How Long Does It Take for Botox to Work & Take Effect?

Clocks

Undergoing a treatment with Botox injections is a great way to prepare for a special occasion by getting rid of those annoying crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and nasolabial folds. After all, a smooth and rejuvenated skin is not only a great accessory to any key event but also an amazing confidence booster. Just do not make the mistake to schedule your Botulinum toxin treatment shortly before the big day. This type of minimally-invasive anti-aging treatment does not have an immediate effect like it is the case with dermal fillers, for example. It takes some time for it to work its magic.

How long does a Botulinum toxin injection take to be done?

Some patients are put off by the thought of having a series of Botox injections on their face, even if that means saying goodbye to facial lines and wrinkles for a good 3-4 months. But the truth is that Botox treatment itself is surprisingly quick and hassle-free. For a qualified plastic surgeon, it usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes to perform this cosmetic procedure. So, it will be all over before it has even started. As a general rule, the more severe and deep the skin depressions that need to be treated are, the longer the session will be. Therefore, if you are only planning to have some shallow crow’s feet corrected, the treatment may be even speedier than that. And yes, there will be a need for maintenance sessions about every 12 to 16 weeks, but they will take no more than 10 minutes of your time.

How long does it take for Botox to work and take effect?

As it was already noted, delivering an instant line and wrinkle removal is not Botox’s forte. But that does not mean that it does not offer swift results. You just need to be a little patient with it and up your planning game by setting up your appointment about 2 weeks before a special occasion because that is typically how long it takes this neurotoxin to relax the facial muscles that have been injected with it and to temporarily correct wrinkles.

Woman holding syringe

The 2-week period may vary and some patients may witness the full effects of Botox on Day 10 or earlier than that. Typically, the first changes can be noticed 24-48 hours after the treatment. However, for some people, it requires about 3-7 days for a more serious change to be seen and felt. Botox peaks 10-15 days after treatment but early results should not be completely ruled out because the effectiveness of this anti-wrinkle therapy depends on various factors including but not limited to:

  • The patient’s physiology
  • The treated area
  • The injection technique
  • The severity and depth of skin depressions
  • The concentration and quality of the product of choice

People’s bodies react in a different manner to the properties of this neurotoxin. Some patients, especially those who have been regular Botox users for years, easily build antibodies that quickly break down the medication and prevent its effectiveness from reaching 100%. The injection site can also affect how long it takes the drug to work. For instance, the appearance of crow’s feet is reduced faster than that of frown lines. And then there is the fact that there are various Botulinum toxin injection brands and they each come with their own pros and cons. Botox Allergan is the most famous and popular of them and it offers some the most stable and predictable results. Dysport by Ipsen, on the other hand, can spread in the target muscles at a swifter rate and reduce lines and wrinkles slightly sooner than its competitor. On the downside, Dysport is known for its low variability in molecular weight, which somewhat limits the product’s application and makes it less useful for the treatment of so-called 11’s wrinkles (lines appearing between the eyebrows). The purity of Botulinum toxin is another factor that can affect the speed with which the first treatment effects will appear. Hutox by Huons is one of the strongest solutions in its class since it has a purity of over 99%. That is why it can start working in just a couple of days.

Table: Timeline of Botox’s effects

Time PeriodEffectsAdditional Details
Within the first 24 hoursThe skin reacts to the injection and the treatment.Typically leads to swelling and bruising
1-5 daysFirst changes in appearance become noticeable.For some patients, Botox may start working during the first 24-48 hours after the treatment.
10-15 daysBotulinum toxin reaches its peak.100% of the effects of the medication become visible for all patients about 2 weeks after the injection.
3-6 monthsEffects wear off.A gradual process. Maintenance procedures need to be scheduled every 3 months or so.

 

Why does Botulinum toxin take time to start working?

Do not blame the gradual action of Botox on the drug but on your body. The human organism does not respond immediately to this neurotoxin and it needs some extra time to adjust to it and to let it properly bind to the neurons of the facial muscles. In fact, the muscles in the human body have a slow response to everything. Think physical exercises, for example.

Can you speed up the effects of Botox?

Those of you who are less patient will be happy to learn that there are a few ways in which they can speed up the full results after their treatment.

  • No alcohol before and after the injection
  • No anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners prior to and after the cosmetic procedure
  • Do some facial exercises

Alcoholic beverages and some medications such as aspirin can decrease the power of Botulinum toxin and increase the risk of some potential side effect. Therefore, it is worth crossing them off your to-do list for a while. According to a study posted on the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, performing facial exercise after the injection (e.g. raising and lowering eyebrows repetitively) can speed up the results by 1-3 days.