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How long does botox last?

How long does botox last?

Botox Charlotte, Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, Denver, Lake Norman

Botulinum toxin, most commonly known as botox, is currently the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment, and its popularity is only growing. Many people appreciate the convenience of this treatment, which can help to reduce the visible signs of aging (including fine lines and wrinkles). Botox can be injected in just a few minutes, requires virtually no downtime, and can make a big difference in a person’s appearance. Both men and women are choosing to use it to help them age more gracefully. (Although Botox® is the most common brand, there are also other popular brands available, including Dysport® and Xeomin®. However, botox (not capitalized) is a common shorthand way of referring to treatment with botulinum toxin, and is not necessarily specific to that brand.

Because it’s so popular, many of our patients are curious about botox and how it works. Does it start working right away? How long does botox last? How often will you need touch-up treatments?

How does botox work?

Botox works by relaxing muscles. It binds to certain receptors, which prevents communication between the nerve and the muscle. Because the muscle doesn’t get activated as much, it stays more relaxed. 

There are certain muscles in the face that, when activated, create a fold or wrinkle in the skin. Although youthful skin will “bounce back” when this happens, skin loses its elasticity over time, and the wrinkles will tend to become more and more deeply etched into the skin with each action of the muscle. When botox is injected into these specific muscles, it reduces the action of the muscles and prevents them from folding the skin, helping to keep the skin wrinkle-free.

How long until botox starts working?

Once botox is injected, it can take from four to fourteen days for a noticeable effect to occur. The chemical must bind to certain sites on the nerve, and then it needs to make its way inside, where it works by preventing the release of the substances that the nerve uses to activate the muscle. This process takes some time. 

Exactly how long it takes for botox to start working can vary between patients. To get inside the nerve cell, botox needs to attach to binding sites, but how many binding sites there are on each nerve cell is different for everyone. The more binding sites you have, the faster botox will start to work for you. 

How long will botox last?

On average, the effects of treatment with botox will be noticeable for most from three to six months. The treatment wears off slowly, with the patient noticing a gradual return of muscle activity in the face. (Although botox actually has a permanent effect on the nerve endings that it enters, the nerve cell will grow new nerve endings, which will cause the muscle to once again be activated by the nerve.)

Will the results change over time?

The results of your first treatment with botox will likely be satisfying. However, if you continue to receive botox treatments every three to six months, the results tend to get even better over time. For some patients, later treatments can often be spaced farther apart from each other, with each injection lasting longer. 

This is because, when the muscles have been consistently relaxed over a period of many months or years, they will start to shrink, and it won’t take as much botox to keep them relaxed. Also, while botox acts on the muscles themselves, the actual anti-aging effect is due to the indirect effect on the skin. The longer the skin has gone without being folded by the underlying muscles, the more the deep grooves and wrinkles will fade away. 

Because of this, the best results are seen in those who keep up their botox injections over time. Doing so can delay the point at which a facelift becomes appropriate, or sometimes even prevent the need for one altogether, especially if you’ve also been diligent about protecting your face from the sun.

Are you interested in botox in the greater Charlotte area?

Located in Huntersville, NC, our office is convenient for patients from Charlotte, Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, Denver, Lake Norman, Statesville, Concord, and surrounding cities. If you’re considering botox in Charlotte or the surrounding area, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Miles. He’s one of very few plastic surgeons who performs all botox injections himself (rather than relying on a nurse or other injector), so you’ll have the benefit of his incredibly detailed knowledge of facial anatomy to give your treatment the best chance of success with minimal side effects. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Miles, please contact our office.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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