Main image courtesy of Keystone Cosmetic Surgery Center.

Although we might not like it, wrinkles and facial lines are a fact of life. As we age, our skin becomes less firm, resulting in wrinkles and even sagging skin. While we can’t stop the aging process, there are procedures that can help us at least slow it down a little.

Botox injections are one of the most popular ways to smooth out facial wrinkles and hold on to youthful looking skin. But what exactly are they, and how long can you expect them to last? These are important questions, and in this post, we’re going to answer the questions:

  • What is botox?
  • What happens during a botox procedure? 
  • How long can you expect your botox injections to last?

What is Botox?

What are botox injections and why might you want to try them out?

woman and botox injection sites

Botox injections are an easy way to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Image courtesy of Beauti Science Med Spa.

While you may have heard of botox, chances are you’re not exactly sure what it is. Botox injections consist of the neurotoxin Clostridium botulinum, and are typically applied to specific areas of the face to smooth out wrinkles. Although the name botox is usually given to an injection like this, there are actually three other similar injections approved by the FDA to treat facial wrinkles, including: 

  • Xeomin
  • Dysport
  • Jeuveu

All of these injections are used by people to help smooth out the skin of the face in a similar way. In order to get smoother, younger looking skin, these kinds of injections prevent the muscle it is injected to from contracting. Because the specific muscle can no longer contract, there is less pull on the skin, and less wrinkles. So for example, if you’re concerned about lines developing around your lips (known as smile lines) and you get an injection of botox, the muscle will no longer be able to contract, giving the appearance of a less defined wrinkle.

Botox is very successful for many people, however, this depends on the stage of your wrinkles. If your wrinkles are still in the dynamic stage, they will typically only appear when you move the muscles on your face to make an expression, such as smiling. However, as we age, those dynamic wrinkles start to become static wrinkles that appear even when our facial muscles are resting. 

Many people decide to start botox injections when they notice their wrinkles are moving toward the static stage, and apparent when their face is at rest. 

What Happens During a Botox Procedure?

What can you expect from your botox appointment?

woman getting a botox injection

A botox appointment can be done in your provider’s office in under an hour. Image courtesy of Dubai Health News.

If getting rid of wrinkles and enjoying smoother skin sounds like something you’re interested in, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with a botox provider (like Dr. Elizabeth Wakim). At your initial meeting, you’ll discuss your goals, and what wrinkles you’d like to see lessened. If the specialist believes that botox can help you, that’s great news!  

When it’s time for your injections, typically your face will be cleansed, and it may even be marked with erasable marker where the injections are to take place. 

Your provider might also apply a numbing cream where the injections will go to help alleviate any discomfort you might experience. Then, depending on your needs, they will administer the botox injections to your desired locations. Then you can be on your way! The entire procedure does not take very long at all.

Afterwards you may experience some bumps at the sites of the injections, but they will disappear. Some patients may also experience mild bruising, but this will also disappear within 24-48 hours.

After your injections, your provider will typically give you a list of activities to avoid in order to allow time for the botox to get to work. You’ll want to:

  • Avoid exercise or other strenuous activities
  • Remain in an upright position
  • Apply external pressure to treated areas
  • Ice any bruising

Although the procedure is quick, the results of botox treatment are not immediate. You may start to notice results in as little as 3-5 days, but you should expect to wait around 7-10 days for full results. It takes time for the botox to block the nerve impulses to the muscle in order to prevent it from contracting.

How Long Can You Expect Botox to Last?

What is the timeline for how long botox will last?

before and after botox injections

Results can vary when it comes to how long botox will last. Image courtesy of Dermaworld Skin Clinic.

After you have given your botox at least 7-10 days to settle and prevent the muscles from contracting, you may be wondering how long you can expect it to last? Because everyone is different, the amount of time your botox lasts can vary from someone else. Typically, botox treatment is expected to last from three to six months. This is a large range of time, as some people experience their results for a longer amount of time, while others need touch ups sooner.

There are many factors that can influence how long your botox treatment lasts, including:

  • Your age
  • Gender
  • Muscle mass
  • Volume and dilution of the botox
  • The injection technique

You may find that your first botox injection lasts for a shorter amount of time than subsequent ones, and people who get botox regularly may experience longer lasting results because their muscles are shrinking. 

Typically you will need to be retreated with botox every three to six months, depending on how long it takes for your wrinkles to reappear. If you want to make your botox injections last longer, consider:

  • Following your provider’s advice post-procedure
  • Limiting your sun exposure
  • Wear sunscreen daily
  • Use hats and sunglasses while outside
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit smoking
  • Find a good skincare routine

The amount of time botox lasts varies from person to person, but you can expect anywhere from three to six months. If the time is right for a botox injection, consider contacting the offices of Dr. Elizabeth Wakim!