How you care for your skin after getting Botox can impact your results.
It's important to understand the dos and don'ts of Botox aftercare, so we’re here with eight tips and tricks of the trade to help you get the most out of your Botox injections.
1. Do expect some redness, tenderness and sensitivity
Yes, Botox and Dysport are fairly minor outpatient cosmetic treatments. However, they still come with the potential for side effects. While most post-Botox issues are short-term and typically mild, there’s always the small risk that you may experience something more serious.
You can expect at least a little redness, tenderness or sensitivity immediately after your injections are complete. These side effects can last for at least a few hours and possibly up to a day or two (depending on your skin’s sensitivity). You may also experience bruising, which can last up to a week or two. Try ice packs for short periods of time (no more than 10-15 minutes) to help.
Those are standard, but if you have more severe side effects, don't ignore them. If you experience trouble swallowing, muscle weakness or difficulty breathing or speaking, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
2. Don’t touch the treatment area
It’s basic human nature — when something hurts, we unconsciously want to touch it! With Botox aftercare, this is a big no-no. Touching, rubbing and otherwise manipulating the treated areas can spread the botulinum toxin into parts of your face you didn’t intend to be treated. Wait at least four hours to touch your face, and then only use light pressure.
However, we recommend trying a few easy facial exercises to help the Botox take hold. Performing basic facial expressions like frowning, smiling and just raising your eyebrows can shorten the time it takes for you to see results.
3. Do wait a few weeks to have other cosmetic treatments performed
We get it — Botox can be a revelation for your appearance and self-esteem. After your first treatment, you might even feel inspired to overhaul your entire skin care routine! Our providers are excited to help you get started, but pace yourself. Botox takes time to settle into the muscles and work its magic, so you don't want to undergo any other treatments too soon afterward.
Give it at least two weeks before having other cosmetic treatments performed — facials, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, massages, fillers, etc. You’ll also want to avoid some of the stronger at-home skin care products, like exfoliants, retinol and scrubs for a few days, at a minimum. Give your skin time to heal and the Botox time to settle in.
4. Don’t lie down after treatment
We all love a little quiet downtime, but it’s vital that you wait a bit before getting too cozy or napping after your treatment.
In fact, our providers recommend waiting about four hours after your Botox injections to lie down. Bending over too much or lying flat puts extra pressure on the muscles, which can cause the Botox to migrate away from the treatment areas and into other unintended places.
Stay sitting upright, read a book, catch up on Netflix and let your Botox settle in.
5. Do make sure to take it easy after your injections
If you’re the type of person who likes to stay busy, you may be planning to go from your appointment to the gym. As part of Botox aftercare, it’s crucial that you take it easy for at least the rest of the day. Providers’ orders — no straining, vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for at least four hours post-injections, but it’s best to wait 24 hours, if possible.
Exercise (and the increased heart rate that comes along with it) triggers increased blood flow to the body. Increased blood flow can mean a higher risk of bruising and the possibility that the botulinum toxin can spread beyond the injection sites. Consider this your excuse to sit back, relax and take a rest day.
6. Don’t wear makeup right after Botox
We get it — it can be tempting to want to cover up bruising or redness with makeup, but it's best to avoid it shortly after getting Botox. Applying makeup requires at least a small amount of pressure, which is why we ask you to avoid working out or touching your face. Twenty-four hours of your beautiful, makeup-free face is more than worth a few months of less visible fine lines and wrinkles, right?
7. Do have your Botox performed by a professional
The best way to achieve the results you’re looking for with Botox while avoiding the risk of severe side effects is always to have your injections performed by a professional. While at-home Botox parties might sound fun, the procedure requires precise needle placement to be effective. A lot can go wrong if the Botox doesn’t get into the muscle or goes into unintended areas. It may be slightly less expensive, but it’s definitely not worth the risk.
8. Don’t use any medications without checking with your provider
Botox is a drug, and it should be treated that way. Like any drug, it’s always possible for it to interact with other medications that you’re taking. Before we perform your injections, make sure that you let us know if you are taking any meds — over-the-counter or prescription. We may recommend that you check with your primary care provider to confirm that it’s safe for you to have Botox injections or to see if they have any suggestions to keep the treatment as safe as possible.
Medications like aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, ginkgo and vitamins A and E may increase the odds that you’ll have bleeding or bruising during your Botox aftercare as well. When it doubt, check with us!
To sum things up...
Botox aftercare is just as, if not more important, as the injections themselves. Knowing the big dos and don’ts can help ensure you see optimal results. And don’t forget — our skin care providers are here to help you reach your skin care goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or schedule a consult with us!