How Long Does Botox Take to Work?

I am 24. My frown lines are very deep especially for my age. I had botox twice. I am not able to frown, however, I have not seen a difference in my frown lines. My dermatologist did not want to give me more than 20 units. Do I just need more Botox or another treatment? I have had the lines Since I was 22.

Doctor Answers 50

Botox Usually Takes Affect Within 2-3 Days

Botox usually takes its affect within 2-3 days after the injection, and it can take up to 1-2 weeks for the full effect to be seen. None of the toxins on the market have FDA approval to say how fast they work, although studies have been done which basically say that Dysport may take affect in 2 days, Botox and Xeomin within 3 days. Obviously, everyone is different and you may have a different onset. We tell our patients to return at 2 weeks to make sure that the injections did what we wanted, and sometimes, we give more toxin to maximize the results.

If you still have lines present in your frown areas after the injections have taken affect, then you, your board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, should discuss other treatment options, most of which will be the use of hyaluronic acid fillers into the area where you still have lines, usually Restylane, Juvederm, or Belotero.

Make sure you work with a skilled provider and injector to maximize your results.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Botox Mechanism

Botox works on dynamic wrinkles - those are wrinkles what occur with contraction of your muscle underneath your skin.  If you have static wrinkles - those that are there even at rest, then you may need a combination of Botox and dermal filler to achieve the best results.  Over time, with continued use of Botox, you may see a marked improvement in the static wrinkles as well.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Botox Time Frame

Typically, you can start to see the effects of botox in 3-5 days. It can take up to two weeks for you to see the full effects.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

2-3 days

Most patients will start experiencing a heaviness sensation in the first 24 hours.  By 48-72 hours most patients will start noticing that the muscles that were injected are no longer responding "normally".  Most people will have the full effect by 1 week, but it may take up to 2 weeks.  In my experience, these first couple weeks are the most "intense", especially in a newbie to Botox.  You may not be used to the sensation and feeling of your facial muscles not responding normally.  New patients tend to perseverate on this and are always looking in the mirror checking their degree of relaxation.  If you were to just go about your normal day, you would probably not even notice a change.  

At 1 month you probably have hit the sweet spot.  For sure the total effect has hit by now, and in most people it has dulled down or regressed just enough that things are feeling more natural.  We then see that at the 2 month and then 3 month mark we are slowly getting back more and more motion.  By 3-4 months Botox has usually worn off and full animation of the facial muscles has returned.  

In your particular case, it is unusual that your frown lines are so deep at such a young age.  However, if you really have no motion with frowning and still have lines, you will likely need to speak to your surgeon about fillers to start reversing those deeper lines.  

Hope this helps!

Brian Arslanian, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


Botox generally takes effect after 2-7 days, however, it can take as long as 14 days to see the effect.

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How Long Does Botox Take to Work?

The answer to this question surprises many patients as they think it will be working right after they get their injection. Botox, like any drug, takes a while to be effective. The reason is that the protein that is in Botox and is the essential part of the drug has to be absorbed into the nerve, transported down the nerve, and then bound to nerve endings where it works by blocking the release of a chemical that makes your muscle contract.

All of that takes 3 to 10 days depending upon the patient.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Frown lines and Botox

Botox usually takes about a week to work and then lasts for several months.  The lines may take several treatments to efface. If they are really bad some filler can be injected (off-label) to help soften them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Botox begins to work immediately and takes about 72 hours to reach significant efficacy. If you are unable to frown, this would indicate to me that the Botox is working. Twenty units is a low amount so it is possible that you might need more product. Without a photograph, it is impossible to evaluate whether Botox was the appropriate treatment for the frown lines as opposed to facial filler.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


Botox typically starts working in approximately 3 days but can take up to two weeks to become fully active. Botox is a neuromodulator meaning that it is treating/preventing the movement that causes the wrinkles, secondarily improving the lines themselves.  After receiving an effective Botox treatment, the movement that causes the wrinkles of concern should be diminished.  For some, Botox needs to be combined with fillers in order to receive full correction.  The older the patient and the longer they have suffered from frown lines, the more likely they are to need additional augmentation with fillers. At your age, I would expect your skin elasticity to provide good correction with the Botox alone. It’s possible that a few additional units could be helpful, but it’s hard to say without seeing you in person. Consulting with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon would be the best way to determine the proper treatment. Best of luck!

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Normally takes just about 2 to 3 days

After having a Botox injection, it usually takes 2 to 3 days for it to start taking effect. As for the full effect, you can expect to wait an additional 1 to 2 weeks. In reality, no toxins found on the market gained an FDA approval saying how quickly they can work. However, it is also to be noted that there are studies claiming that Xeomin and Botox may take effect just within 3 days while Dysport may show its effect in about 2 days’ time. Apparently, every individual is different which means, having a different onset is possible.

With this kind of time estimate, I often instruct my patients to go back after at least 2 weeks to ensure that the Botox injections did what is expected. At times, more toxin is given for maximum results. One more thing, you need to ensure to only work with expert and skilled injectors for best results.

Robert W. Sheffield, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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.