With an estimate of more than 5 million Botox injections being given in the US annually, it’s safe to say that Americans trust Botox and really enjoy the benefits promised! If you’re also considering getting a Botox injection, it’s a great idea to learn a little bit about what you’re getting into first. Let’s go over some of the basics, like how long it takes for the Botox to work, how it works, if it’s safe, and how long does botox last for you.
What Does Botox Do?
As nerve-racking as it sounds, Botox is actually a chemical toxin. Botox is the brand name of Botulinum Type A or Type B, made by a company called Allergan. It’s sold to doctors and plastic surgeons in powder form, and they mix it into a solution for each injection.
The toxin used in Botox injections cuts off the communication between nerves and muscles. When it’s injected around your motion wrinkles – the ones caused by repeated movements throughout the years – it will break the connection and relax the area around the wrinkles. With those facial muscles relaxed, the wrinkles will gradually smooth out and will not form again as long as the Botox lasts.
How Safe is Botox?
Although Botox is technically a toxin, it is regarded as safe when it’s used by a certified, professional doctor. The toxin used can be harmful if it’s injected in the wrong places, but it’s been FDA approved since 2002 for treating frown lines on your face. It has been used with success on other types of wrinkles as well, although it’s only received approval for frown line wrinkles and some limited medical symptom relief for other conditions.
There are risks associated with Botox, but serious side effects are extremely rare. Out of the more than 5.7 million injections that were given in 2012 alone, few cases were reported of any significant side effects.
Just because the risks are low doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks at all. You should always take into consideration what could happen to make a balanced decision. Your risks will lower significantly if you go to get your Botox injection from a professional doctor with experience administering Botox.
Is Botox Instant?
There’s a bit of a misconception when it comes to plastic surgery injections of any kind. Even though they’re administered quickly, they won’t always show the best results immediately. This is true with Botox as well. You shouldn’t expect to leave the doctor’s office with fewer wrinkles or softened crow’s feet. Results won’t be instant, but they won’t take too long to show up either.
How Long before You Notice the Effects of Botox?
As soon as 5 – 7 days after your injection you can expect to start seeing some of the effects of anti-aging from the Botox. It may take up to 2 weeks for your injection to reach its full effects. At that point, the muscles will have started relaxing all over and the wrinkles should be smoothing out. Keep in mind that your wrinkles may not all disappear completely, and that Botox doesn’t work on every type of wrinkle.
Botox should show great results for winkles caused by repeated muscle use, such as frown lines and crow’s feet. If the wrinkles are deep, they will probably not disappear completely even after 2 weeks, but they should start to soften a bit after the first few days.
Many doctors take their time to learn the right dosage for you. It may take a few injections to find out exactly how your body will respond to the Botox and how much of a dosage you need each time. Once your ideal dosage is discovered, the results will be better and should happen more quickly than if you were not receiving enough.
The older you are, the longer it may take Botox to start working. Part of the reason for this is that your wrinkles are probably deeper at a more advanced age. Also, if the Botox is injected into a stronger facial muscle, results may be a little more delayed, since it will take longer for the toxin to set in and work on the entire muscle. If you’re someone with stronger facial muscles, it will take longer for you to see results, but don’t lose hope! They will show up, most likely within the 2 weeks after your injection.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The next question that’s usually asked about Botox is how long it will last. Is it a permanent adjustment, or will it fade away over time? Botox is not permanent. The toxin used to smooth out your wrinkles will be metabolized by your body over time. How long it lasts will be largely determined by how strong your metabolism is and how much Botox was given to you at a time.
Once the Botox really kicks in and does what it’s supposed to, your body is going to start trying to remove it. Since Botox is a toxin, your body will slowly work to get rid of it by metabolizing and expelling it. If you have a faster metabolism, the Botox will fade away sooner than if you have a slower metabolism. Most doctors estimate it will last between 3 – 6 months, depending on your body.
There’s more to it than just your metabolism. How long does Botox last can also depend on if it’s your first time or a repeat session, the skill of the doctor, storage of the Botox medicine pre-injection, your exercise habits, and the strength of your facial muscles.
If it’s your first Botox injection ever, your muscles will be at their full strength. The stronger your muscles are, the shorter time each injection will last. When you do follow-up sessions, your muscles will be weakened, helping the effect to stay for longer before wearing off.
Skilled doctors that store their Botox chemicals properly before using them will have better results than those with lower skills and careless storage. Sometimes the Botox may be diluted too much, which also yields shorter results.
Lastly, your exercise habits and lifestyle will affect the Botox. If you do hard cardio exercise regularly, your body is going to metabolize the Botox injection more quickly than it would without the exercise. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t exercise at all, but if you want longer lasting results you may want to avoid strenuous cardio workouts and stick to something that doesn’t keep your heart rate up too high.
Botox is a great way to treat the signs of aging. But, it won’t show up right away, and you can’t expect it to stick around forever after you get an injection. Take your time to get to know a bit more about Botox before you get your first injection!