Cosmetic Botox and herbal supplements

Can you take on a daily basis cod liver oil, wheatgrass, spiralina and chlorella tablets if you have cosmetic Botox and juvaderm injections?

Doctor Answers 12

Supplements are OK with injectable treatments, but blood thinners like cod liver oil are not advised before surgery

Thank you for the question. You ask if you can continue to take daily supplements such as cod liver oil, chlorella, spirulina and wheatgrass if you’re considering injections like Botox™ and Juvederm.
I can certainly give you my perspective on this. I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I have been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I specialize in, among many things, in facial aging and injectables such as Botox™ and Juvederm which I’ve used for years in my practice every day. When you ask a question like this, it’s helpful for you to understand a little of what the doctor is thinking when it comes to various types of supplements, medications, and medical conditions you currently may have.
When we do injectable treatments, we want to minimize certain risks such as avoiding infection and minimizing bleeding. The reality with most injectables is when you are entering the skin with a needle, you can get a little bruise so it is generally advised to avoid aspirin and motrin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Something like cod liver oil falls in the omega 3 fatty acid family, which is considered a mild blood thinner. However it is not necessarily, in my experience, a very strong blood thinner at least in terms of injectables. When we do more invasive procedures such as face lifting surgery or eyelid surgery, I generally advise people to stop taking their fish oil or other omega 3s like cod liver oil for at least 1 week prior to surgery.
The challenge for you is to  understand what kind of Botox™ and Juvederm injectable procedures you need, and figure out how it fits with the risks I just described, mostly with potential bruising. Often, doctors are judged by whether or not they create a bruise. There is some control in the doctors part where they use different methods such as tiny needles and  blunt cannulas to minimize bruising. However, the minute you enter the skin, you risk hitting a small vessel and create a small bruise. To minimize those risks, people often stay off blood thinners. Often, patients don’t often know something is a blood thinner and often have a Botox™ injection, or Juvederm, or any filler in an urgent manner because of a special event happening in a couple of days. There are a couple of ways to make an impact to minimize the risk of bruising. If someone like yourself came into my practice and told me they were taking these supplements, I really wouldn’t have any issues from a bruising risk factor.
As for the effect on the injectables themselves, I also think it isn’t really important. Botox™ is considered a neurotoxin that interrupts a signal between a nerve and a muscle. For example, if you inject Botox™ around the crow’s feet lines, you reduce the activity of that muscle. That is in contrast to Juvederm which is hyaluronic acid filler that adds volume. You can place this filler anywhere from the nasolabial folds, the cheeks,and jawlines. It is a different issue, but it’s not likely to be a problem.
It is very important that once you met with a doctor you feel comfortable with and establish a rapport, you get that specific doctor’s personal perceptions of the supplements you take, as well as other medical issues or medications you may have. Every doctor practices in a way they’re comfortable with, and will always have good reasons to make recommendations on what they prefer to take or not take before a procedure - that is the art of clinical practice. Meet with a qualified and experienced doctor who does Botox™ and Juvederm, and see if you are comfortable with what they recommend, then move forward. I think you’ll find as you start doing these treatments, you will learn a little about what is ideal for you so you can plan them the best way you can.I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Yes you can take Herbal supplements with Botox treatments

The only risk of taking herbal supplements is that you can increase your risk of bruising and swelling.  It does not however effect the treatment outcome.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 414 reviews

Herbal medications and Botox injections

Generally, the risk with herbal medications or supplements is increased bruising and swelling with Botox or Juvaderm injections. To minimize this risk, plastic surgeons and dermatologist will recommend avoiding these for at least one week before treatment. 

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Supplements and Botox

In my opinion, all these supplements are at best a waste of money and at worst potentially hazardous to your health since we have no idea what is really in them. Besides, if all these supplements are working to keep you healthy and young then why counter them by having toxins and synthetic products injected into your face? I would strongly advise against the supplements if you are having injections done as many of these supplements cause thinning of blood.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Winchester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Herbal Supplements and Botox

It's not whether you can take daily herbal supplements, but moreso how will taking those supplements affect your result. Some supplements are blood thinners. If you receive injections while on blood thinners, there is an increased risk of bruising and swelling. This will prolong your healing and be a telltale sign that "something" occurred. I advise my patients to stop blood thinning herbal supplements 10-14 days before their anticipated injections and for a one week after. 17-21 days of forgoing herbal supplements that cause blood thinning is likely not going to do undo all of the good from the 344+ days you are taking them.

Millicent Odunze-Geers, MD, MPH
Sacramento Physician
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Botox and supplements

AS a physician we know the the FDA regulates all meds and we can look up any interactions that can develop from this.  As far as supplements go, this is not the case.  So hard to say.  I tell patients to avoid these supplements when getting treatment.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Supplements and Botox

Supplements pose great frustration to physicians because they are not FDA regulated meaning that the strength of what is in those pills and liquids is anyone's guess.  Fish oil has been implicated in bruising. I would recommend abstaining from these tablets for two weeks before and at least a week after any procedure.

Supplements and fillers and botox

As with any procedure , it is often best to discontinue use of any supplements and/  or medications that prolong bleeding time at least 10 days before your appointment . Because supplements are often a combination of nutrients, minerals, etc., I would  advise you to just discontinue their use 2 weeks prior to any injection .

Walton Montegut, MD
Newport Beach Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Injections + Herbal Supplements

Thank you for your question! A number of herbal supplements are believed to lead to bruising post-injection. Because herbal supplements are not studied by the FDA, you should disclose all of the medications and supplements you take with your health care provider prior to receiving treatment to understand best practices for bruise prevention, safety, and ideal patient outcomes. I hope this is helpful to you!

Be well,

Dr. Todd Hobgood, MD

Todd Christopher Hobgood, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Cosmetic injections and herbal supplements

Taking supplements can have a positive impact on health, but there are a number that can be mild blood thinners, which may predispose to more bruising.  Fish oil (or cod liver oil) is a common supplement known to have this effect. I think it is generally still safe to have injections while taking the supplements, just as long as you keep in mind that you have a slightly higher risk of bruising while on them.  I would say the risk would be lower with Botox than with filler injections, as fillers tend to have the needle (or cannula) introduced through a greater amount of tissue.

John Harbison, MD
Omaha Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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.