How Long Does Botox® Last?
While how long Botox® lasts varies from person to person, we typically see it last anywhere between 3-6 months, with an average of 4 months. Botox® is one of the most popular treatments against aging and wrinkles, and it has been used by physicians and other licensed healthcare providers for many years now. The reasons behind its popularity are not difficult to understand: Botox® is very efficient, delivers quick results and is relatively inexpensive. But how does it work and how long does it really last?
How does Botox® really work?
Botox® is a brand name for the neurotoxin botulinum, which is produced by a bacterium called clostridium botulinum. While the botulinum toxin is one of the most potent toxins known to mankind, can cause severe paralysis, and has a very low lethal dose, its paralyzing effect is often also used in esthetic treatments.
Botox® basically blocks the transmission of the signals from the nerves to the muscles, which in turn causes mild muscle paralysis. Since the muscle that has been injected with Botox can no longer contract, this in turn makes the wrinkles relax and soften, which makes them appear less obvious.
What are the most common areas of use for Botox®?
Botox® is used in many fields of medicine, although it is most widely known for its use in cosmetic treatments for wrinkles. It is most often used on forehead lines, lines around the eyes, lines around the lips and the corners of the mouth, frown lines, chin, and neck.
How long does a Botox® treatment typically last?
Botox®is not permanent, and the effects of Botox last between three and six months on average. The exact duration of results depends on several factors, such as the dosage, the application, the anatomy of the patient, and the area that was treated with Botox®.
For example, Botox® injections around the eyes tend to last a little shorter, first time users tend to experience Botox® wearing off more quickly, and men usually need more frequent Botox® shots than women. In any case, a Botox® treatment should last longer than just a couple of weeks. After that, the muscle action gradually starts to return, which means that the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear.
Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Toni C. Stockton MD describes Botox injections during the Aesthetic Medicine Symposium
Once Botox® starts to wear off, and the results are no longer visible, repetitive treatments are always an option. Repetitive treatments don’t only provide the same results once again; they can actually bring improved results over longer periods of time.
Are there any long-term effects with using Botox®?
While the direct effects of Botox® only last for a limited period of time, long-term use of Botox can have some permanent effects. Regular use of Botox® can prevent wrinkles from getting worse in the long run, which can significantly improve their appearance.
Since Botox®, if administered correctly, can limit the range of facial muscle movement, it also prevents the wrinkles from becoming deeper or more obvious. At the same time, regular administration of Botox® can help relax facial muscles, so the patients need lower doses or even less frequent treatments to maintain the same results.
What causes Botox® not to work as anticipated?
Botox® is a very reliable treatment; however, sometimes it just doesn’t deliver the results we are after. In those instances, it is important to find the causes why Botox hasn’t worked as anticipated so that we can improve the process with future administrations of Botox®.
First of all, it is important not to judge the effects of a Botox® treatment prematurely. Although Botox® does work quickly, it sometimes needs a couple of days to work and the best results are sometimes visible only after a week or even two. Before jumping to any conclusions, wait a while and see what happens.
If even after this period the results of the Botox® treatment still aren’t showing the anticipated results, there can be many causes for this. The problem could be the Botox® itself: perhaps the solution was too diluted or you used too little of it.
The problem could be the wrinkles: those caused by sun and gravity do not respond as well to Botox®. However, the problem could also be with the patient: some patients’ anatomy requires unusual administration while others may have some tendency to be resistant to Botox® and don’t get the anticipated results.
Botox is a trademark of Allergan Inc.