What do doctors consider 'long term' use of Botox?

I have heard the longer you use botox over the years, the longer it lasts and in fact it could even be permanent. I have been having it done every 3 months for over 2 years. Is this considered long term use? Or would you be talking more 5-10 years+?

Doctor Answers 10

Long term use of Botox

Thank you for your question Mariusses. Botox is a purified protein used to address wrinkles associated with facial expression. The phrase long-term can mean a variety of things as you stated. So it depends on the context. Most people enjoy the results of their Botox treatment for 3-4 months. At that time a maintenance treatment is recommended. For my patients that have been receiving Botox for several years I have not seen an increase in the longevity of the results. Botox is not permanent. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Botox and "long-term" use

I agree with the other physicians.  Consistent long-term use makes the Botox lasts longer because the lines and wrinkles are consistently "frozen" and it will also prevent new wrinkles from forming.  Please consult an expert in Botox for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Long-term use of Botox

While there is no consensus amongst physician what constitutes "long-term", I would agree with other physicians here on 3 years.  Certainly, with multiple treatments, Botox will have slightly longer-lasting effects.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Long Term use of Botox

I consider greater than 3 years of consistent Botox usage as long term. Over time the muscles in the treated area will get weaker and you may see the interval in which you need repetitive treatments extending, or the amount of Botox necessary decreasing.  However, in any case, Botox is not permanent.  

Julie Edween, DO
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

What is long-term use of Botox?

I would consider long-term use of Botox to be approximately three years or longer, with injections done on a consistent basis to prevent lines from reappearing.  In some patients, long-term use of Botox will give prolonged results as the muscles "forget" how to make the unwanted movements. However, I would never promise someone that Botox will give permanent results.  

The real goal of good Botox is to soften lines and wrinkles and help lift sagging areas while at the same time keeping the results natural-appearing and subtle.  Most of my patients don't want to be over-treated, don't want total muscle paralysis, and don't necessarily expect or even desire a permanent result. 


Dr. Ort

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Botox Facts

Botox will never be permanent, however it's longevity may increase. I would consider long-term use to be 4-5 years. A good way to determine if this is true in your case would be to increase between your injections. Best, Dr. Emer 

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Long term use of Botox leads to longer duration?

It is difficult to say what is long term use, but I would say about 4-5 years. Botox will never be permanent. It will lead to weakness of the muscles being treated (atrophy) which means the muscles are smaller. When smaller, they need less Botox for the same results.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Long term use of Botox

There are 2 ways having Botox over the years that the results can go. either you will need less Botox because the muscles are weaker or you could need more because you are making blocking antibodies against the Botox and more is required to overcome.  Eventually if it goes on long enough (many years) it will either stop working in some people or the results are permanent in others

Melvin Elson, MD
Nashville Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Long term Botox use

First of all, Botox will never be permanent. I do, however, agree with you that for most patients, Botox will last longer the more times you've had it. Now that you have been using it for 2 years, I'd recommend you see if you can go 4 months between injections. If that works over a year, or three injections, I'd even try to get you out to 5 or 6 months between injections. However, I would not recommend going more than 6 months between injections, it never works well. Also, many patients can't extend their injections, especially for areas like the crows feet. For them, every 3 months is something they need to do forever.

Andrew Campbell, M.D.

Facial Rejuvenation Specialist

Quintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


In my practice I have patients who only need their botox every 6 months and others that need it every 3 months; no matter how long they have been getting botox.  A lot of these patients have been getting Botox for 5 plus years. Everyone is different.  The theory is, the longer you get Botox consistently the longer it should last as you are training these muscles to stay relaxed.   Some people tend to use their muscles in there face more than others.  Best of luck to you. 

Shahin Fazilat, MD, FACS
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 13 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.