I had Botox done for my forehead lines. How long does this tightness and heaviness last?

Doctor Answers 12

Botox injections to forehead

Most of the patients tolerate botox treatments without any significant symptoms, but in some instances, sensations of tightness and heaviness are known to develop.  First of all, these could be related to incorrect and poor injection technique of the frontalis muscle which is typically targeted in the treatment of "forehead lines". Although these symptoms might seem counterintuitive (as botox is known to relax muscles), in some there is a compensatory mechanism triggered by the untreated surrounding muscles. The tightness that you are describing typically resolves in 1-2 weeks.  If it lasts longer, you should see your treating physician again.  

Calgary Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Botox and Tightness and Heaviness

Botox is a great injection for treating forehead lines.  However, you can sometimes feel that the forehead is tight or heavy.  This may be product placement or the amount of product that was placed.  As the Botox wears away you will feel relief from this side effect.  It can take anywhere from a month to soften and up to four months to resolve completely.  If "baby" Botox is used, there is less of a chance of this side effect.

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


Thank you for your inquiry!

After getting Botox injected to the forehead, the heavy feeling that you are experiencing usually lasts up to one week. After this, the sensation fades away and feels lighter. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

How long does the tightness and heaviness last?

The effects of Botox usually last for about 3 months. You should feel relief around that time.

Thank you for your question.

Kate Ross, MD

Kate Ross, MD
Bradenton Dermatologic Surgeon
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


Botox typically lasts 3 to 4 months, and so will the feeling of heaviness and tightness. Using Botox to help lift the brow might be helpful with the heaviness of the brow.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Heaviness and tight forehead after Botox

Hello Westy222,

When you have deep forehead wrinkles it is usually the result of one of two things.  The first, which is a great reason for treatment, is overactive muscles from expression.  This responds very well.  The second reason to have deep wrinkles is because you have heavy eyebrows or heavy eyelids.  The forehead is trying to pull these up.  This is the patient you need to be very careful injecting because you can drop the eyebrows and eyelids creating this heavy feeling.  To be safe with these patients you go with smaller amounts and stay well above the brow so some activity remains.  

To actually answer your question, the heaviness feeling will last the length of the Botox (although some say it can improve in the first month).  Botox lasts for most around 3 months.  Some people will get the tight sensation as a result of the muscle paralysis.  If this is the reason you have the tight sensation it will follow the same course as the heaviness.  If you are recently injected then sometimes the volume being injected can create a tight sensation but this should resolve within a few days of the injection.  If you are already having the heavy feeling then it is more likely related to the action of the Botox.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Forehead Botox treatments can be tricky

The "novice" Botox injector will salivate over treating deep forehead line creases. This is probably the exact wrong thing to do. The reason that these lines are deep is because the person subconsciously raises their brows to help with the natural heaviness of the upper brow. If this ability is taken away, the person feels that their forehead is heavy. This can last several weeks. In cases with pre-existing heavy brows, the injector must do very limited injections or none at all. The lines can be treated with filler or other skin tightening devices such as Infini.  

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

Tightness after Botox

When the forehead is injected with Botox there is a tightness because the lax areas with the wrinkles is smoother and that is normal with the injection and will last but you will not notice it soon. as far as the heaviness if the injections were done too close to the eyebrows the forehead will tend to drop and this will just have to wear off

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

A few days

If you have never had Botox for forehead wrinkles then the stiff feeling that may occur is a new to you.

Normally, you lift and furrow the forehead when you animate.  The object behind Botox is to soften these lines and calm down the wrinkling.  Hence, the muscles that produces these deep wrinkles are now less active. 

You should accommodate to this feeling in days to a week, afterwards you will enjoy a tension free appearance. 

Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, MD
Fairfield Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

How long does the heaviness last?

Doing botox for forehead wrinkles can leave some patients unhappy because it does sometimes cause more heaviness of the brows (the muscles that elevate the brows are paralyzed by the botox and no longer function as they should).  As far as tightness, I am assuming that you are referring to your skin being more firm and less wrinkled, but I'm not as sure how to answer that question as I'm not entirely sure what you are referring to.  In most people, the duration of action of Botox is approximately 3 months, so you should start to notice some improvement in the heaviness by at least month 3 after injection.  I wouldn't necessarily give up on Botox injections for your forehead wrinkles, but it may need to be injected a little higher in your forehead to avoid the heaviness feeling.  Best of luck!

Jeffrey A. Sweat, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 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.