Botox is an injectable treatment that helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles and gives one a refreshed and youthful look. It can also treat health conditions related to the neuromuscular system. This article explains how long Botox will last after the procedure.
Botox is the brand name for Botulinum toxin A, derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum). C. botulinum occurs naturally in the environment or the intestinal pathways of animals. Botox treatments are used in both cosmetic and medical procedures. It is widely used for cosmetic purposes, where it helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and facial creases. It is also an FDA-approved drug for certain health conditions related to the neuromuscular system. Such conditions include migraines, extreme sweating, and eyelid spasms.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox injection temporarily paralyzes the muscle cells, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and facial creases to give one a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. Botox works by disrupting some nerve-signalling systems responsible for muscle contraction. Satriyasa, 2019 explained that it inhibits the release of a chemical substance known as acetylcholine which is responsible for causing muscle contraction every time a person laughs, smiles, frowns, or makes any facial expression, resulting in unwanted facial wrinkles and creases.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The results of Botox treatment are not permanent. As the effects of Botox go down, signs of ageing reappear again. The effects of Botox treatment typically last for 3 to 6 months, depending on the area of injection and other factors such as age, individual metabolism, skin elasticity, and the intensity of your wrinkles.
What Does Research Say?
“Onset and duration of action of BoNT-A products can depend on individual patient factors, such as muscles targeted, injection technique, reconstitution method and storage following reconstitution, post-injection procedure, and inter-patient variation in muscle mass, which is influenced by factors such as age and sex. Nestor et al. (2020) explained that the patients age and their skin laxity increases, the interplay between superficial fibres of the corrugator and their insertion into overlying skin might be affected, leading to changes in efficacy in older patients over time”.
“Duration of effect is more variable, and is influenced by parameters such as muscle mass (including the effects of age and sex) and type of product used. Even when larger muscles are treated with higher doses of BoNT-A, the duration of effect is still shorter than that for smaller muscles. Nestor et al. (2017) explained that muscle injection technique, including dilution of the toxin, the volume of solution injected, and the positioning of the injections, can also have an important influence on onset and duration of activity.”
According toFlynn (2010), the effects of Botox injection last for 3 to 5 months in female patients and 4 to 6 months in male patients. Some patients had longer response durations, while most relapsed by six months. “In these studies, the duration of effect ranged from 3 to 5 months in female patients and from 4 to 6 months in male patients. Individual patients had longer durations of response. Across all studies providing relapse rates, most patients relapsed by 6 months.”
Uses of Botox Injections
Botox is popularly used in cosmetic procedures primarily as an anti-wrinkle treatment that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and facial creases. According to Arora & Sandeep (2021), Botulinum toxin (Botox) can be used on the face and neck for various indications, as mentioned below:
- Forehead- horizontal lines (worry lines)
- Glabella- frown lines
- Periorbital- crow’s feet and lower eye wrinkles
- Nose-gummy smile, prominent nasolabial folds, bunny lines, and elevating the nasal tip
- Lips and lower face- perioral lines (smoker’s lines), marionette lines, frown lines
- Neck- horizontal necklines
Apart from cosmetic uses, Botox can also treat various medical conditions, most of which relate to the neuromuscular system. Some of the FDA-approved medical uses of Botox include:
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Overactive bladder disorders
- Upper limb spasticity
- Eyelid spasms (blepharospasm)
- Preventing chronic migraines
- Extreme underarm sweating
How to Maintain Botox and Make It Last Longer
One can maximize the longevity of a Botox treatment by doing the following.
Avoid Intense Heat and Excess Sunlight Exposure
While sunlight is essential for one’s health, excessive sunlight can damage the skin. Excess sunlight and heat can also contribute to premature ageing. Sunlight contains harmful UV radiations, which may break down Botox and reduce its effectiveness against wrinkles. Additionally, excessive use of saunas, tanning beds, hot tubs and extreme temperatures for optimal results.
Minimize High-Intensity Workouts
High-intensity exercises are good for burning calories and improving your metabolism. However, they might break down Botox so soon and reduce the duration of its effectiveness. Instead, consider low-intensity exercises to increase the longevity of your Botox results.
Stress can also contribute to premature wrinkles when stressed and muscles tense, which may wear off the effects of Botox treatment. Stress-releasing practices such as meditation and yoga can help one maximize the longevity of Botox effects in their body.
Ensure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. You can also use skin moisturizers made with collagen and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moist and plump.
Frequently Asked Questions about Botox
Are Botox Injections Painful?
The procedure of Botox treatments is minimally invasive. One is less likely to feel pain. However, they might experience minor discomfort during the injection that subsides within a few hours after the procedure.
Is Botox Safe?
Botox is generally considered safe, with a few side effects that disappear within a few days after the procedure. However, there is still no clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of Botox on pregnant and breastfeeding patients.
How Soon Can I See Botox Results?
Depending on factors such as the area to be injected and individual metabolism, most patients notice Botox results 3 to 5 days after the procedure. In rare cases, some patients see their results two weeks after receiving a Botox injection.
Botox or Botulinum toxin is an injectable treatment typically for cosmetic uses. Still, it is used for medical benefits. This anti-wrinkle treatment is suitable for patients who wish to minimize wrinkles and facial creases to achieve a refreshed and youthful appearance. The results of a Botox injection usually last for about 3 to 6 months, depending on factors such as the area being injected, individual metabolism, age, and skin elasticity, among others. Like any other medical procedure, ensure you are fully informed about the risks, cost, and other factors before considering Botox injection. As a side note, Botox treatments cannot be performed on pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Arora, G., & Arora, S. (2021). Where and how to use botulinum toxin on the face and neck–indications and techniques. Cosmoderma, 1.
Flynn, T. C. (2010). Botulinum toxin: examining duration of effect in facial aesthetic applications. American Journal of clinical dermatology, 11(3), 183-199.
Nestor, M., Ablon, G., & Pickett, A. (2017). Key parameters for the use of abobotulinumtoxinA in aesthetics: onset and duration. Aesthetic surgery journal, 37(suppl_1), S20-S31.
Nestor, M., Cohen, J. L., Landau, M., Hilton, S., Nikolis, A., Haq, S., … & Picaut, P. (2020). Onset and duration of abobotulinumtoxinA for aesthetic use in the upper face: a systematic literature review. The Clinical and aesthetic dermatology Journal, 13(12), E56.
Satriyasa, B. K. (2019). Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 12, 223.