Does the use of Botox for nastril flare cause congestion?

I'm in my 20s and considering Botox for nastril flare when smiling as it's pretty significant. Other than that I have no problem with my nose. I was reading here that one drawback of Botox for this is congestion. I breathe great through my nose and the yearly cold has me immediately reaching for nasal spray as I hate congestion or the feeling of having to breathe through my mouth. Does this drawback happen bc of an inexperienced injector? Or is this just inevitable due to the muscles involved?

Doctor Answers 5

Botox for Nasal Flare

Botox works by blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscles can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. Botox injected into the nose can cause nasal congestion. Another option is surgery on the nose. I would consult an expert physician to see what the best option is for you.


Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Does the use of Botox for nastril flare cause congestion?

Hello, and thanks for your question. This is an unlikely but possible complication. In order to determine the best treatment plan for you, I recommend an in-person consultation with an expert. Best of luck, Dr. Frucht.   

Corey Frucht, MD, PhD
Santa Barbara Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Botox for nasal flaring

Thank you for your question KryssyGreenEyes. Botox is a purified protein used to address wrinkles associated with facial expressions. It can also be used on the nose to address nasal flaring. In this case the muscle that opens the nose when flaring becomes relaxed. If a person uses this muscle normally during breathing it may be difficult to breath and congestion may be possible. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Still Able to Breathe--Using Botox for Nostril Flare

Nasal congestion could happen when Botox is injected into the nose, but I would say it's extremely rare. Botox would be the best non-invasive option, but surgery might be needed. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Botox for nasal flare

Thanks for your question. We have small muscles along the lower bridge of the nose that pull the sides of your nose out when you breathe. Usually it's not noticeable because the muscles merely tense to keep your nostrils from being sucked shut, but it can be obvious when you take a sharp breath in. Anyway, if you use Botox in these muscles, they won't work any more and you can experience nasal congestion. I've never given somebody Botox for what you describe, but I think the nasal obstruction wouldn't be worth it.

Robert S. Schmidt, MD
College Station Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.