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Dermal Fillers

How Long Before Botox Works

Botulinum toxin treatment is the most sought non-invasive cosmetic procedure. How long does it take to work? This article outlines what botulinum toxininjection is,  how long it takes to work, timelines for various areas it is injected, and why it takes so long.

Botulinum toxin injection is administered to temporarily relax muscles making forehead lines and crow’s feet less noticeable. This procedure is generally safe when administered in the right amounts. However, unlike other surgical and non-surgical anti-aging treatments, its effects may take longer depending on various factors, including the area treated. Its effects may last up to three months. However, it is one of the likable and most effective treatments.It is advisable to get regulartouch-ups to maintain a youthful look.

What Is Botulinum Toxin Injection?

According to Goldschmidt et al.(2021), botulinum toxin injection is used to smooth wrinkles, promoting a youthful look. It is one of the most popular anti-wrinkle treatments. Botulinum toxin treatment binds nerve impulses causing temporary muscle relaxation with facial lines and wrinkles. As a result, patients look more youthful.

How Long Does It Take for Botulinum Treatment to Work?

Song et al. (2019) stated that botulinum toxin treatment effects are seen three to four days after the treatment. Its results are not noticeable after treatment. Šoštarić et al. (2022) showed that it might take 48 hours to notice the difference after botulinum toxin treatment. Herd et al. (2019) suggested that botulinum toxin treatment results show a few days after treatment. Getting it two weeks prior is advisable if a client wants the treatment for an upcoming event. This will give it ample time for its full effect and healing.This helps to avoid sweating, causing infections. Ahn et al. (2019) suggested that results last up to 3 months after botulin toxininjections, depending on factors such as the type of skin of a patient.

Areas Botulinum Toxin Treatment Is Injected.

Botulinum toxin treatment is injected into various parts of the face, such as the forehead, crow’s feet(the area surrounding the eyes), and brows.

On the Forehead

An aesthetic practitioneradministerssmallerdosages to know how many units are ideal for a patient. Patients should visit a cosmetic doctor for touch-ups to maintain the results.

Crow’s Feet

Cheon et al.(2019) noted that botulinum toxin injections have recently gained traction in treating fine lines around the eyes. Cao et al. (2018) suggested that botulinum toxin treatmentinjected at the crow’s feetisquick, and results may be noticed after three days. This happens when the muscles surrounding the eyes relax. Patients may require regular touch-ups to maintain effects.

Botulinum toxin injections work more effectively on smaller lines and wrinkles. Hence, the results are seen faster when injected on the crow’s feet than the forehead lines. The type of skin may affect the effects of the treatment.

Why Botox Takes Time to Work

Mingazova et al. (2022) stated that some patients might notice results 10-14 days after botulinum toxin treatment.

Patients with stronger facial muscles may notice the results later than those with weaker facial muscles.

Harssell& Charles (2013) showed that botulinum toxin injections prevent muscle contraction.When injected, it blocks communicationof the nerves,preventing muscle contraction. It gets absorbed by nerve endings at the injection site. The study above suggested that botulinum toxin treatments also prevent the nerves from releasing chemicals that cause muscle contraction. This help treat wrinkles.

The brain signals the nerve fiber to release certain chemicals to the target muscle.According to Sonone et al. (2022), when botulinumtoxin treatment is injected, it blocks the release of these chemicals, contracting the muscles.

Botulinum toxininjections maytake a few days for results to show because its absorption takes longer to be exerted on the nerve fibers.

How Botulinum Toxin Injections Feel When It Begins Working

A patient knows botulinumtoxin treatment is working once the fine lines begin to fade. The injection site appears more rejuvenated and smoother.

Yang et al. (2022) suggested that patients may feel a mild tight sensation after botulinum toxin treatment, which subsides after 1-2 weeks. Other patients have also reportedfeeling a  sense of heaviness.

After the Treatment

Patients may notice redness and swelling after botulinum toxin injections; however, it subsides within a few minutes.It is rare to experience any pain or side effects. Kim et al. (2021) noted that a small number of patientshave reported getting a mild migraine which can be relieved by a painkiller after botulinum toxin treatment.

One Day After the Procedure

Sonone et al. (2022) suggested that patients may notice minor bruising, which can be tackled by arnica cream after botulinum toxin injections. You cannot tell a patient has botulinum toxin treatment unless bruising occurs. The study above also suggested that some patientsmay experience mild headaches after the treatment.

One Week After the Procedure

Comella et al. (2021) stated that botulinum toxin treatment results might start to show one week after the treatment. The area injected looks more rejuvenated and smoother. A patient may feel uncomfortable after the procedure.

One Month After the Procedure

Diomande et al. (2019) noted that botulinum toxineffects may still be effective one month after the treatment. Botulinum toxins can move, although it depends on the treated area.

Frequently Asked Questions about Botox

Why Won’t Botulinum Toxin Injections Work?

Botulinum toxin treatment may not work if little amounts are used. However, if an experienced cosmetic doctor does not conduct the procedure, a patient may experience severe complications.

What Conditions Can Botulinum Toxin Injection Treat?

Padda &Tadi (2021) showed that botulinum toxin injection could treat conditions such as eye twitching, chronic migraine, lazy eye, and bladder dysfunction.


Patients should consult a cosmetic doctor before taking botulinum toxin treatment. This procedure is safe, although it has various risks. Botulinumtoxin injections may take a long to work. However, full effects may take up to two weeks. Botulinumtoxin injections block the release of chemicals from nerve endings,causing muscle contraction. As a result, it leads to the alleviation of fine lines and wrinkles.


Goldschmidt, M., &Clemow, J. B. (2021). Neuromodulators (Botulinum). In Applied Head AndNeck Anatomy For The Facial Cosmetic Surgeon (Pp. 123-129). Springer, Cham.

Cheon, H. I., Jung, N., Won, C. H., Kim, B. J., &Lee, Y. W. (2019). Efficacy And Safety OfPrabotulinumtoxinA And OnabotulinumtoxinA For Crow’s Feet: A Phase 3, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Split-Face Study. Dermatologic Surgery, 45(12), 1610-1619.

Padda, I. S., &Tadi, P. (2021). Botulinum Toxin. In Statpearls [Internet]. Statpearls Publishing.

Diomande, I., Gabriel, N., Kashiwagi, M., Ghisu, G. P., Welter, J., Fink, D., … &Betschart, C. (2019). Subcutaneous Botulinum Toxin Type A Injections For Provoked Vestibulodynia: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial And Exploratory Subanalysis. Archives Of GynecologyAnd Obstetrics, 299(4), 993-1000.

Comella, C., Ferreira, J. J., Pain, E., Azoulai, M., & Om, S. (2021). Patient Perspectives: The Therapeutic Profile Of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A In Cervical Dystonia. Journal Of Neurology, 268(3), 903-912.

Sonone, T. P., Soni, V., Gupta, S., Shekatkar, Y. K., Thorat, A. S., & Pol, T. R. (2022). Botox And Dermal Fillers In Orthodontics–A Review. Journal Of Pharmacy AndBioallied Sciences, 14(5), 60.

Jodorkovsky, D. (2022). The Limited Role ForBotulinumIn Achalasia: A Gastroenterologist’s Perspective. Foregut, 26345161221121803.

Barbara Santini
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