Botox® is perhaps one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures for those who seek to minimize the fine lines and wrinkles that tend to develop with age.
To better understand the longevity of Botox treatments, it is helpful to look at the science behind this non-invasive process.
While there are several variations, namely Dysport® and Xeomin®, each of these typically lasts anywhere from three to six months before the effects begin to wear off.
Once Botox is injected into a targeted area, the neurotoxin botulinum begins blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles, preventing them from contracting. As these muscles relax and soften, the lines and wrinkles consequently dissipate. Most often used to relieve forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eyes) and frown lines, Botox will not work on wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.
While the procedure itself lasts only a few minutes, the results of a Botox injection generally take between seven to 14 days to fully set in.
Upon consulting with your board-certified cosmetic surgeon, they will likely advise you to avoid alcohol for at least one week leading up to the procedure, and to cease taking aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medications two weeks prior in order to reduce any possible bruising.
In addition to slight swelling and redness, side effects of Botox may include headaches, which tend to subside within 24 to 48 hours. A small percentage of patients experience eyelid drooping, which can be minimized by avoiding contact with the treated area for 12 hours following the injection. It is sometimes recommended to lie down for three to four hours to allow the Botox to settle into the targeted areas.
To determine which type of Botox treatment is best for your particular needs and expectations, consult with a doctor prior to scheduling your procedure. Though similar in composition and effect, reports suggest that Dysport may take effect slightly faster, while Xeomin has been touted for its more noticeable results. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a neurological disease are not suitable candidates for any of these variations.