Are you wondering how long Botox lasts? Read below to learn more.
What is Botox?
Botox is a purified protein used to treat wrinkles caused by facial expressions. The most common areas treated with Botox are the frown lines between your eyebrows, the horizontal wrinkles on your upper forehead you see when raising your eyebrows, and the crow’s feet around your eyes you see when you smile or squint. Botox can also be used in a variety of other areas for cosmetic concerns as well as non-cosmetic treatments such as migraine headaches, TMJ pain, and excessive sweating in the underarms. Botox works by relaxing muscles and smoothening out the wrinkles on your skin.
How long does Botox last?
This is one of the most common questions people ask. Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer. There are a lot of factors to consider. When Botox was first approved over ten years ago to treat frown lines a dose of 20 units was used in the clinical trial. The results of this trial showed that the results of the Botox treatment in this area usually last about three to four months. So is that the answer? Not necessarily. The results showed that people saw an improvement that lasted for about three to four months, then slowly went back to normal. Also, in some people the results lasted longer than others. We don’t really know why. What we’ve seen over time is that for some people the results can last much longer, even up to nine to twelve months, while in others it can last two months or even less. Sometimes, but not always, people with fast metabolisms who exercise a lot can go through the Botox faster and their results won’t last as long.
Another consideration is the amount of Botox used. The clinical trials for Botox for frown lines used 20 units for everyone. In practical experience, not everyone receives this dose. Dr. Alex sees many patients who have had Botox elsewhere and received ten or fewer units in this area. Unfortunately, this is underdosing the area. The dose required depends on the person and her muscles. People with larger and stronger muscles will need a higher dose and those with smaller muscles need a lower dose. This is why it’s important to have your injector assess your skin to determine what Botox dose is right for you. Also, in general the higher the dose of Botox, the longer the Botox will last. This is simple and makes sense. Many people complain that their Botox doesn’t last very long. But in reality, they’re not getting a high enough dose.
More recent studies with Botox and alternatives such as Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau have shown that higher doses will last longer. In general, the studies show that if you double the Botox dose, the Botox will last twice as long. But the Botox needs to be prepared differently. The Botox needs to be reconstituted at a higher concentration. In this way, the same volume of liquid is used at each point where the Botox is placed. The reason this is important is because the more dilute the Botox, the more it can spread. If Botox spreads too far, it can relax other muscles that weren’t intended to be treated. This can cause side effects such as droopy eyelids, blurred vision, and an asymmetric smile.
In summary, most people enjoy the results of their Botox treatment for three to four months. But this depends on the person, their metabolism, and the dose they received.