Botox is one of the most potent drugs on the planet–and famous, too. It’s responsible for helping millions of people a year look just a little bit more youthful, not to mention helping people with migraines, depression, TMJ, and other ailments. In other words, Botox is pretty amazing.
How Often Should You Get Botox for the Best Results?
But just how often should you be getting Botox? The general rule has always been that Botox should be administered every three to four months to maintain aesthetic results. But that doesn’t always work for everyone’s schedule.
So how often should you get Botox? Well, it depends on your physiology and your reasons. According to the website of the Twin Cities based medical spa Minneapolis Anti-Aging and Skin Clinic, that three to four month window works for the vast majority of patients. But there are always going to be some outliers. And if the plastic and cosmetic surgeon answers on RealSelf are any indication, sometimes patients can get Botox as early as two months or so–it just depends on your body.
Looking for Movement in the Muscle
Botox is, after all, designed to modestly paralyze a muscle. It’s called a neuromodulator, and it works by interfering with the signals your brain sends to your nerves. That might sound a little scary (and in its natural form, botulism is, well, quite scary), but this version of the drug, onabotulinum toxin a, is quite safe (though you should always talk to your surgeon about potential side effects).
One thing you want to be careful about, of course, is dosage. Too much of a good thing can very quickly become no-longer-a-good-thing. And that’s where that three-to-four month window for Botox becomes relevant.
Most patients break down Botox at a relatively consistent pace. For most patients, it’s that three-to-four month window in order to see movement in the muscle again. But there are plenty of variables that might impact how quickly your body might go through Botox:
- The treated area: There are some parts of the body that will shake off the effects of Botox more quickly than others (these areas tend to be those that you might use more often).
- Your metabolism: Sometimes, it’s just down to the way your body metabolizes injectables that dictate just how long your Botox injections might last.
- Your overall size: In many cases, your size can have a direct impact on just how much of any given injectable you might need. That said, this is more in reference to height than it is to weight, though that may have some bearing as well (it’s best to trust your surgeon when talking about the dosage).
- The brand of your injectable: There are several brands of onabotulinum toxin a, the most common of which is Botox. But your body might respond to something like Dysport better, meaning your results will last longer.
These variables are just the beginning, and your cosmetic surgeon will be tasked with weighing all of those variables in order to find the perfect Botox dosage for you.
Start With Less Before You Get More
In general, most cosmetic surgeons will err on the side of providing less Botox at first. That’s for two primary reasons:
- Providing a patient with excess Botox can lead to aesthetically unpleasing results.
- It can take a couple of weeks (anywhere between 10-14 days) for your Botox results to become apparent.
If your Botox results have not begun to show, you should probably avoid getting anymore injections until such a time as you can evaluation the actual results (again, make all of these decisions in discussions with your cosmetic surgeon).
When you are ready to undergo maintenance injections for your Botox, you should contact your medical spa or cosmetic surgeon. According to many of the plastic and cosmetic surgeons on RealSelf, cosmetic surgeons are usually looking for muscle mobility to begin returning before they administer any further injections. So if you feel like you want another round of Botox sooner than three months after your initial injections, your cosmetic surgeon is going to look to see if any of that previous round of Botox has begun to wear off.
Always Communicate with Your Surgeon
Finally, it’s important to note that you should always be open and honest with your surgeon about your medical history, including previous Botox treatments. The more open and honest you are, the more likely your treatment is to yield a positive result.
How often should you get Botox? Ultimately, that’s up to you and your surgeon. But talking about frequency of injections to maintain your results is definitely advised!
- “Can You Get Botox Sooner than 3 Months?” RealSelf.com, 5 June 2016, www.realself.com/question/seattle-wa-botox-sooner-months.
- “Botox Reduces Wrinkles Even in Less Frequent Doses.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 26 Apr. 2010, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426141504.htm.
- “How Often Do People Usually Get Botox?” Zwivel, www.zwivel.com/forum/general-discussions/ask-cosmetic-doctor/how-often-do-people-usually-get-botox.
About the Author: Nick Engebretson is a plastic surgery marketing veteran, with nearly twenty years of cosmetic and plastic surgery marketing experience on his own. He regularly contributes to discussions designed to help plastic surgery candidates understand the ins and outs of complex procedures.