How Long Do the Effects of Botox Last?
Onobotulinumtoxin a, a neurotoxin derived from clostridium botulinum, is marketed as Botox. There are currently four types of cosmetic facial wrinkle fillers that are FDA-approved. Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, and now jeuveau are among them.
They all work by preventing the targeted muscle from contracting by blocking a signal from the nerve to it. By preventing the contraction of these specific muscles, there is less action or pull on the skin, resulting in less wrinkle formation. While all of these products achieve the same goal, they differ slightly in terms of onset, duration of action, and discomfort.
When to use each product is determined by a number of factors. It is sometimes the surgeon’s or injector’s preference. In other cases, a patient may have tried several products and discovered that one works better for them than the others. In either case, in the right hands, all of these products are safe and effective.
What to anticipate during your procedure?
Finally, the important question. Often, at the time of your injection, your injector will discuss your goals with you and, after an examination, will be able to determine whether those goals can be met with the use of neurotoxin. It’s your lucky day if it can!
Your face will be cleansed, and the injection sites may be marked with a removable eyeliner/marker. To alleviate any discomfort, you may be given numbing cream or ice packs. When you are ready, injections will be administered in various areas to target the desired muscles.
You may experience a few small bumps in the skin at the injection site, but these will disappear by the time you leave the office. You may also experience mild bruising, which will go away in 24-48 hours. Finally, you will be told what to do and what not to do in the next 24 hours. This varies from injector to injector.
Neurotoxins typically take effect in 3-5 days, but you may not see your full and final results for 7-10 days. Personally, I always advise my patients to wait at least two weeks after their Botox injection before returning for a touch-up. It takes this long because the toxin needs time to block off those nerve impulses to the muscles. It does not happen right away.
Don’t we all wish Botox could last forever? Regrettably, it does not. The neurotoxin’s action will eventually wear off, and the nerves will be able to send signals to the muscles, allowing them to resume working or contracting. Botox is typically effective for 3-4 months.
There will undoubtedly be patients whose symptoms last longer, in the 4-6 month range, or whose symptoms last shorter, in the 2-month range. It’s also common for first-timers to notice that it doesn’t last as long at first, but it lasts long after the second treatment. Everyone has a unique experience, and the outcomes may differ.
This should answer any questions you have about Botox or other neurotoxins. If you have any additional questions, contact your local board-certified plastic surgeon or use the asps ask a surgeon tool.
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