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How Long Does it Take for Botox® to Work?

The desire to smooth the wrinkles that make us look older seems almost universal. Its ability to erase lines and wrinkles for a smooth, refreshed appearance has made Botox® one of the world’s most popular aesthetic treatments. This injectable treatment and its close relatives let you look naturally younger and more energized with minimal downtime and results that last for months. Botox® and its relatives differ in several ways, including how fast they start working. 

What is Botox® (Botulinum Toxin)?

Even though it has become a household name, many people do not know exactly what Botox® is or what it treats. This injectable treatment is a lab-created form of botulinum toxin, a compound originally produced by bacteria that causes muscles to relax. It was initially used for medical conditions such as eye muscle spasms, but these uses have expanded to include lines and wrinkles, migraines, and excessive sweating.

Botox Manhattan & NYC

How Does Botox® Work?

Your expert injector will use ice packs or topical numbing to relieve the minor pinch you may feel from the injections you receive. The number will vary depending on the area and your injector’s expertise. When injected, botulinum toxin travels to the nerves that control your facial muscles. There, it attaches to the nerves without harming them and prevents them from sending messages to the targeted muscles. 

Without signals from the nerves, the facial muscles that cause your lines and wrinkles stop contracting. Your skin can relax, letting it become smoother, and without the muscles pulling on the skin, your wrinkles will no longer appear with every facial expression. Botulinum toxin is also the active ingredient in Botox® relatives like Dysport® and Xeomin®

How Long Does it Take for Botox® to Work?

When Botox® is injected, the botulinum toxin takes time to travel to your facial nerves and become active. While this timeline varies, most people will start seeing results after three to five days, with full results developing within about two weeks. Once established, Botox® results can last about four months, with people who have regular treatments seeing results for up to six months. 

Relatives of Botox® use the same botulinum toxin. However, Dysport® has a different accessory protein. These proteins help the toxin reach the nerves where it takes effect. Xeomin®, often known as the “naked” botulinum toxin, does not use an accessory protein. These differences mean that these treatments often take effect more quickly than Botox®. However, each person responds differently, so we will work with you to find the best option for your needs.

Is there Any Downtime After Botox®?

One of the reasons Botox® and its injectable relatives have become so popular is the lack of downtime. These convenient treatments can be squeezed into a lunch break, with the injections often taking less than 15 minutes. You may notice minor redness, swelling, or bruising in the injection area that can last a few days. 

You can return to your usual activities immediately after treatment, although you will be advised to avoid rubbing your face for several hours. You will receive other instructions to ensure your best results. Downtime and aftercare are the same for Dysport® and Xeomin®.

Am I a Good Candidate for Botox®?

With several decades of FDA-approved use in medicine and aesthetics, Botox® has been proven safe for almost anyone. Because it only works where injected, it can be used to target concerns in many different areas, including:

  • Crow’s feet
  • Forehead wrinkles
  • Glabellar lines (vertical lines between the brows)

Good candidates for Botox® are healthy adults who have never had a reaction to a botulinum toxin product before. Candidates vary widely in age, with some people starting at a younger age to prevent wrinkles from starting. 

People with certain medical conditions should not have Botox®, and you should not have treatment if you are pregnant. You should wait to have treatment if you have an active skin condition or infection in the treatment area. 

Do I Need Botox® or Dermal Fillers?

Botox® and its relatives are one injectable option for treating lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers are also injected during a short office visit and used to smooth wrinkles. However, these treatments address different kinds of wrinkles. Many people have both types and may benefit from both types of treatment. 

While Botox® treats wrinkles caused by the motions of your facial muscles, dermal fillers are more useful for wrinkles that occur as a result of skin laxity or that do not go away even when your face is at rest. Your expert injector will assess your needs and discuss which treatment options will help you achieve your goals.

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about Botox®? Schedule your consultation online or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About Our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced and board-certified oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck. 

Dr. Anna Frants is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Her areas of expertise include surgery of the face, neck, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears. 

*Individual results may vary

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