What is Botox?
Firstly, a quick explanation of what Botox is … Botox is the brand name for Onobotulinumtoxin A, a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum. There are a few different types that are approved in the UK for cosmetic facial wrinkles, including Botox, Dysport, Azzalure and Bocouture.
They all work by blocking a signal from the nerve to the targeted muscle that prevents it from contracting. By preventing the contraction of these specific muscles, there is less action or pull on the skin and a decrease in the formation of wrinkles.
Neurotoxins generally start to take effect 3-5 days after injection, but it is common to not see your full and final results until 10-14 days later. It takes this long because it takes time for the toxin to block off those nerve impulses to the muscles. It is not an immediate effect, unlike dermal filler where the result can be seen immediately.
Lots of us wish Botox lasted forever, unfortunately, it doesn’t! Eventually, the action of the neurotoxin will wear off and the nerves will again be able to send those signals to the muscles to start working (contracting), and your lines and wrinkles will reappear.
In general, Botox lasts 3-4 months. There will be some patients for whom it lasts longer (4-6 month range), but for others it will be shorter (2 months). It is also common for first-timers to notice that it may not last as long initially, but may last longer after the second treatment. Everyone has a unique experience and results may vary.
- Weeks 1-2: During this time, your Botox is starting to kick in & by day 14 it will reach its max effectiveness
- Weeks 2-6: Maximum muscle relaxation is typically maintained during this time, resulting in minimal movement of the treated areas! After this point, the Botox will very slowly start to decrease in effectiveness & subtle movements will begin to return.
- Week 8: The Botox is continuing to wear off and partial movement is returning, however, the movement & lines will continue to be much softer than they were at baseline!
- Weeks 12-16: The Botox is completely wearing off, resulting in muscle movements returning back to baseline & it is time to repeat the treatment.