Will I Get Permanent Side Effects if I Try Botox Just Once?

Is it possible to try Botox just once or once you start the procedure there will be a permanent effect on the area if you don't keep up with the injections? I'm thinking of Botox for the first time.

Doctor Answers 24

No permanent changes from Botox

Botox used only a few times is unlikely to cause permanent problems - outside of complications (it is possible - though extremely unusual - to have a hematoma from a botox injection that may leave some scar tissue or contour deformity).

Botox itself usually does not have an effect that lasts beyond six months.

There is some discussion that being treated for years with Botox can cause some atrophy (weakening and shrinking) of the muscles it is used to treat but this is usually a subtle change after long term usage.

I hope this helps.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Botox is among the safest treatments

All medications have side effects. Too much aspirin and you get a stomach ulcer. The remarkable thing about Botox is its proven track record of safety with millions and millions of treatments. The effects of Botox last about 4 months. By four months, the blocked neuromuscular end plates that were affected by the Botox are replaced by the body.

There appears to be some retraining effects that might persist longer than this time frame. However even these gradually wear off. So eventually, the only "effects" will be that you are 4 to 6 months older by the time the Botox is worn off.

Botox is a fantastic initial treatment option and is a great starter procedure. Just be certain that you are treated by a core physician (eye plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, general plastic surgeon, or dermatologist).

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox is not known to give a permanent side effect


Thanks for asking a great question. It is possible to have a Botox treatment once and the effects only last approximately 3-6 months. The effectiveness of Botox is usually based on how relaxed your muscles become and what area you are receiving Botox in.

My experience has been if you get Botox for your smile lines around the eyes, the muscle is thinner, and Botox does not seem to last very long there. However, in the glabellar area (between the eyebrows), it seems to last longer.

Also, another comment on how long Botox lasts. Usually, if it is the first time you get Botox, your muscles start moving approximately 8-10 weeks later. Our goal for Botox is to give you a natural look, not a frozen look. We usually recommend if you want to get rid of lines ( we encourage the use of Botox for making the lines soft), to get Botox again so that the muscle does not relearn the behavior.

Hope this helps. Botox is not for everyone, however, if you have lines that you want to minimize or get rid of, then Botox is for you.

All the best.

Andrew Y. Kleinman, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Botox Only Lasts a Few Months

There are no long-term side effects with Botox. Once it wears off, your face will return to “baseline” – that is, it will return to the state it was in before the treatment. Your wrinkles will not be worse. However, if you don't continue Botox, the muscles that cause the wrinkles will reinforce them and they will worsen. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist who has experience with Botox. If you are afraid yo

Kory Kitagawa, MD
Honolulu Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Botox Has No Long-Term Side Effects

Botox has minimal and very short-term side effects frim having an injection: swelling, redness, soreness and maybe some bruising. These should resolve within days or up to two weeks, maximum. There are no long-term side effects with Botox, as it is a temporary procedure. You can try Botox once. If you don't like it, there are no permanent effects. Botox only lasts about three to four months. If you want to continue your good results, you'll need to continue your Botox treatments. Please see a board-certified dermatologist to get your Botox so that you can be sure you are being treated optimally.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

One treatment with Botox

Thanks for the question many people have. If you do Botox, 5 months later you will return back to the way you were before the Botox was injected. It is not something that has to be continued unless you want to maintain the effects. 

James R. Gordon, MD, FACS, FAAO
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Permament side effects from one use of Botox

Botox is a very safe drug. Millions have used the treatment. It is the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world. That being said, there are always risks, (albeit very small), of any treatment.  Usually people like the result and then will keep up with the treatments.  It is important to choose your injector wisely. Ask questions about training and experience. Have realistic expectations, and take the time to tell your injector what your goals are.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Effects Temporary With Botox

I can reassure you that if you try Botox once, it does not mean that you will have permanent changes, and you do not have to continue with Botox treatments in the future. The results of Botox wear off within 3-4 months, so that if you were unhappy in any way with your treatment, your appearance will return to your baseline by that time. However, most people love the results from their Botox treatment, and want to continue with their treatments!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Botox and permanent complications

There are no substantial long term complications from botox, especially if you only try it once. Once the botox stops working, you should return to your normal appearance. If you use it long term, there may be some long term benefits with regard to lack of wrinkling in certain muscles.

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

You're in luck...

try botox and see how you like it...you're never committed to continue treatment if you're unhappy...there are no permanent side effects...but almost always people who try botox once are so happy that they want to continue with more treatment sessions...just look at the numbers...the number of people receiving botox each year dwarfs the number undergoing all plastic surgical procedures combined...the reason botox has entered our vocabulary is that it works so well without downtime and without complications...

Ken Landow, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 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.