Should I Wait Until Botox is Completely Gone?

Is it better to wait until the effects of a Botox treatment are completely gone before having another treatment? Or, is it ok to get a second treatment, say right at 3 months, when some of the wrinkle blocking effects are still active? I'm trying to figure out my injection schedule for the holidays! Thank you.

Doctor Answers 20

When to repeat a Botox injection

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With Botox and with fillers I tell my patients to come back when they start seeing it dissipate. When you can move your muscles or squint more apparently or create a bit more of a line, it's better to go back. Usually about 3 1/2 months is just about right for most people. This way, there's less correction to do if you don't go back to baseline every single time and have to start from scratch. Overall, things work out much better!

Botox can be repeated before its effect all wears off

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You needn't wait for four months to repeat your Botox treatment if yours is wearing off at 3 months. By treating it before it completely wears off, you have a better chance of improving the skin crease by relaxing the muscle contraction below before it has a chance of scrunching the skin again.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

When to have your next Botox treatment

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Great question. On average, Botox will last around 3 months. If you were at the 1 or 2 month mark, I would say to wait. At the 3 month mark, your Botox will either be worn off or getting close to that point. It could not hurt to get a second treatment at this time. Because you may still have some of the muscles in the area partially paralyzed, you may not need as much Botox to get the desired effect. I would recommend going to the same physician who performed your previous treatment, as he/she knows how many units of Botox were injected and would best be able to estimate how much you would need. Thanks and I hope this helps!

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Injecting more Botox before it has worn off

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I have many patients that return to me for more botox before it has completely worn off.  THey find that they need less botox to maintain their results and they don't risk going back to where they can completely move the area treated and therefore deepen the lines.  Botox on average lasts about 3-4 months.

Ritu Saini, MD - Account Suspended
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

When to repeat Botox treatments

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The timing of repeat Botox is in your discretion. Many of my patients return before it has completely worn off (who wants to see those 11 lines so acutely?). I think it is completely reasonable to have the Botox before the holidays so you can look your best.

Timing of Botox treatment

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In my experience, timing of Botox treatment prior to return of complete muscle activity works better in preventing rhytids and minimizing fluctuations in dosing between treatments.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

Botox Fort Lauderdale

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I have found with my patients who choose to come in just prior to complete return of facial expression that the longevity of the affect seems to be improved.  Theoretically, given that the patient will not have the opportunity to create the expressions that result in lines on the glabella, forehead, and periocular, this will minimize facial aging over time.

Will Richardson, MD
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox treatment interval

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The interval between Botox treatments can vary from person to person.  First off, there is no harm in having it done before it's completely worn off (3 months in your case).  The longevity of the effect from Botox can vary and some people prefer to wait until it's completely worn off and some prefer to have it done before the lines or furrows start to return.  Ultimately, it's just a personal decision as to how long to wait in between treatments.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Botox regimen

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Botox works by blocking the nerves on the muscle that tell it to contract and move.  With no movement the muscle won't wrinkle the skin and make lines.   The muscles eventually overcome the effects of botox and begin to move again at around 3 months. There is no toxicity or harm (except maybe to your pocketbook) to worry about by getting another injection before all the muscle function is back.  Actually, some people find that getting botox before all the muscle function is back completely may possibly extend the time period between treatment sessions over time.  Muscles in the face are like any other muscle in the body, if they are not utilized they weaken.  

Jessica Kulak, MD
Fairfax Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

When to "Refill" Botox

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You can come back for Botox when you start to see the effects just beginning to dissipate. This way you never give your face the chance to start forming the wrinkles and lines again. There is no contraindication to getting Botox done before it starts to wear off, but you may be wasting your money and not getting much of a change in return. 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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.