Botox Maintenance: How Often Should You Get Botox?

Botox Maintenance: How Often Should You Get Botox?

We love using Botox and Dysport to erase dynamic fine lines and wrinkles caused by repeated facial movement.

These movements can range from laughing and smiling to frowning and glaring. But did you know that Botox injections can do more than reduce the appearance of wrinkles? Whether your curious about Botox or wondering when to schedule your next appointment, we've got answers to all your questions! 

We want to help you look and feel your best, and Botox is one of the many ways we help you achieve that. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about Botox maintenance and how often you should get it.

I’m intrigued. What does Botox do?

You probably know that Botox is not only a method to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles but also a preventative treatment that keeps new wrinkles from forming.

Using Botox is one of the best tools to combat visible signs of aging.

Botox injections use a safe form of botulinum toxin, which “paralyzes” the nerves at the injection site. With less movement possible in the affected muscles, the skin above them looks smoother and reduces the visibility of aging.

It’s also important to note that Botox doesn’t completely erase wrinkles!

Any wrinkles on the skin may still be present afterward, just less noticeable. To truly get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, you’d need to use a targeted filler (like Juvederm). However, Botox isn’t the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States for no reason.

Botox has earned its spot because of the difference it makes.

When can I start getting Botox injections?

With more people starting Botox at a younger age, experienced users have claimed that you may need less Botox (and in smaller doses) in the long run.

Because Botox is such a popular cosmetic procedure, people want to start their injections at an earlier age. While most providers agree that there is no downside to starting Botox “too early,” it may be a waste of money if you don’t need the procedure.

So how do you know when it’s time to start? Your skin won’t need Botox until it begins to lose elasticity. Everyone may start noticing this at different times because it’s influenced by multiple factors, like genetics, your skin care routine (or lack of one) and chronic sun exposure.

You may see fine lines start to form – most commonly in areas that move a lot – such as around the eyes, the forehead and the mouth. You may also notice your skin feeling or looking a little thinner.

We recommend scheduling a skin care consultation with one of our providers to start. We’ll listen to your goals, assess your skin and develop a game plan to help your skin look and feel its best. We’ll also recommend skin care products based on your unique skin concerns and goals and book your next appointment (whether for Botox or one of our other treatments).

How long does Botox last?

There isn’t a magic number of days you can expect Botox to last, as this can vary from person to person. Studies have shown that the effects of Botox last about 120 days – approximately four months – but you may start to see results within the first few weeks.

The length of time that Botox lasts also depends on which muscles we're injecting and how many units they’re getting. After all, the face has 43 different muscles that control specific facial movements. (Each of those muscles needs a unique dosage of Botox to be effective.)

For example, crow’s feet form from repeated movement of the muscles around the eyes (specifically the orbicularis oculi). These are thinner muscles and only require around eight to 14 units of Botox.

The muscles that control the area between the eyes, forming the “11’s” or frown lines (the glabella), are much thicker and may need up to 36 units to work appropriately. Although they may require more Botox, those thicker muscles tend to wear off more quickly.

In addition, those who are athletic and exercise more frequently may need Botox more regularly to maintain their results. These movements increase blood flow to the muscles all over the body, including the face, which may speed up how quickly Botox is processed and pushed out.

At the very least, avoid exercising for 24 hours after your injections to give the Botox time to “set up” in your muscles.

What happens when Botox wears off?

Already had your first round of Botox injections and curious about what to expect as it wears off? Want to try a different treatment when your most recent round of Botox wears off? 

Botox paralyzes the nerves that control the muscles in the face. However, after some time has passed, those nerves start to form brand new nerve endings.

As those unaffected nerve endings reattach themselves to your facial muscles, they slowly begin to contract again. These contractions trigger movement, which causes wrinkles on your skin to reappear.

How soon is too soon for another round of Botox?

When people ask how often they need to get Botox, they’re usually concerned about the effects wearing off before their next appointment. But there is such a thing as too much Botox — when done too often, it can cause the facial muscles to weaken. It’s best to follow the plan that your provider develops for you.

Okay, so how often should I get Botox?

The best decision about the frequency of your Botox injections starts with your consultation. It often takes a few rounds of Botox to truly see how your skin will respond to treatment. However, most of our patients schedule their Botox injections every three to four months.

Over time, frequent Botox use can weaken the muscles in the face, which means that you can spread your appointments out a little further without worrying about it wearing off. (You may even be able to get up to six months worth of smooth, wrinkle-free skin from a single round of Botox.)

How much downtime should I expect after my Botox injections?

Although the results of getting Botox are impressive, there are a few factors to be aware of when scheduling your appointment. One of those factors includes the downtime required after getting your injections.

While it isn’t lengthy, planning your injections appropriately can help you make the most out of the experience.

Most people who get Botox injections notice minor redness, bleeding and discomfort after their procedure. However, if you have sensitive skin or have something important to do in the day or so afterward, you may want to schedule it on a Friday afternoon, so you have the entire weekend to heal.

Keep in mind that you may experience your most optimal results within four weeks. If you’re trying to look your best for a big occasion, like a wedding or a birthday party, you’ll want to schedule your appointment at least a week or two ahead.

There are also a few tips and tricks to consider when planning the evening after your appointment. For example, we ask that you not lie down for at least four hours.

Although rare, laying down for too long can lead to a risk of bruising or even Botox spreading into unintended areas of your face. Botox is an investment, and we want you to get your money's worth! Set your timer once you leave, then feel free to take a nap after it goes off.

You may also want to avoid wearing makeup for about 24-48 hours after your injections. Wearing makeup involves rubbing the skin, which can potentially cause the Botox to spread into the wrong areas.

And finally, although it’s incredibly tempting, try to avoid drinking alcohol for a day or two. Even one drink can thin your blood, which can make bruising more prominent and visible. Follow these tips and our treatment FAQs after your injections so that you can enjoy the best possible results!

Are there other uses for Botox?

Botox isn’t just for wrinkles, though! In addition to using Botox to help smooth the skin and reduce the visibility of wrinkles, our providers use Botox to treat different skin concerns.

LIP FLIP

A cool little Botox trick can get you there if you’re interested in getting a fuller lip without lip filler. Instead of injecting the lip with a filler to plump it up, a small amount of Botox is injected into the muscles around the mouth (known as the orbicularis oris).

The results are a subtle but noticeable relaxation of the upper lip and an enhanced cupid’s bow (that little v-shaped divot in the middle of your top lip). Essentially, this “flips” the upper lip up and out, giving your whole mouth area a fuller look.

FIXING A GUMMY SMILE

Lip flips aren’t the only procedures that can benefit the mouth area. If you’re self-conscious about how “gummy” your smile is, Botox may be able to help that too.

Botox is a less expensive and far less painful alternative to lengthy orthodontic treatment or surgery. When injected into the upper lip, it relaxes this area to reduce the visibility of the gumline. Botox can be used with fillers for even more impressive results!

IMPROVING THE JAWLINE

While targeted injectables like Kybella are incredibly effective here, Botox can also be injected into the jawline (the masseter muscles) to help slim and define it. It’s also beneficial for those who tend to clench their jaws when they’re stressed, as it can help relax those tight, uncomfortable muscles and even potentially relieve jaw discomfort.

To sum things up...

How often you’ll get Botox injections isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. After a few treatments, you’ll have a much better idea of exactly how long Botox lasts for you.

With that information, you can work with our Skin Pharm providers to schedule your appointments accordingly. That way, you can keep up with your results without worrying about the wrinkles returning before you’re ready.

SOURCES:

Plastic Surgery Statistics | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Too Soon for Botox? | University of Utah Health

Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect | PubMed

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