One of the most popular cosmetic treatments available today for both men and women is Botox injections. There are several good reasons for its popularity among those fighting the natural signs of aging. To get great results from Botox and stay safe, make sure to read and understand the Botox aftercare instructions provided by your master injector as well as do your online research on what not to do after Botox injections.
What Is Botox?
Botox is made from a toxin that is produced by bacteria that in high doses can be poisonous but the lower doses used in anti-aging treatments pose no threat.
As we age, the repetitive movements we make form wrinkles but when injected it blocks the nerves in that targeted area and causes the muscles to relax. Botox stops the muscle from moving which reduces the appearance of the wrinkles that appear when we smile or frown. One of the lesser-known benefits of Botox is that it can prevent wrinkles from forming in the first place if treatments are started early enough.
Botox injections only take minutes to administer and are done with a tiny needle in the doctor’s office. The results of Botox injections normally manifest about three days to a week after the treatment and the effects last between 3-6 months.
Botox injections have many benefits including:
- Quick in-office procedure;
- Requires no downtime;
- Reduces facial wrinkles; the most visible sign of aging;
- Prevents wrinkles and fine lines from forming (like crows feet);
- Can make you look years younger.
Why Botox Aftercare Is Important
Botox injections carry very little risk of side effects but there are some precautions patients can take both before and after the injections that will ensure optimal results. Steps can be taken both before and after having Botox injections to minimize swelling and bruising and to ensure the Botox works only on the muscles targeted.
Avoid These Before Botox To Get The Best Results
There are not any specific pretreatment requirements before having Botox injections but to avoid excessive bleeding or bruising it is recommended that patients:
- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before and after having Botox injections as it has been associated with an increased risk of bruising. Another side effect of alcohol
consumption is dehydration which can impede recovery.
- Avoid taking pain medications that can thin your blood for at least 24 hours before and after having Botox injections. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and other similar NSAID over-the-counter medications can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising. If you are on a prescription blood thinner, consult with your cosmetic surgeon for specific instructions.
- Avoid herbal supplements that have blood-thinning properties such as vitamin E, garlic, turmeric, etc for at least 48 hours before and after having Botox injections.
What NOT To Do After Botox Injections
Botox injections can significantly reduce facial lines and wrinkles and can make you look years younger! Many patients ask “What should you not do before and after Botox?” or “What are the rules after Botox?” Knowing the answer to these questions can make a big difference in your Botox injection experience and final results.
To get the most out of your injections, there are some dos and don’ts after Botox that you should be aware of and follow. What not to do for the first 24 hours after Botox injections are the most critical so we are going to go over them first.
- Do NOT lie down immediately after having Botox injections.
- To get the best results from your Botox treatment, you should not lie down for 4 to 6 hours after your injections. To mitigate bruising and to allow time for the Botox to be fully absorbed in the correct area it is recommended that you remain in the most upright position possible during the first several hours.
- Typically, no long-term damage will be done but the migration of Botox can increase the risk of complications and it will reduce how effectively the Botox injection works for reducing fine lines and wrinkles and providing the desired results.
- Do NOT rub or put any pressure on the injection areas for 24-48 hours.
- Avoid facials, massages, microdermabrasion, or any other facial treatments for two weeks after having Botox injections.
- Rubbing, massaging, or putting pressure on recent Botox injection sites increases all the risks listed above in the “do not lie down” section. Although Botox will not migrate too far from the initial injection site, rubbing or pressing on that location during the first 24 hours can increase migration risks.
- Do NOT wear anything tight on your head after having Botox injections in your forehead (like a headband or hat).
- Do NOT expose your newly treated skin to the sun or excess heat (saunas, etc.).
- Do NOT engage in strenuous exercise or physical activity for at least 24 hours.
What To Do For Best Results After Botox
Here is a handy list of things to do after having Botox injections that provide optimal results:
- Make frowny faces that cause your wrinkles to show for about 30 minutes on and off after your procedure. This will help the Botox absorb into the targeted muscle groups and can speed up the “final results” timeline by a day.
- Sleep in an elevated position the first night after receiving Botox injections
- Gently apply ice or cold compresses to injection sites to help mitigate swelling and bruising (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, etc.).
- Drink plenty of water to help mitigate swelling and promote healthy skin
- Topically applying Arnica gel about every 4 hours can help minimize bruising and swelling after your Botox injections.
- Use Tylenol for any discomfort and avoid over-the-counter medications that thin the blood and can promote bruising.
What Is The Best Way To Wash Your Face After Botox?
During The first 24-48 hours after having Botox injections, great care should be taken not to cause excessive swelling, bruising, or the migration of the Botox product.
Keeping this in mind, you can gently wash your face but do not exert too much pressure on the injection sites. Make sure the water is at a mild temperature, not too hot or cold, and using a very mild cleanser and a soft cloth gently go over your face with the lightest touch possible. Then rinse in the same manner and pat lightly to dry. Follow with a light moisturizer but one without Retin A for the first 24 hours.
Does Exercise Make Botox Wear Off Faster?
There is a bit of confusion surrounding the topic of physical exercise after Botox injections and how it may affect the results or how long the results will last.
The first 24 to 48 hours after getting Botox injections are critical in determining how well the Botox will work and the side effects the patient may experience. The most common side effects include bruising and swelling at or around the injection sites. More severe but rare complications can arise if the Botox migrates to another portion of the face.
To mitigate any of these risks, patients are given instructions to limit certain physical activity for the first day or two which includes working out, yoga, and any sort of physical exercise that is strenuous. Becoming overheated, sweating, sudden movements, and having the injections sites non-elevated, can increase post-Botox injection risks.
Usually, Botox will settle where it is intended within 24 to 48 hours but if you can wait for a week before returning to a strenuous exercise schedule this will allow optional results from your injections.
No evidence suggests that the longevity of Botox is impacted by exercise or wears off faster in individuals who engage in regular exercise. Different patients metabolize Botox at different rates but the results of Botox injections normally last for 3 to 6 months.
Where Can I Learn More About Botox?
If you are considering Botox injections to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, contact SurgiCare Arts today for a consultation! Botox is a quick procedure that can help you look and feel years younger!
Dr. Angelina Posteov MD, FACS, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer Botox® injections for women and men in several Atlanta, Georgia locations including Buckhead, Lawrenceville, Suwanee, and Johns Creek. To learn more about what Botox® injections can do for you, contact us to schedule a consultation.