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How Long Does It Take Botox To Work?

If you have looked in the mirror recently and wondered who it was looking back at you, it may be time for a little self-care. After all, our face is one of the first things people notice about us.

One of the most popular cosmetic treatments available today is Botox Cosmetic. This safe, FDA-approved, injectable can relax your facial muscles and eliminate frown lines, crows feet, and other wrinkles creating a smoother, younger-looking, well-rested appearance.

If you are wondering how long after Botox you will see results, this article should provide some insight into when you can expect your Botox to kick in.

How Fast Does Botox Work?

The results of Botox are not immediate and the time it takes to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles is different for each patient. Looking at how the injection interacts with the facial muscles may answer the question we hear frequently “Why does Botox take time to work?

Factors that can influence how long it will take to see results after Botox injections include:

  • The patient’s unique genetic makeup. Patient metabolic rates are not all the same so the time it takes for their bodies to process the Botox and utilize it will vary.
  • The strength of facial muscles. Patients who have stronger facial muscles normally require more units of Botox to effectively stop the muscle movement and it also may require more time to take effect. Men normally require more units than women.
  • The area of the face that is treated. Facial muscles differ by their location and each will process the Botox at a different rate.
  • The number of Botox units that are administered. The general rule is the more units used in a location, the faster the results of Botox will kick in.
  • The frequency of Botox injections. Someone receiving their first Botox treatment will experience a slower delivery of results than someone who has been using Botox and is in the maintenance phase.

How Does Botox Stop Wrinkles?

Botox injections are made from a naturally occurring toxin that in effect, paralyzes the muscles in the face that contract while performing repetitive movements.

When injected into a muscle, Botox keeps the muscle from contracting and as a result, the overlying skin does not form wrinkles. The injection is absorbed by the targeted nerve endings and binds with them, preventing them from releasing the chemicals that send messages to the muscle prompting it to contract.

The Botox usually bonds with the nerve endings quickly but it takes time for it to work its magic and deactivate the nerves to prevent them from doing their job – sending the signals to the muscle. This is a gradual process and explains why the results of Botox injections are not immediate and can even take up to a few weeks to manifest.

What Does Botox Feel Like When It Starts To Work?

Some patients feel a temporary tightness or heaviness for about a week (usually in the forehead area) after their first treatment but usually, the process works covertly.

You know the Botox is working when you do not see lines and wrinkles in response to the “test faces” you make in the mirror. Your face will look smoother and more relaxed.

The amount of time Botox injections will take to work may be different for each area of the face where it has been used. It will also vary by individual so there is not any “official” timeline for Botox results. Once a patient begins to receive Botox injections they should be able to gauge their personal timeline and schedule maintenance treatments accordingly.

The following chart reflects a general guide for how long it takes Botox to work.

Botox Results Timeline

Day of Treatment

Immediately after the Botox injection patients may experience some redness and swelling at the injection sites but this normally dissipates within 10-15 minutes. A small sampling of patients report getting a mild headache but most experience no pain or side effects.

Patients are provided post-injection directions To help the absorption of the Botox, make frowny faces on and off for about an hour. Do not lie down for 4 hours, do not rub the injection sites, etc.

Day After Treatment

Some patients have some tiny minor bruising and arnica cream is recommended for this. Most patients show no visible signs that they had Botox injections. Do not worry about why the Botox has not worked because the injection takes time to be absorbed by the nerve endings and results will not show up until the Botox has time to kick in.

3-4 Days After Treatment

Many patients can see marked results after 3 or 4 days in areas such as their crow’s feet and fine forehead lines but final results are still pending as the Botox is still working on some of the more stubborn nerve endings.

2 Weeks After Treatment

Patients should see a significant difference by the two-week mark as the effect of the Botox should be at its peak. Normally, patients visit their cosmetic surgeon for a follow-up to check results and make any adjustments.

If for some reason the Botox did not work, the site may require more units to be effective. The cosmetic surgeon will get to know how many units in each location are needed for optimal results for each unique patient.

3 Months After Treatment

Patients may begin noticing the return of forehead lines and wrinkles around the eyes as the effects of the Botox slowly wear off. Each patient will metabolize the Botox at different rates so some may need maintenance injections at 3 months while others can stretch to 5 months.

Maintaining The Results Of Botox

Beginning Botox treatments before deep lines and wrinkles form can prevent many signs of visible aging on the face.

Continuing a schedule of Botox treatments will help keep deep lines and wrinkles from forming on your face by preventing the repetitive motions that create them.

Botox can deliver remarkable results in a very short amount of time and can give patients a boost of confidence. If you are interested in learning more about Botox and how it can help you turn back the clock, contact SurgiCare Arts today to set up a consultation.

Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer Botox® cosmetic injections in their offices located in Buckhead (Atlanta), Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Duluth, and the surrounding areas of Georgia as well as Hudson and Tampa areas of Florida.

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