Botox After Care: 8 Dos and Don’ts

Botox After Care: 8 Dos and Don’ts

The Botox process doesn’t stop after leaving our office.

While the injections may be over, knowing the dos and don’ts of Botox after care can help you achieve and maintain the results you’ve always wanted.

But don’t worry, we won’t leave you to figure them all out yourself! We’re here with eight tips and tricks of the trade to help you make the most of your Botox injections

1. Do expect some redness, tenderness and sensitivity

Yes, Botox (and Dysport) is a fairly minor outpatient cosmetic treatment. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s without the potential for side effects. While most post-Botox issues are short-term and more irritating than dangerous, there’s always the small risk that you may experience something more serious.

Expect at least a little redness, tenderness or sensitivity immediately after your injections are complete. These side effects stay around 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. 

However, don’t ignore more severe side effects. 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! Unfortunately, with Botox after care, 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 the impressive results of Botox to show up. 

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. Once you get a round, you’ll probably be 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 muscle and work its magic, so doing other cosmetic treatments too quickly can undo all that hard work. 

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 do its job.

4. Don’t lie down after treatment

Although the actual Botox process isn’t physically taxing for most people, it’s tempting to go home and take a nap after treatment. While we’re big believers in the power of a little quiet downtime, it’s vital that you wait a bit before giving in. 

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 work.

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 our office to the gym. Fight that urge! As part of Botox after care, 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 outside the injection sites. Consider this your excuse to sit back, relax and take a little time to yourself. 

6. Don’t wear makeup right after Botox

If you bruise easily or just love expressing yourself with makeup, staying away from it after Botox injections can be tough. We’ve all been there, and we feel your pain. But we’re not just asking you to avoid wearing makeup to torture you; there’s a method to our madness. 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 we get the allure of at-home Botox parties, 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 verify 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 after care, as well. When it doubt, check with us!

To sum things up...

Botox after care is just as, if not more important, as the injections themselves. Knowing the big dos and don’ts can help you avoid falling into the common post-injection traps, helping you get optimal results. And don’t forget — the skin care providers at Skin Pharm are here to help you reach your skin care goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or schedule a consult with us!


The whole truth about botulinum toxin – a review | PubMed

An Evaluation of Use of Botulinum Toxin Type A in the Management of Dynamic Forehead Wrinkles | PubMed

Botox, Botox Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more | Medscape


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