How Long Before Botox Results Can Be Seen?

How long after receiving Botox do you see the full benefit? Also, how many times can one receive this? I know it is every 4 months, but is there a limit to how long one can keep getting botox?

Doctor Answers 314

How long does it take for Botox to work?

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Botox inhibits the communication between nerves and muscles. It does so by blocking the release of certain small chemicals (neurotransmitters) that nerves use to signal a muscle to contract. 

The onset of action of Botox varies from person to person. Botox first has to bind to the nerve before it can enter the cell. Some patients bind Botox faster because they have a greater number of these high affinity "binding sites" on their nerves. After binding to the nerve, Botox enters the cell to prevent the release of the chemical messengers that cause muscles to contract. When the muscle can no longer contract, the wrinkles soften and relax. 

Typical onset of Botox is between 24 and 72 hours, although some patients may require up to 5 days to see a result. The maximal effect of Botox occurs at about 10 days after treatment. 

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Botox begins working within days

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For most patients, some softening of lines can be seen within 2-4 days, with maximum benefit at 2 weeks. I agree with other answers that it is a good idea to re evaluate at 2 weeks to see if there is a need for additional injections. 

There have been some early reports in the literature that the newer product Dysport can begin working in a shorter period of time, and some of my colleagues have noted this anecdotally as well. Time will tell.....

Travis L. Shaw, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Botox starts to work in 3 or 4 days and peaks at 2 weeks

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Most patients will see the results of their Botox injection begin to appear after 3 or 4 days and continue to improve until about two weeks, when the results are at their maximum. The effect will gradually wear off over the next 4 months or so. Once the Botox effects begin, the areas treated, i.e. the frown lines, crow's feet etc., will appear more relaxed and in fact the whole face starts to benefit as patients take on a less stressed and more rested appearance. It's subtle but noticeable - people will think you look "better" but they're not sure why.

To answer your second question, you can continue receiving Botox injections indefinitely. In my clinic in Montreal Botox injections are scheduled regularly for patients every 3 1/2 - 4 months to make sure that the frown muscles never regain their full strength. In this way, the frown muscles will atrophy or shrink and, after 18 - 24 months of this regimen, patients will also often lose their frowning "reflex". Many can then go longer between Botox injections and, even if they stop using Botox, their frown is much less noticeable than it was two years previously.

Arie Benchetrit, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon

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Repeat Botox treatments are safe and can delay features of aging.

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The science of how and when Botox works has been thoroughly investigated. Although some effects are noticed in 3-4 days, the peak effect is not until 10-14 days. For patients that are new to Botox or having a new area treated, I like to see their results at 2 weeks to determine if any additional treatment is required. Once an optimal outcome is established then we plan for maintenance treatments every 3 - 4 months. Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin do not last longer than this however with regular maintenance, the interval between treatments can get longer.

If the the effects of Botox are allowed to wear off completely before your next treatment then a similar duration of effect will occur with your next treatment. However, if you keep the effect of Botox working, the treated muscles will atrophy (shrink) and the overlying skin will have more opportunity to repair surface flaws. It has been observed that after 18 - 24 months of continuous Botox induced muscle relaxation, there may be a longer  interval of time needed for muscle recovery when Botox is stopped. Many of my long term Botox clients have experienced this benefit and now find that a treatment every 4-6 months allows them to keep looking their best. Combining Botox with other synergistic treatments like Medical grade Skin Care and Hyaluronic Acid Fillers works very well for a large variety of patients.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Botox works by 3 or 4 days

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Most patients notice significant results by 3 or 4 days.  The full effect of relaxing the targeted muscles is in place by 2 weeks. Deep skin wrinkles caused by the dynamic effect of the muscles (such as deep frown lines) can gradually improve over time, in addition to the early effect seen shortly after treatment.

There are currently no data to suggest a limit to the number of times a patient can undergo Botox injections.

Mark Lucarelli, MD, FACS

Madison, WI

Mark J. Lucarelli, MD
Madison Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Botox effects

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usually botox takes 3-5 days before effects are recognized.  If you don't see results after one week, you may have antibodies to the toxin or may need addtional units.

Christopher K. Livingston, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

How Long Before Botox Results Can Be Seen?

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Great question. The time of onset can vary, but typically patients see the results of Botox within 3-5 days. One competing product called Dysport (from the makers of Restylane) typically works 1-2 days earlier. Because of the delay in effects of neuromodulators, patients should give plenty of time between their treatment and when they want it to work. This is especially true if there is a special event that they are attending (wedding, party, reunion, etc...)

I have personally not noticed any difference in duration in that they both work for about 3-4 months. Some who get injections earlier do not want return of function so they get their injections closer to the 3 month period to "stay ahead." 

Michael M. Kim, MD

Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


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Botox works by weakening the muscles, therefore it usually takes 5-7 days to see the full effects.  However, it vary's pt to pt, we have many say that they see results in 1-2 days, others a full week.  Most of my repeated pt's botox results last 3-4 months, some need touch-ups in between.  There has been no limit set to the number of times botox can be used . 

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Botox general info.

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I consider Botox or Dysport, the best investment a woman can ever make for her facial skin. The wrinkles that appear on the face are partly due to the muscles of facial expressions. Botox (or Dysport) will relax these muscles and preserve the skin. The earlier you start the better the skin will remain. Botox can be used indefinitely. It does not accumulate in your tissues, and has been used safely for over 20 years.

No expensive anti aging moisturizing cream can even come close to preserving skin like Botox does. My advice for preserving your skin is: any cheap moisturizer, sunblock, and Botox

Botox will start working anywhere between 24 to 72 hours. The full effect is seen in about  one week.

Onset of action of botox

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Many botox initiates will claim that they see the effect, as soon as the fluid is injected into their lines. This is merely an optical illusion caused by the plumping effect. The average female patient will require 3-5 days to appreciate the blockade. A male patient who has thicker skin and stronger muscles may take up to 10 days. It is my early impression that dysport's blockade is slightly quicker, but I have only started with a small set of patients, in order to evaluate this newer form of Botox.

To my knowledge, there isn't a maximum number of treatments an individual can have. Some patients have chosen to have surgery, hence decrease their use of this aesthetic product. Others opt out due to finances or discouragement. Overall, the satisfaction is very high in patients who use this product. good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.