Botox can be a real game-changer when it comes to taking charge of the aging process.
Instead of growing more and more uncomfortable with your appearance, using minimally invasive cosmetic procedures can give you just a little bit of your power back.
While we all age, the speed at which we allow that to happen is a little bit more negotiable. However, not every Botox procedure is the same.
When you schedule an appointment, having a little bit of background knowledge about things like “how many units of Botox for forehead use” and “when can I expect to see results?” can help you navigate your appointment with ease.
Let the pros at Skin Pharm give you the answers to those questions and more.
What is Botox and how does it work?
We’re willing to bet that you’ve heard about Botox before, but do you know what exactly it is and how it works?
Botox is one of the most hyped-up cosmetic procedures out there, but it also lives up to that hype. Statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that roughly 4.5 million Botulinum Toxin Type A injections were done in 2020.
While that includes other injections than Botox, like Dysport and Xeomin, that is a pretty amazing number!
Compared to just over 900,000 chemical peels and 800,000 IPL laser treatments, it's easy to see why we have so much information about how successful Botox can be.
While there are plenty of off-label uses for Botox, it was mainly approved to help reduce the appearance and visibility of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Specifically, the FDA has officially approved it for use on the forehead, the lines between the eyes (sometimes referred to as “11s”) and crow’s feet.
It is injected into the underlying muscle using small needles. Once the Botox (or Botulinum Toxin) can get into the muscle, it works to slow and “paralyze” the region.
A common misconception is that Botox gets rid of your wrinkles. However, Botox relaxes the muscle underneath those muscles, allowing the skin to relax. This reduces the visibility and depth of the fine lines and wrinkles but does not actually “get rid” of them.
Where are the most commonly injected areas – and how much Botox is generally needed?
As Botox is sold by the “unit” instead of by the syringe or area, having at least some idea of how much may be needed to treat your specific concerns can also help you estimate cost. This is only an average, and your specific treatment needs will be determined by consultation with one of our advanced practice providers.
Let’s start with the under-eye area. While this is not an officially FDA-approved area for treatment, it is one of the most common off-label uses. The goal, just like with all Botox injections, is to relax the underlying muscles and reduce the visibility of the fine lines and wrinkles in the area.
Usually, only one to two units of Botox are needed because it is a relatively small and sensitive area. Fillers also tend to be more beneficial in this area too.
The lips are one of the most interesting and unique areas that Botox is given in, due to the diversity in how it can be injected and what it can do for you.
One of those techniques is known as a lip flip. When Botox is injected into a muscle called the orbicularis oris, which encircles the mouth, it naturally relaxes it and allows the lip to flip outward.
The end result is a more pronounced and defined lip and an enhanced cupid’s bow without needing a filler. However, this can also be combined with filler, if you want that extra volume.
One other interesting application of Botox in the lip and mouth area is helping to minimize the appearance of a “gummy” smile. When Botox is injected into the lip, it relaxes the area, which helps to reduce the amount of gum that is noticeable when you smile.
When it comes to the forehead, because it is FDA approved for use in the area, there is also a maximum amount of units that medical providers are allowed to do. Horizontal forehead lines are allowed up to 30 units, and up to 40 units can be used for the “11s.”
The reason that these seem relatively high is that there are five different areas on the forehead to spread them between. Two of them can be found beneath the hairline on the forehead, two are over the temples and an additional injection point is right in the center of the forehead. Normally, 4 units are given in each.
SMILE LINES + MARIONETTE LINES
The lines around the outside corners of your mouth can not only make you look older, but also make you look perpetually unhappy. It usually takes between 2 - 6 units to take care of the area. This is another area that can also pair well with fillers, which can help plump up the area while Botox smooths it out.
When Botox is injected into the masseter muscle, which is along the jawline, the results provide a slimmer, more defined look. This is especially helpful for people with a tendency to grind their teeth or clench their jaw.
When combined with fillers, you can shape the jawline definition you’ve always wanted. As an added side effect, people often say they have less frequent headaches and jaw pain!
While this isn’t how migraines are typically treated using Botox, you must admit that it is a great added benefit. Expect between two to six units total.
When will results be visible and how long do they last?
After you’ve gotten your Botox injections and found out roughly how many units of Botox for forehead wrinkles that you personally need, the next question most people ask is when they’ll start to see results and how long those results may last.
For most people, visible results start within one to three days after your injections are complete. Botox starts to come on slowly but steadily after that, with peak results between one to four weeks in. Those results will usually last for around three to four months before needing to be “refreshed,” meaning you’ll likely need to follow up with injections to maintain.
However, if you decide not to continue with Botox injections, you’ll notice that your results start to gradually wear off, returning your face to how it looked before having them done.
Your first Botox injections may wear off before that, though, as your body gets used to the effects. You’ll learn over time how your body reacts so that you can schedule your follow-up appointments appropriately.
Are there any side effects associated with Botox injections?
Just like with any cosmetic procedure, there are side effects that can be associated with Botox injections. The risk of most of these side effects can be minimized significantly when you make sure that you get your injections from a licensed, trained and experienced provider.
If you don’t, you will run the risk of having the Botox incorrectly placed. This is the most common explanation why people experience eye drooping, so it’s well worth the money to have such procedures done professionally.
There are also side effects that can be associated with having too much Botox injected. The smaller the amount of Botox injected – while still getting results, of course – the less likely you are to develop side effects.
Common Botox-related side effects include:
Redness, bruising and tenderness at the injection sites
Excessive tearing from the eyes
Mild flu-like symptoms
There are also rare side effects, such as having trouble breathing, significant muscle weakness, loss of speech or vision and trouble with swallowing. These are more likely due to an allergy to Botox than poor injection technique, but you should always call your doctor right away if you develop any of them.
To wrap things up...
Knowing how many units of Botox for forehead wrinkles versus how many you’ll need for lip-related wrinkles can help you better estimate the cost of having this cosmetic procedure done.
When you have your Botox done with the advanced practice providers at Skin Pharm, we’re happy to go over the entire procedure with you.
We’ll discuss your goals and go over what the treatment plan will look like. We believe that you deserve to have all of the information available to help you gain confidence in your decision and let us help you reach your skin goals.