Botox is an incredibly popular choice for patients looking to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Injections are quick, easy, and can be done right in your doctor’s office.
If you’re considering talking to your doctor about Botox injections, you may have a lot of questions. Dr. Florence Nappi, a board-certified dermatologist here at Florida Medical Clinic, explains how long Botox lasts and how to maximize your results.
What is Botox and how does it work?
Botox is the brand name for a drug that’s made from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, the bacterium that causes botulism. However, you should know that Botox is a safe medicine made from extremely small amounts of this bacterium and has been cleared for use by the FDA since 2002.
For this reason, it’s important to always see a licensed injector. Dermatologists and other licensed injectors are trained on the safest and most effective ways to inject Botox. Unlicensed injectors put patients at risk of serious side effects and unsatisfactory results.
When injected, Botox blocks certain nerve signals, which relaxes facial muscles and temporarily smoothes out wrinkles. Botox is also used to treat other conditions, like migraines, excessive sweating, lazy eyes, and overactive bladders.
When used cosmetically, many patients receive Botox injections to treat:
- Crow’s feet (lines around the outside corners of the eyes)
- Frown lines (lines between the eyebrows; sometimes called glabellar lines)
- Lip lines around the top and sides of the mouth
- Forehead wrinkles
- Neck wrinkles
Who shouldn’t get Botox?
According to the official Botox guidelines for use, you shouldn’t receive injections if you:
- Have a weakened immune system
- Are taking certain medications (like blood thinners)
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Are under 18 years old
If you’re not a candidate, Dr. Nappi suggests asking your dermatologist about other cosmetic procedures that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
How long does Botox last?
For most patients, it can take around 3-7 days to start seeing results from Botox, though it may take a little longer for some patients. Results from Botox usually last about 3-4 months.
This timeline will vary from patient to patient and can be impacted by a few different factors, including:
- How fast your metabolism processes Botox
- How many units (doses) you receive in one sitting
- How deep your wrinkles are and where they are on your face
- How often you received injections in the past
Typically, smaller doses tend to wear off faster than larger doses, as do injections given in areas of the face that move frequently (such as around the mouth).
Botox wears off gradually and the effects will fade over time—meaning wrinkles and fine lines won’t suddenly reappear overnight.
Look good. Feel good.
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Can I make the results last longer?
While you can’t control how quickly your body metabolizes Botox, there are some steps you can take to make the injections last as long as possible and maximize your results.
- Don’t exercise right away. It’s recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before resuming regular exercise to minimize the “migration” of the drug away from the original injection site. Don’t go swimming or do yoga—even low-impact activities can cause the Botox to flow away from the target areas.
- Avoid touching or rubbing your face. Like exercise, touching or moving your face too much can cause Botox to diffuse, which can interfere with the results. You should also avoid using rough exfoliators or abrasive cleansers after treatment. For more information on which facial treatments are safe and which to avoid, ask your dermatologist or aesthetician.
- Follow a professionally recommended injection schedule. Receiving regular injections can help maintain your results, but too many injections in a short period of time can be harmful. Ask your dermatologist about how often they recommend receiving Botox treatments to maintain your results.
Extra Tip: Wear sunscreen every day. UV rays from the sun don’t have an impact on the effectiveness of Botox, but sun damage is the leading cause of facial wrinkles and premature aging. The sun can cause damage that even Botox can’t treat.
Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day (even days when you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun) can help prevent more wrinkles from forming—and reduce your risk of skin cancer, too.
Can I make Botox wear off faster?
Some patients may realize they don’t like the look of Botox after receiving an injection. There is no way to reverse Botox—but rest assured that the injections are temporary and will fade after 3-4 months.
If you’re very dissatisfied with your results, you can also talk to your dermatologist or aesthetician about your options. They may be able to recommend ways to minimize the effects of Botox or correct the symmetry of your face with a small extra dose.
Schedule a Consultation Today
For patients concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, Botox injections are a quick, safe, and easy way to make your skin look more youthful.
To learn more about Botox injections and if they’re right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nappi at a Florida Medical Clinic Dermatology location in Wiregrass or Zephyrhills.
About Florence Nappi, MD
Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Florence Nappi is a dermatologist and member of the Aesthetic Division team at Florida Medical Clinic. Her passion is helping patients find customized solutions for their skin concerns and educating patients, peers, and students about a variety of dermatological topics.
In addition to addressing cosmetic concerns, Dr. Nappi also treats medical skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications.