How long will you wait to return to your exercise routine after botulinum toxin treatment? This article explains how extreme exercise affects the botulinum toxin treatment area, what can go wrong when you perform intense workouts after the treatment, when it is safe to exercise after an anti-wrinkle injection, and what to avoid after getting the botulinum injections.
Botox is a brand name for a specific product that contains botulinum toxin used for cosmetic procedures. It is injected into the facial muscles to eliminate aging signs like accumulating wrinkles, deep-rooted fine lines, sagging skin, thin lips, pronounced tear troughs, and forehead folds. It relaxes and smoothes muscles that cause aging signs. The botulinum toxin injection improves facial complexity that appears and feels natural with minimal downtime. However, if you wish to fully benefit from the cosmetic procedure, you consider sacrificing your exercise routines for a few days after the treatment.
How extreme exercise affects the Botulinum Toxin treatment area
Exercise is a good habit for general body health. However, working out immediately after Botulinum toxin treatment can reduce the effectiveness of the cosmetic procedure by:
Putting Pressure on the Injection Site
Your cosmetic doctor will advise you against touching your face for 4 hours to reduce pressure on the injected site. Exercises add excessive pressure on your face causing the toxin to migrate from the targeted area to the unwanted facial part. Touching your face when the treatment toxin has not settled can also cause discomfort.
Extreme physical activity increases the heart rate, causing larger volumes of blood to the body in the injected site. The flow is good for your circulatory system, but it can cause dilution of botulinum toxin, thus affecting its effectiveness. Furthermore, an increase in blood flow may whisk away the toxin from the injected site; this could paralyze the facial muscles surrounding the treated area.
It Causes Much Facial Movement
The client should avoid head movements at least 4 hours after the treatment. The movement may cause the botulinum toxin to migrate. Moderate exercises like jogging could also cause facial muscle movement.
What Can Go Wrong When You Perform Extreme Exercises After the Treatment?
Increased and Prolonged Bruising and Swelling
Bellows et al. (2019) stated that swelling and bruising are common side effects associated with the cosmetic procedure, but they wear off a few hours post-treatment. However, increased blood flow in the injected site can make you more susceptible to swells and bruises after the injection. It also prolongs the time required for side effects to go down.
Reduced Longevity and Effectiveness
Botulinum injections provide a natural result that lasts 3 to 6 months, depending on factors like the amount injected, the cosmetic doctor’s expertise, and the patient’s body metabolism. According to Zengiski et al. (2021), extreme exercising immediately after the injection may cause the toxin to diffuse and dilute, making them fail to relax the targeted facial muscles completely; this makes body mechanisms dissolve the injection in a shorter period than estimated.
Migration of neurotoxin
In the worst scenario, the migration of botulinum toxin can cause unintended facial muscles to relax, causing asymmetrical facial features.
It is very rare for patients to contract infections after the neurotoxin injection. Nevertheless, sweating can wet the injected area triggering infections such as cold sores. Rebours et al. (2019) stated that Sweats activate the dormant herpes simplex virus that triggers rashes around the injected sites.
When Is It Safe to Exercise After a Botulinum Toxin Injection?
In most cases, your cosmetic practitioner may recommend avoiding extreme exercises 24 to 48 hours after the injection, depending on the amount and the facial part injected. Light and moderate exercises are recommended after 4 hours. The cosmetic practitioner may advise you to sit up with your head elevated for the first 3 hours to allow the neurotoxin to settle. Nonetheless, within the first two days after the appointment, you can try the following:
- Moderate yoga with no inversions
- Light walking away from direct sun exposure
- Domestic chores
- Facial exercises like expressions
Strenuous exercises to avoid 24 to 48 hours after the treatment include:
- Sweat-inducing activities like cycling, rowing, or aerobics
- Pirates and yoga,
- Contact activities or sports
What to Avoid After Getting Botox Injections
According to Patel & Shailesh (2018), before or after getting a botulinum toxin, your cosmetic doctor will outline several things you should avoid for an effective result; they include:
- Alcohol and blood thinning medications like aspirin and vitamin E supplements for 24 hours post-treatment.
- Taking too much caffeine; it increases the risk of bruising and swelling
- Heated rooms, direct sun exposure, and hot showers for 24 hours
- Sleeping on your face for the first two days to avoid pressure on the injected area
- Exposing yourself to extreme cold temperatures for at least two days to prevent infections
Frequently Asked Questions About Botulinum Toxin Injection
How Long Does It Take for Botox Neurotoxin to Settle?
The treatment shows its full result after two weeks, but the neurotoxins settle in the first 2 to 4 days. However, it depends on the following factors:
- Facial area injected
- Amount injected
- Skills and experience of cosmetic doctor
- Patient’s adherence to aftercare tips
Can I Get Botulism from Botulinum Toxin Injections?
The botulinum toxin used for cosmetic appointments is diluted and sterile and cannot cause Botulism. The infection naturally exists in soil and is found in consumables; it is rare to get Botulism from Botox.
The Bottom Line
Botulinum toxin treatment is a safe and effective way to counteract facial aging signs like wrinkles, deep-rooted fine lines, and thin lips, among others. Strenuous activities like workouts immediately after the treatment can cause an increase in blood flow in the injected area, making you more prone to swelling, bruising, neurotoxin migrations, and infections; the result may not satisfy your dream look. The cosmetic procedure is accompanied by minimal downtime that takes a few hours. While you cannot perform extreme exercises like running on the day of your treatment, you certainly can return to your normal activities two days later.
Bellows, S., & Jankovic, J. (2019). Immunogenicity associated with botulinum toxin treatment. Toxins, 11(9), 491.
Zengiski, A. C. S., Basso, I. B., Cavalcante-Leão, B. L., Stechman-Neto, J., Santos, R. S., Guariza-Filho, O., … & de Araujo, C. M. (2021). Effect and longevity of botulinum toxin in treating gummy smile: a meta-analysis and meta-regression. Clinical Oral Investigations, 1-9.
Rebours, C., Brasnu, D., Le Garrec, S., Ayache, D., &Mailly, M. (2019). Laryngeal Electromyography and Botulinum Toxin Injection in Exercise‐Induced Laryngeal Obstruction. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 6(8), 708.
Patel, S. (2018). Post-treatment advice following botulinum toxin injections: a review. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 7(5), 240-246.
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