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If you’re wondering if is Botox permanent, know that this FDA-approved substance can be used to treat both health issues and cosmetic concerns, lasting anywhere from 3-6 months depending on the patient. Botox is the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA which is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum. You may also hear it referred to by different brand names such as Dysport, Xeomin, and Juneau. It works by blocking signals from the nerve to the targeted muscle, preventing a contraction from occurring.
We’re proud to be a leading Botox clinic in Minneapolis and we’re happy to answer any questions that you may have about this common treatment.
What to Expect During Your Botox Procedure
How to prepare for Botox isn’t as complicated as you may think. If this is your first time getting Botox or you simply want to learn more about the process, rest assured that we’re here to help. During your appointment or consultation, your injector will talk through your goals and examine how your facial muscles move. This helps your injector determine whether your goals can be achieved through the use of a neurotoxin.
Once you are both aligned, your injector will clean your face and possibly use a removable marker to note where to inject the Botox. In some cases, numbing cream or ice packs are used to avoid discomfort. When you’re ready, your provider will inject Botox into the desired areas.
How long does a Botox injection take to kick in? Generally speaking, neurotoxins will begin to set in roughly 3-5 days after your appointment, but it can take up to two weeks to see the final results. If you still notice movement in the targeted areas after waiting two weeks, contact your provider to schedule a touch-up. Depending on how many units you received, you might still be able to move your muscles a bit.
Another consideration to keep in mind is how long a Botox injection lasts. While we all wish Botox lasted forever, unfortunately, it will wear down with time. The neurotoxin’s action will wear off, allowing the nerves to send the same signals to those muscles that allow them to contract. Generally, Botox lasts anywhere from 3-4 months depending on the patient. In some cases, patients see results lasting 4-6 months while others only see results for 2 months. First-time Botox users might need treatments more frequently. Everyone is unique and the result duration varies.
Factors that Impact Your Botox Longevity
Although how your body processes the Botox is out of your control, keep in mind that there are some factors that make Botox wear off faster. Keep the following information in mind to extend the lifespan of your Botox:
- Metabolism: Your body’s metabolic rate will directly impact how long your Botox lasts. In most cases, Botox wears off within 3-4 months following the injections.
- Forehead size: Making Botox last longer also depends on the size and depth of the lines on your forehead. If you have mild forehead lines, they may respond better to forehead lines that are deep and already set in.
- Activity level: We all know the importance of exercise, but excessively working out could lead to additional muscle contractions that could speed up how quickly your Botox wears off.
- Dosage: As you can imagine, the lower the Botox dosage, the shorter it will last. Even though a higher dosage could last longer, keep in mind that you could end up overdoing it and your face could have a frozen appearance.
- Expressions: If you’re aware that you have a particularly expressive face, you can try to limit your expressions such as keeping your eyebrows down to help extend the life of your Botox.
- Stress: If you’re particularly stressed or ill, your Botox results could fade faster.
- Frequency: How often you receive Botox injections could impact its longevity. If you’re willing and able, getting treatments every 2-3 months can help you maintain results for a longer period of time.
- Tolerance: If you have a long history of Botox usage, you can develop a tolerance to it. This is a sign that you should switch to other options such as Dysport or Xeomin.
9 Tips for Prolonging Your Botox Injections
Although there are factors outside of your control, how to make Botox last longer is possible with the right tips.
#1 Avoid Sun Damage
It’s tempting to bask in the sun, especially in an area of the country with brutal winters. Unfortunately, sun damage can lead to premature aging as it breaks down your collagen and damages the skin cells located deep within your dermal layers.
Botox doesn’t treat wrinkles or lines that result from sun damage as it isn’t caused by muscle movements. The sun also triggers an inflammatory response which can break down the efficacy of the product. Always use broad-spectrum sunscreen when you’re outside.
#2 Consider Low-Intensity Workouts
Another tip for making Botox last longer is opting for low-intensity workouts over high-intensity workouts. High-intensity workouts are helpful for boosting your metabolism and building muscle, however, this increase in metabolism could result in a faster metabolization of Botox. This means it breaks down faster than expected.
#3 Reduce Your Stress Levels
Although reducing stress is easier said than done, it can cause you to tense your muscles and cause you to scowl or frown. This puts pressure on the muscles that your Botox has treated, causing it to wear off faster and even cause cellular damage. When you’re stressed, your body also releases cortisol or the stress hormone. Consider meditating, journaling, or participating in other stress-reducing activities.
#4 Moisturize Your Skin
Keeping your skin properly moisturized can extend the life of your Botox; in many high-quality moisturizers, there are ingredients such as collagen and hyaluronic acid that can keep your skin looking plump and glowy. A calming moisturizer is also helpful in extending the lifespan of your Botox.
#5 Don’t Use Nicotine
If you currently smoke, vape, or use nicotine products, know that it can cause the collagen in your skin to break down and cause skin damage. This means the efficacy of your Botox injections will also increase. Using nicotine products can also cause more fine lines to develop around the mouth.
#6 Take a Zinc Supplement
A study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology shows that those who received Botox followed by taking a 50-milligram zinc supplement saw a noteworthy increase in the duration of their Botox. North of 90 percent of participants who received the supplement saw a 30 percent increase in the duration of their initial Botox injections.
#7 Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water throughout the day has plenty of benefits that extend beyond increasing the duration of your Botox results. Making sure that you’re hydrated helps your skin stay hydrated from the inside out. It also helps with digestion, circulation, and normal cell function. Ideally, you’ll drink eight glasses of water daily.
#8 Eat a Healthy Diet
What your diet is like can also impact your skin. Make sure that you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and try to stay away from processed foods. Sugar is also known to lead to frustrating skin problems, so try to keep your consumption to a minimum.
#9 Use Gentle Skin Cleansers
Using a cleanser such as a gentle cream cleanser both in the morning and night can remove unwanted dirt, skin cells, and other toxins that build up on your skin throughout the day. The right cleanser will also hydrate and protect your skin.
Does Repeat Botox Use Affect Duration?
If you opt to get Botox regularly, the effects may last for longer periods of time with each treatment. As this procedure paralyzes the muscles so you can’t use them, it causes the muscle itself to get shorter and smaller. Over time, you might find yourself needing fewer Botox treatments and units to achieve the same desired effects.
How Frequently Can You Get Botox?
If you’re interested in getting Botox on a regular basis, make sure to chat with your healthcare provider to determine how frequently you can get it. To prevent developing resistance to Botox, you should not get it more than once every three months. You may also be able to take additional time between treatments if you continue to receive it regularly, some people even see results for 6 months at a time.
Schedule a Consultation with Metropolitan
Botox is a minimally invasive procedure that can boost your confidence in a subtle way. If you’re interested in learning more or you want to schedule an appointment, you’re in skilled hands with our team at Metropolitan Skin Clinic! To learn more about Botox and find out if this treatment is right for you, just contact us!