Many patients who are just getting started with Botox treatments often ask “How many units of botox do I need?” There is no universal answer to this question as everyone is different. However, this article will provide you with a quick overview of Botox, how it might benefit you, and also give you a baseline for the number of units that may be needed for optimal results.
What Is Botox Used For?
Botox is approved by the FDA and is used for medical and cosmetic purposes. It is created using a natural bacterium called botulinum toxin which is known to be a severely poisonous substance, however, it has been proven safe for use in tiny amounts.
It is administered to patients in the form of an injection that targets a specific muscle and temporarily paralyzes it. Botox is measured in “units” and most often packaged in 100 unit vials.
When used on facial muscles, this paralysis effectively reduces the visible aging signs of lines and wrinkles presenting a younger-looking appearance.
When Botox is used for medical purposes, it can temporarily paralyze muscles that are creating medical issues such as spasms of the eyelid or bladder issues that are interfering with the patient’s quality of life.
Botox For Medical Purposes
Botox injections are used to treat medical conditions such as
- Eyelid spasms;
- Chronic neck and shoulder spasms;
- Crossed eyes;
- Overactive bladder;
- Excessive sweating;
- Migraine headaches;
- Jaw clenching.
Botox For Cosmetic Purposes
Botox was originally approved by the FDA to treat certain medical conditions of the eye. Although the injections carry the same substance, when approved by the FDA to treat lines and wrinkles between the eyes and on the face, it was given the distinction of Botox Cosmetic.
Botox Cosmetic can be used to treat:
- Frown lines between the eyes;
- Crow feet – lines on the outer corner of eyes;
- Forehead lines;
- Chin – pebble chin;
- Bunny lines – lines around the nose;
- Mouth corners;
- Neck lines.
How Many Units Of Botox Are Usually Needed For The Forehead?
The number of Botox units required for the forehead, or other facial areas, will vary by patient. Each patient will be evaluated individually considering specifics such as the areas of treatment, the patient’s gender, facial muscle strength, etc. A customized plan will then be developed to achieve their desired results.
Generally, men have stronger facial muscles and require more units of Botox to obtain the same result that fewer units will produce on a woman.
The most precise way to determine how many units of Botox you need to achieve your desired aesthetic would be to consult with a licensed medical professional who has extensive knowledge and training in administering Botox injections.
This chart can be used as a guide to give you an idea of how many units may be needed to address your areas of concern.
Amount of Botox per Area Chart
|Areas Addressed With Botox||Number of Botox Units Needed|
|Crow feet||6-12 per eye|
|Bunny lines||5-10 on each side|
|Mouth corners||3-6 on each side|
|Eyebrow lift||2-5 on each side|
How Many Units Of Botox Is Normal?
We often get questions from patients wanting to know things like “How far does 20 units of Botox go?” or “Is 20 units of Botox too much for the forehead?”. Again, the answers to these questions are highly patient-specific and based on factors such as:
Goal for desired results – the number of Botox units you require may depend on the final results you are looking for from your treatment. Is your goal to eliminate all appearance of wrinkles from your face or just the majority of them and still have some muscle movement? There can be a fine line between looking younger and looking frozen.
Muscle strength – if you have strong muscles in your face, you may require more units to alleviate forehead wrinkles than someone with weaker facial muscles. Gender plays a part in how many units are required to obtain the desired results because males tend to have stronger facial muscles than females and often require a higher number of Botox units.
Metabolism – the effects of Botox are only temporary because, over time, your body naturally metabolizes and processes substances. If your metabolism tends to run faster than average the effects of Botox may wear off before someone who has a slower metabolism. Maintaining your desired results will require Botox treatments more frequently.
Gender can influence this area in the same way it does with muscle strength. Men tend to have higher metabolism rates than women so they often not only require a higher number of Botox units but require more frequent maintenance as well.
Budget – when used for cosmetic purposes, Botox is not normally covered by health insurance and is a self-pay procedure. This can factor into how many units you choose to get at one time. It is recommended that you treat at least one full area during a visit and not just use a lesser amount in several areas.
For example, If your budget only allows for 20 units of Botox then using these on each side of your eyes should adequately treat crow’s feet and produce pleasing results.
Most cosmetic surgery practices, such as SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics run Botox specials periodically so make sure to keep an eye out for those. Also, most cosmetic surgeons offer several different financing options to approved patients that can help you obtain optimal results from your Botox treatments.
How Do You Know How Much Botox You Need?
The short answer to this is that you don’t! But your experienced, Botox specialty-trained cosmetic surgeon, dermatologist, or medical professional will know. When it comes to Botox, most medical professionals stay true to the old adage “Less Is More”.
When you first begin using Botox, your medical professional will just be getting to know you and all the factors that play a role in how many units you will need. Normally they will do initial injections using a conservative number of units and observe your progress after about two weeks when the peak results of Botox will be visible. If needed, they will add additional units of Botox.
After they have worked with you for a few rounds of injections, they will know what schedule works best and how many units of Botox to use to give you the results you want.
How Often Will I Need Botox Injections For My Face?
Most patients will require Botox maintenance injections every three to six months. Sometimes, when first starting Botox injections, it may be necessary to increase the frequency of maintenance. In some cases, after using Botox for a while, the facial muscles will “train themselves” slightly and require fewer units that may last a longer duration of time.
How Much Should 20 Units Of Botox Cost?
The price of Botox varies by practice and geographical location and can range anywhere from $10 to $18 per unit. Many cosmetic practices will offer Botox specials when you purchase several units in advance or receive another service. Using an average cost of $14 per unit, you can expect to pay about $ 280 for 20 units of Botox.
SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics offers Botox injections for men and women in their offices located conveniently in Metro Atlanta Buckhead, Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, and Duluth.
Dr. Angelina Postoev, MD, FAC, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon is an expert with Botox as well as dermal fillers. In as little as 15 minutes, Botox can help significantly reduce the signs of aging on your face and you will not believe the difference! Contact us today!