Site Logotype
Dermal Fillers

Why Does Botox Take So Long to Work?

Botulinum toxin injection is a non-invasive cosmetic injection that takes time to freeze muscles and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. This article explains why botulinum toxin injections take a long time and how it feels when it starts to work.

Botox is a treatment used for muscle relaxation to reduce wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. The treatment makes the skin look smooth and youthful. Botulinum injection takes three to five days to produce results. The toxins take time to penetrate the muscles and freeze them to produce the desired results. Another reason could be the patient’s stronger facial muscles. Patients may think the injection did not work because of residual lines in the injected Area. 

Reasons Your Botox Is Taking Time to Work


The skin becomes less elastic with age, making it hard for treatment to dissolve in the muscle. Younger people tend to see the results of the treatment more quickly.


Different people have different levels of metabolism. Your body will take effect according to the rate it absorbs the treatment.

Size and Depth of Wrinkles

Deeper wrinkles take time before showing results from the injection; patients with fine wrinkles are likely to see results faster.

Quality of Treatment

If the solution is thick, it will take time to see results because it might take some time to dissolve, unlike a light solution. The solution should also be smooth because results might not be seen (Samizadeh& De Boulle 2018). 

Area being treated

The area being treated might also affect how long results will take to be seen. In most cases, the forehead will take longer to realize the results.

Injecting Skills

A skilled cosmetic doctor will inject the muscle correctly. If the treatment is injected with the wrong technique, it might take some time before the results show. A good cosmetic doctor knows where to inject and the treatment needed.

How Often You Have Botox

If you have botulinum toxin frequently, your body might have adapted to the treatment and will not take much time to show results. However, it might take time for your body to respond if you are a first-timer.

Other Factors

Factors such as illness or stress, impact how long it takes before the treatment works. According to Zamanian et al. (2017), patients should avoid stress after treatment to allow healing to take place 

Physical Activities

Cosmetic doctors recommend that patients rest to allow for recovery. If you become active immediately after treatment, it may affect the period for the treatment to work or show results. Avoiding strenuous workouts and heated places quickens the results after injection.


The aftercare practices determine how long it takes for the injection to work. Cosmetic doctors will advise against touching and massaging the injected site before the toxin takes effects.

How It Feels When Botox Starts to Work

After your treatment, here are different days and how the treatment will feel like;

Immediately After Treatment

After the injection, a little stinging is felt though the pain is not pronounced. Bumps and skin redness occur due to the impact of the needle. The face will look nearly the same because botulinum toxin is not an instant treatment. 

Three Days After Treatment

The botulinum treatment will begin showing a slight difference in the injected Area. A heavy or tight sensation is felt; the botulinum toxin injection works by freezing the treated Area. Most side effects, such as swelling, reduce after the third day.

Three weeks after treatment

The results of the injection will be fully effective. Wrinkles, lines, and crow’s feet will have reduced or become less visible (Small, 2014). The face becomes tighter, lifting the upper face. You begin to look youthful, and your face looks fresh. The side effects of the treatment will have subsided, and you can consult your medical doctor if you experience any side effects or complications. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the treatment, you can go back to your cosmetic doctor for more treatment or alignment.

Three Months

According to Kukreja& Singh (2015), the botulinum injection is temporary. At this time effects of the treatment will start fading away gradually. Usually, the treatment lasts between three to five months. The treated site will go back to its original state. Botulinum injection does not damage your skin after the treatment fades. When you notice fading, you can contact your cosmetic doctor for another treatment if you are satisfied with the previous treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Botulinum Toxin Injection

 Should I Move My Face After Botox?

Facial movements like smiling or raising eyebrows help botulinum toxic injection work better; this should not be immediately after treatment. Your medical expert will guide you on how long you can do facial movements after treatment.

Does Botulinum Toxin Injection Work Better the Second Time?

Some patients have experienced shorter results with the first injection than the second one. Frequent top-up of treatment gives longer results because the muscles shrink over time. 

Do You Have to Keep Getting Botox Once You Start?

No. Botox lasts three to five months, and if you are satisfied with the treatment, you can continue with the procedure; if not, you can wait for the treatment to fade away.


The botulinum toxin injection is a safe, non-invasive procedure that gives results after a short while. However, unlike dermal cosmetic products, botulinum toxin injection patients must wait for the toxin to freeze the skin before they get the desired results. The anti-wrinkle injections last three to six months; during this period, the patient cannot reverse the procedure. The irreversible nature of the fillers exemplifies the need to find a qualified practitioner. Although rare, complications could arise from botched treatment. Patients should ensure they get skilled practitioner’s services to reduce the risks associated with the injection.


Kukreja, R., & Singh, B. R. (2015). The botulinum toxin as a therapeutic agent: molecular and pharmacological insights. Res. Rep. Biochem, 5, 173-183.

Samizadeh, S., & De Boulle, K. (2018). Botulinum neurotoxin formulations: overcoming the confusion. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 11, 273.

Small, R. (2014). Botulinum toxin injection for facial wrinkles. American family physician, 90(3), 168-175.

Zamanian, A., Jolfaei, A. G., Mehran, G., &Azizian, Z. (2017). Efficacy of botox versus placebo for treatment of patients with major depression. Iranian journal of public health, 46(7), 982.

Monika Wasserman