Botox is an injectable used to lessen the movement of specific muscle of the face in an effort to target wrinkles created by the contraction of facial muscle groups. The areas that are treated most often include the forehead, the area between the eyebrows, and the crows feet (on the side of the eyes). The goal is to soften these tell-tale stigmata of aging without leaving the face looking flat and emotionless. This can be a difficult needle to thread. If done correctly, however, Botox can make the face look younger, raise the eyebrows, and make the eyes look more open.
Botox is injected using a very fine needle into the affected areas. Most patients experience little discomfort and by the time they return home or to the office any redness or swelling has disappeared. The affect begins to be noticed over the next week and lasts for about 3-6 months until the effect, again, slowly fades out.
Question – How long does Botox last? What determines how long it will work for me?
Answer – In most patients, Botox lasts between 3-4 months. However, there’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence suggesting that it’s possible for patients to achieve results that last up to 6, 9 or even 12 months after consistent, long-term and properly-administered use of the Botox product.
In other words, what determines how long the effects of Botox lasts is:
- the dosage (and whether or not it’s been properly diluted)
- the duration & consistency of use
- the skill/experience of the injector or surgeon who administers the injection
The x factor within the “consistent, long-term and properly-administered” conditional I included is, of course, “properly administered”. After all, consistent treatments over several years will matter very little if the wrong amount of Botox has been injected imprecisely/incorrectly. That’s why 2 of the 3 factors explored in this post address it (re: ‘dosage’ and ‘skill/experience of the Botox injector‘).
1. Dosage: Why injecting & diluting the proper amount of Botox = keyThe first factor that impacts the longevity of Botox’s winkle-reducing effects is the dosage. Botox is diluted for safe use regardless of the injection site, so the impact it has on the surface is largely dependent upon the amount of injections. The site of injection will determine the amount of injections you receive.