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 42

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 16 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.

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!

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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
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

HA fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane can be done to reduce deep frown lines.

If you are unable to frown at all, that means that the Botox is working and additional Botox will probably not soften the lines any more. If you had deep lines in the area to start, you may have residual skin creases after Botox despite not being able to frown. If so, a small amount of filler can often help to soften the residual lines/creases. HA fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane can be done to reduce deep frown lines, but take care to only have filler done in that area by a highly skilled and experienced dermatologist. The area between the brows is considered a higher risk area to have filler injected into, so you need to make sure that your injector knows what they are doing. Also, know that over time and after repeated maintenance injections, the results of Botox look better and better because the muscle is not as strong; therefore, the lines are not as deep.

How Long Does Botox Take to Work?

Typically, one will begin to see effects within 2-3 days. Usually, full effects are seen within a week. As a neuromodulator that inhibits reuptake of acetylcholine and the nerve junction, BoTox will continue to work until it wears off at the site. There is no limit to how long one can receive it, but it generally lasts for about 3-4 months on average.

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


Botox typically takes affect within 3-4 days. If not, the patient should wait approx.10 days to see the full effect. If the patient still does not see a difference after the 10 days the patient should followup with the injector who did the treatment.

I hope this helps!

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 68 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.