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Dermal Fillers

How Long After Botox Can You Have a Sunbed?

Excessive sun exposure is not good after a Botox cosmetic treatment. This blog explains the risks of sunbed after Botulinum toxin injection and aftercare strategies used after the Botulinum injection.

Botox is a popular brand that uses a well-diluted botulinum toxin to soften fine facial lines and wrinkles. The toxin is injected into targeted facial muscles by a qualified cosmetic doctor. It blocks the signaling of nerve impulses that cause muscle contraction, forming facial lines. Although the treatment is effective, it has mild side effects like bruising and swelling. Therefore activities like sunbed should be avoided immediately after the injection to prevent the worsening of these side effects or to trigger other complications. 

When Can You Sunbed after Botox Toxin Injection?

Several health benefits claims like increased vitamin D levels, good mood, enhanced bone health, and improved skin complexity have been attributed to tanning. However, there is an onset time after the injection before a patient can have Botox formula. Sun radiation is inevitable, but it is best to avoid it for 48-72 hours after Botox treatment. Although you should still walk on a sunny day, avoid being exposed for long. According to Khalil & Hanan (2021), the first 4 hours after the injection, you should sit in a cool environment to allow the Botulinum toxin to settle in the facial muscular system. For Botox patients, there are ways to manage sun exposure following the cosmetic treatment. They include:

  • Wear SPF sunscreen. Use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) to counteract the effect of a sunbed on the injection site.
  • Halanwar et al. (2022) explained that topical antioxidants could help combat free radicals that worsen the swelling and bruising from the treatment.
  • Keep the treated area covered with a soft cloth if you have to stay more than 20 minutes on a sunny day.
  • Try spray tanning as an alternative to sunbed a day after the treatment.
  • See your cosmetic doctor if you experience sun damage or other complications after the treatment.

Effects of a Sunbed on Botox Treatment

Cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers can easily dissolve by excessive sun exposure immediately after the injection. These fillers contain hyaluronic acid and collagen stimulators degraded by UV radiation, affecting the treatment’s longevity and the dream outcome. Fortunately, sunbed does not have a long-term negative effect on Botox treatment. Botulinum toxin injection block nerve impulses on targeted facial muscles; it is not dissolved or affected by sun exposure. However, Botox treatment has short-lived side effects like bruising, swelling, itching, and increased sensitivity; these effects subside within 48 hours, depending on the amount injected and the professionalism of the injector. Although, excessive sun exposure can exacerbate these side effects, affecting the skin’s natural healing process. According to Badia et al. (2018), sunbed can have the following effects on the Botox treatment:

  • For patients with health records of Cold sores, the herpes simplex virus can be activated by sunbed immediately after the treatment.
  • Early UV radiations may increase the sizes of lumps on the injection site in case of wrongly injected botulinum toxin.
  • Sunbed can cause skin pigmentation by damaging skin cells; the damaged cells appear blackish.

Other Botox Aftercare Tips

The Food Standard Agency (FSA) considers Botox treatment a safe procedure if performed by a qualified cosmetic doctor. It has minimal complications and side effects. In addition, the doctor can guide the patients with certain precautions and tips for effective results. Patel & Shailesh (2018) highlighted the following aftercare advice:

  • Patients should avoid taking alcohol 48 hours after the injection since the drink causes skin dehydration and worsens the short-lived side effects of Botox.
  • Clients should not apply makeup until they fully recover from the side effects to avoid triggering infections in the treated area.
  • On should reduce blood thinning medications and supplements like Vitamin E, fish oil, Aspirin, and other drugs warned by the cosmetic doctor.
  • Avoid heated rooms since high temperature worsens Botox bruising and swelling.
  • Sleep with your head elevated the first two nights since resting facing the bedding can trigger toxin migration to untargeted facial muscles.
  • Stay hydrated and eats healthier to fasten the healing process
  • Do not fly for a week since the air pressure in the plains worsens the side effects of the anti-wrinkle injections
  • Give your injection site a break by avoiding rough touches 

Frequently Asked Questions on Botox Treatment

How Long Does Botox Bruising Last?

Bruising varies from patient to patient, but if you experience bruising and swelling on the injection site, expect the condition to last for a maximum of 5 days. The intensity of the side effects depends on the patient’s adherence to aftercare advice, the amount of toxin injected, and the injection technique used by the cosmetic doctor. Some patients may not experience the side effect, while for others; the bruising may last for a few hours or a day. 

How Will I Know If I Have an Allergic Reaction after Botox?

An allergic reaction to botulinum toxin is very rare. In most cases, if the reaction occurs, a qualified cosmetic doctor can point out the complication immediately after the injection. The following symptoms indicate a Botox allergic reaction:

  • A rash
  • Prolonged dizziness
  • Prolonged swelling and bruising
  • Trouble breathing
  • Large lumps
  • Itchy face

What Are Some of the Possible Side Effects of Botox Treatments?

When performed by a highly skilled cosmetic injector, it is very rare to experience adverse side effects from anti-wrinkle injections. Although, after cosmetic treatment, you will receive a list of potential side effects, such as:

  • Bruising, swelling, and redness in the injection area
  • Headache or flu-like symptoms
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Facial muscle weakness
  • Allergic reactions but very rare
  • Numbness


Botulinum toxin is an approved cosmetic product by FSA for softening facial wrinkles and deep-rooted fine lines. The neurotoxin treatment can accompany short-lived side effects like bruising and swelling that last a few days. However, excessive exposure to sun radiation immediately after Botox treatment can exacerbate these negative effects. Sunbed does not dissolve the Botox formula as it does with dermal fillers, but it can easily trigger infections or cause a dark complexity on the injection site. Therefore, it is highly recommended to wait for at least two days before exposure to the sun more than 20 minutes after the cosmetic treatment.


Khalil, H. (2021). Evidence summaries: Botox for facial wrinkles. Australian Pharmacist, 40(9), 66-67.

Halanwar, R. R., & Maniyar, M. G. Formulation and Evaluation of Anti-Wrinkle Herbal Cream Containing Daucus Carota.

Badia, L., Andrews, P., & Rajpar, S. (2018). Non-surgical rejuvenation of the ageing face. In Scott-Brown’s Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (pp. 1289-1296). CRC Press.

Patel, S. (2018). Post-treatment advise following botulinum toxin injections: a review. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 7(5), 240-2s46.

Marie Salbuvik