that there is a risk of re-activating your Bell's Palsy.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.