I Feel slightly embarrased to ask this question because it seems so frivoulous, especially to those with our condition, but if I cannot ask it here, then I cannot ask it anywhere...Right?

So..Prior to being diagnosed I had been considering some botox for my frown lines but now not sure if it can be more of a problem.

So is botox a no-no with CLL? Does anybody know? Any advise will be appreciated (preferably the non-judgemental kind...LOL!)



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13 Replies

  • Its a question to run by your CLL doctor, he knows your immune system the best... some CLL patients have mentioned it in relation to chronic migraine.

  • I wouldn't dream of judging you on this Que-sera-sera. We don't have to give up on our personal appearance because we have CLL. My dermatologist removed a small hemangioma from my face and it was purely for cosmetic reasons. I worried about infection risks and excessive scarring but for me the main reassurance was this was being performed by a highly skilled surgeon and not a beauty therapist. Had I been neutrophenic or had low platelet levels, I wouldn't have considered it however.

    Have you approached your haematologist with this question or are you a little embarrassed to? I think it might be an idea to seek his or her opinion based on your individual CLL profile.

    I'm no expert on Botox but it seems that who performs it and the quality of the type of Botox is critical. As with all procedures there's risks and can be side effects. I read this in relation to risks with Botox and think it might be useful to consider when making your decision. It's taken from this article (which was obviously prompted by personal bad experience) but it contains some very useful information and warnings.

    'One theory is that in some people the toxin can travel through their tissue to other parts of their body, (this theory is actually stated by the FDA to be a possibility). Another theory is that a weakened immune system at the time of the injection could cause these side effects.'

    In honesty I'd be thinking twice but I'm no expert so I think you need to be speaking to someone who can give you more specialised advice, perhaps a dermatologist. But certainly don't feel embarrassed about it. Good luck!


  • Newdawn, cllcanada, peggy4, cllcalifornia----Thank you so much for the so thorough and very kind replies; those in and of themselves have already helped my appearance by putting a smile on my face, thats for sure!

    Was feeling self conscious because we have so many more important things to worry about, but having to get out there and work is still one of them and so I guess we could try to look "our best" whatever that might be to each of us, but obviously keeping our health comes first and foremost! Thanks again!

  • Absolutely no need for embarrassment. Having CLL in no way stops us from being human. The only difference is that botox (tattoos? Would that be the same) is an invasive procedure that people CHOOSE to have. I certainly wouldn't enter into it lightly, but with the medical go ahead and a highly trustworthy person carrying out the treatment, then I would go for it if that's what makes you happy.


  • I think all of us are a little vain when it comes to our appearance. I color my hair and wear makeup. Botox I would think twice about for medical reasons unless I was a migraine sufferer. Get rid of the frown lines by smiling more☺️. Just kidding. Only your CLL specialist can answer this one for you. I'm sure most of would like to know what your specialist advises. Good luck, Sally

  • Glad you asked the question because I have thought about it too. I'm 56. Please let's report back if we get any info on it :)

  • From a medical perspective, I fully agree with Newdawn. Given people with fully functional immune systems are at some risk of infection, our risk with CLL can only be greater. Botox injections must pierce the skin in order to allow the botox to do its work, so you are at risk from the following:

    1) any pathogens not killed on your skin that can be carried into your skin/blood by the needle

    2) pathogens introduced by the operator, via their handling of the needle, botox storage and transfer or contamination of your skin

    3) Botox contamination throughout manufacturing and distribution process

    4) airborne contamination while being treated - possibly from the person's breath while treating you

    and so on.

    Tattooing would be an even greater risk.

    If your neutrophil counts were reasonable, your risk might be considered acceptable, (bearing in mind that with CLL, particularly if you've had it for some time, your ability to make antibodies to fight off infections is impaired). If you are neutropenic, you risk neutropenic sepsis - which can be fatal if not brought under control within 24 hours.

    Remember, physical beauty is only skin deep.


  • So glad I'm reading this post. My husband was diagnosed a few months ago, has always wanted a tattoo and thought maybe this is the time to do it. We have so much to learn.

  • Hey, I had some of that done (and juvaderm) about 10 yrs into my cll diagnosis,didn't give it a second thought actually,no problem here,but ask your Dr. For sure and good luck my friend....Cat

  • Hi Que-Sera-Sera,

    I was diagnosed in 2007 and after my fdr chemo treatments I had a complete remission in 2008. I made the decision to get Botox in 2010. I also was concerned because after all, it's botulism and your shooting it into your Immune compromised body, but my doctor assured me that it was safe and I have been doing it every 3 months to this day with only good results. 😊 Hey It took away all those worry lines I got since I was told I had cll. And it does help with stress headaches.

    I don't know how your immune system is so I would talk it over with your doctor first but I just thought you would like to know my experience with it.

    Best of luck and health to you😊

  • I ran this by my pcp whose response was to evade the question and instead suggested a lifting and firming cream. After looking at the hundreds of creams available it seems more confusing than ever.

  • I have tried Botox. I am changing to a pure tupe of juvaderm. Etc . I had a session with a dermo and Botox is a toxin and freezes your muscles can compromise your immune where the juvaderm etc types just plum up the skin and is used on all parts of the face

  • Have had several botox injections. You may bruise more easily but can get products such as Auriderm to mitigate this. Ask your dermatologist. Looking good can help feeling good.

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