How long does Botox last?
- By: Medically reviewed by Meredith Goodwin, MD, FAAFP — Written by Louise Morales-Brown
- Source: Medical news today
- Website: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-long-does-botox-last#what-to-expect
Botox is an injectable substance that inhibits muscle movement. It can help treat certain health issues, and some people request it for cosmetic reasons. Typically, cosmetic Botox lasts 3–6 months.
In this article, we describe what to expect during the appointment, give more information about the effects, and look into risks to consider.
How long does it last?
A Botox treatment typically lasts 3–6 months.
ResearchTrusted Source suggests that a cosmetic Botox injection lasts 3–6 months. However, this may varyTrusted Source, depending on:
the person’s age
their muscle mass
the injection technique
the dilution of the toxin
the volume of the solution
the positioning of the injection
Some research indicates that having multiple Botox injections in the same area may increase the duration of the effects.
For a person hoping to make the effects of Botox last as long as possible, it is important to:
Receive the injections from an experienced and certified medical practitioner who is well-versed in the most effective techniques.
Follow aftercare guidance carefully.
What is Botox?
Botox is the trade name of Botulinum toxin. It is a highly dangerousTrusted Source substance that can be lethal if used incorrectly.
A medicinal or cosmetic dose of Botox blocks certain nerve signals that cause muscles to contract, leading to the relaxation of the muscle that has received the injection.
People typically use Botox to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, doctors also use it to treat certain health issues, such as:
excessiveTrusted Source droolingTrusted Source
a weakened bladder
diabetic neuropathyTrusted Source
chronic Trusted SourcemigraineTrusted Source
When does it start working?
Some people see results as early as 12 hoursTrusted Source after the injection. The full effects, however, are unlikely to appear in the first 14 days.
A person may see the effects sooner if they practice certain facial exercises, authors of a 2019 study report.
What to expect during the procedure
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery describe the process as follows:
First, a person attends a consultation to discuss the treatment and, importantly, to let the doctor know about any health issues or current medications.
At the next appointment, the doctor injects Botox into the desired sites, usually with a very thin needle.
The number of injections depends on the desired results and the area involved.
In most cases, the procedure is very quick.
Some doctors offer a follow-up appointment to check that the area is healing well.
The doctor should recommend aftercare techniques, which may include:
not lying down for 4 hours after the treatment
not massaging or applying heat to the area for 24 hours
avoiding heavy exercise for 24 hours
avoiding alcohol consumption for 24 hours
The aim of these strategies is to prevent the Botox from spreading to other areas and to keep it from thinning the blood. However, more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms at work and to develop more effective guidance.