What You Should Know Before Getting Botox

There's a good chance you've heard about Botox. Botox injections are primarily used to aid with superficial signs of aging through the use of a botulinum toxin, according to Mayo Clinic. These toxins are similar to the toxin botulism, which is often associated with food poison (via Healthline). These injections work by acting as a nerve paralytic, blocking the signal from the nerves to the muscle which prevents the muscle from moving. As the muscles relax, the facial wrinkles are temporarily reduced or removed. Surprisingly enough, simply ridding your face of those pesky age marks and wrinkles isn't the only use of Botox (via WebMD). The injections have been used to help a number of conditions, including overactive bladder, migraines, and hyperhidrosis (or excessive underarm sweating).

While the process is fairly simple, there are some points of consideration before running to your nearest plastic surgeon or dermatologist for a few Botox injections.

Is Botox safe?

Botulinum toxin, the toxin that Botox is made from, is one of the most toxic poisons and has a wide range of uses, according to a 2019 study. While Botox has been fairly effective and safe for treating wrinkles, there have been some reported adverse effects. Research into these adverse effects has determined that typically they are benign unless there are special circumstances, and most often occurred when the injections were being used in therapeutic dosages (via Postepy Dermatol Alergol). Healthline explains that while botulinum toxin is dangerous in larger quantities, in the small doses used for cosmetic purposes, Botox poses no inherent risk to safety. In fact, across a 14-year period studied, only 36 cases were reported where the individual receiving Botox had adverse reactions. As with any medical procedure, it is best to consult with your physician to ensure there aren't special considerations based on your individual medical history.

How long does Botox last?

If you're considering Botox, or have recently received injections, you may be wondering how long the desired effects will last before you see the signs of aging appear again. The short answer is anywhere between two and four months. On average, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, most individuals experience the positive effects of botox injections for three to four months. Additionally, some individuals may not notice the effects until up to two weeks following the treatment. 

The desired effects of Botox injections can begin to wear off in as little as two months, though this is entirely dependent on the individual. Additionally, some patients may see the effects lasting as long as six months. Another consideration for the longevity of the effects of Botox is the number of treatments (via American Society of Plastic Surgeons). For some individuals, multiple treatments are needed to improve or sustain the desired effects, according to Healthline. While Botox may seem like a quick fix to take years off your face, keep in mind that it may take more than a few trips to get (and maintain) the results you are looking for.