Botox is a cosmetic injectable. It works by temporarily weakening the facial muscles responsible for accentuating wrinkles. One of the most common questions in my practice relates to timing. When does Botox first take effect? How long does the treatment effect last? These answers are important for anyone considering Botox to know. Timing of Botox effects is especially of interest to those wishing to look and feel their best for a big upcoming event.
Although individual results may vary, Botox generally takes effect within 4-5 days after injection with peak results at 2 weeks. The effects gradually wear off over 3-6 months. Immediately after injection, you will not see a difference in the appearance of dynamic facial wrinkles. Aside from the low risk of developing a small bruise at a injection site or subtle swelling, there are usually no visible signs of having had a procedure performed. You will be able to immediately return to work and regular day-to-day activities after Botox injections. Having no downtime or recovery phase makes Botox a popular treatment for softening signs of facial aging and for preventing wrinkles from becoming prominent at rest. This makes Botox a popular cosmetic treatment for younger patients within my practice as well.
If planning Botox before a social event, I would ideally recommend treatment 2 weeks in advance. If it is a really important event – perhaps with wedding bells! – ideally I would recommend having a trial performed 6-8 months beforehand to ensure you like the treatment effect. Although you will require a second treatment before the big day, this will ensure you are happy with the results. Once it is injected, there is no way to expedite the effects wearing off. So in order to ensure you are happy with your new look in person as well as photographs, it may be useful to have a trial performed many months beforehand.