How Long Does Botox Last?

Botox cosmetic injections effectively reduce wrinkles, but how long does Botox last? The answer is somewhat complicated. It will be different for each person and Botox treatment because there are many variables. An excellent place to start is with an understanding of what Botox is and how it works.

What Is a Botox Treatment?

Botox injections use a toxin called onabotulinumtoxinA, or botulinum toxin, to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is the same toxin that causes botulism but given in a small, safe dose.

A report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found a dramatic increase in the number of people getting Botox during 2020. They state in one year; there were more than 800,000 treatments done. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures globally.

Some common drug products used for this treatment also include Dysport, Myobloc, and Xeomin. Each one is FDA approved for use as a skincare product.

how long does botox last

How Does Botox Work?

Botox blocks chemical signals from nerves that control facial muscles. The injection causes targeted muscles to relax, helping to prevent wrinkles and remove fine lines.

Think about what happens to a garden hose when you fold it repeatedly. Eventually, a crease forms in the hose that will become permanent unless the folding stops. The older the hose is, the more times it has been folded and the weaker the structure becomes.

The same happens with the skin and intensifies as a person ages and collagen production drops. Collagen is a fibrous material that gives skin structure. For example, when you smile or raise your eyebrows, you crease the skin on your forehead and around your mouth and eyes. Over time, the creases become wrinkles like crow’s feet, forehead lines, and other signs of aging.

Wrinkles build up over time as skin becomes naturally less elastic, which is normal. Treatments like Clostridium botulinum can help prevent wrinkle formation and reduce the repetitive movement of muscles.

Botox is a relatively safe way to fight frown lines without resorting to plastic surgery. It works because when the neurotoxin blocks those chemical signals, the muscles do not crease the skin. It is a faster treatment, too. For some, the results are almost immediate, unlike surgery, where you must wait for wounds to heal. You’ll notice the benefits of Botox within days as opposed to months.

What Are the Benefits of Botox?

Botox can prevent new wrinkles from forming and help reduce existing ones. It is less invasive than other anti-aging options like cosmetic surgery. The treatments tend to focus on areas people first notice, such as the forehead, around the eyes, and mouth.

Just doing something about wrinkles has a cascading effect, too. For example, you may feel better about yourself, which relieves stress and makes you happier.

What Are the Risks of Botox?

One of the most significant benefits of this treatment is there are very few risks. It is possible to develop an infection at the injection site, but the needles are very thin, so the puncture is small. Some people experience mild side effects after the treatment, such as:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Eye dryness and tearing
  • Drooling

The side effects are minor and temporary, though. For a comprehensive understanding of Botox side effects and how to manage them, refer to our detailed guide on the topic.

What Can You Expect from a Botox Treatment?

Botox treatments are relatively painless even though it is an injection. The provider uses very thin needles, so you don’t feel much. A Botox treatment typically consists of multiple injections, too.

Afterward, you will get a list of instructions. You should not rub or massage the area for at least 24 hours after the treatment. You want the Botox to stay localized and not spread.

You should see results for Botox within a few days. After that, the provider will tell you when to get a follow-up treatment to maintain the effect.

How Long Does Botox Last?

How long does Botox last? The duration of the effects of Botox varies from person to person based on critical factors like:

  • Age
  • The elasticity of the skin
  • Depth of the wrinkles

The injection location also matters, as does the number of toxins used. In general, Botox lasts from four to six months, though. Your provider may tell you what to expect when you have the injection based on your situation.

The effects can last longer with each subsequent treatment, however. This is because botox paralyzes the muscles, so they shrink over time. That also means you may need fewer treatments.

What Can You Do to Make Botox Last Longer?

You can do some things between Botox treatments that might extend the effects.

Avoid the Sun

Dermatology experts have warned against the damaging effects of sun exposure for decades. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that one should avoid the sun after a Botox treatment. Sun damage breaks down collagen, creating wrinkles Botox can’t fix.

Remember that Botox works only on skin lines that occur due to muscle movement. Sun damage causes a different kind of wrinkle. The sun will also trigger an inflammatory response that breaks down Botox, making it less effective. So if you do go out, wear sunscreen.

Switch to Low-Intensity Workouts

Excessive and high-intensity exercises increase the metabolism rate, breaking down the Botox faster. On the other hand, your body needs exercise, so workout just switch to something low-intensity like walking instead of running.

Manage Your Stress

If you are stressed, you will frown or scowl, which tenses your facial muscles. That puts pressure on the Botox treatment muscles and causes the effect to wear off sooner.

Don't Smoke

Stay away from nicotine products. Nicotine also breaks down the collagen in your skin, making Botox less effective. Smoking or vaping also creates new facial wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. These are the kinds that Botox can’t fix.

Moisturize Your Skin

Make moisturizing a regular part of your skincare routine. Invest in a quality facial moisturizer to keep your skin smooth. Moisturizers have ingredients such as collagen and hyaluronic acid that plump up the cells and give you a youthful, fresh look. That will enhance the effects of Botox. If possible, use a moisturizer with sunscreen for extra protection.

Use a Gentle Skin Cleanser

A gentle skin cleanser will help keep your face moisturized. They also have ingredients that help protect the skin.

Take Zinc

At least one study found that a 50-milligram zinc supplement helps prolong the results of Botox. Over 90 percent of those participating in the research saw a 30 percent increase in the duration of the treatment. Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement first, especially if you take prescription medications or are on a special diet.

Stay Hydrated

Your skin needs water to stay healthy. It improves circulation to the skin and keeps it from getting dry. Water is also necessary for new skin formation. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

Keep Your Follow-Up Appointments

Your skin needs water to stay healthy. It improves circulation to the skin and keeps it from getting dry. Water is also necessary for new skin formation. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

How Often Can You Get Botox?

If you are wondering how long does Botox last, you might also wonder how often you can get it. Your healthcare provider can help you decide how often you want to get Botox. Typically, you would not see another Botox injector for at least three months. Getting these injections too often can mean you build up resistance to the neurotoxin. Ideally, you would go as long as possible between treatments. That is another reason follow-up appointments are essential.

It is important to remember that Botox is a medical treatment. It is critical that the injections be in the right place with proper spacing and that the product used is high-quality. There are a lot of scams out there, so stick with a board-certified dermatology office to get your treatments.

If Botox isn’t an option, you might qualify for Juvederm dermal fillers, instead. Dermal fillers work well as an alternative wrinkle treatment because they add volume to your face.

botox forehead

Contact Venice Avenue Dermatology Today

Since 1997, Venice Avenue Dermatology has provided high-quality dermatology services to Sarasota and Charlotte counties in Florida. Our board-certified providers stay up to date on the most cutting-edge cosmetic dermatology treatment options for our patients.

We perform routine skin examinations as well as diagnose and treat skin conditions. In addition to cosmetic procedures such as an FDA-approved injectable dermal filler or Botox injections, we provide medical and surgical dermatology services.

If you are still asking, “How long does Botox last?” contact us today to find out more about Botox injections and what it can do for you.

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