I was told that Botox doesn't actually leave the body, just the effects of the Botox becomes inactive. Is this true?

I was told that when someone gets repeated Botox injections, their skin will eventually become lumpy - and this is because the substance builds up at the injection site after repeated use (and that Botox just becomes inactive after a certain period, but it's still there)

Doctor Answers 9

No evidence of this....Botox is removed

Thank you for your question,

This couldnt be further from the truth. Botox in fact improves your skin. 

I've posted a link to a blog below in which I discuss that botox can in fact prevent and treat wrinkles. This is why some people prefer to start using Botox at a younger age, it helps prevent wrinkles that are forming. I was also featured on Good Morning America in relation to this, so you can take a look at that is you are interested as well.

Take a look below and feel free to ask any other questions.

James P. Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Practicing in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Assistant Professor
University of Ottawa

Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Does Botox remain in the Body

Thank you for the question. When in comes to cosmetic procedures you should ask the experts. Botox definitely does not remains in the body or cause bumps. It is safe and effective for the treatment of wrinkles and even other conditions. There is the risks of side effects, but most are mild and short-lived. I hope this helps you. 

James R. Gordon, MD, FACS, FAAO
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

I was told that Botox doesn't actually leave the body, just the effects of the Botox becomes inactive. Is this true?

No, this is not true.  Botox (Botulinum toxin A) is neurotoxin made up of two polypeptid chains, one heavy (100 kDa) and one light (50 kDa), both linked by a disulfide bond.  These polypeptid chains are composed primarily of amino acids (similar to the amino acids that comprise the proteins in our own bodies).  Botox works by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter - acetylcholine.  Thus preventing the injected muscle from contracting.  After a period of 8 to 12 weeks the polypeptid chains are broken down  in the neuron via a chemical process know as the ubiquitination-proteasome pathway.  This is a normal chemical process in cells that allows for the breakdown of proteins.  It is believed that further metabolism and elimination is via the liver.   SEE: Toxicon.  2013 Jun;68: 40-59.  The life history of a botulinum toxin molecule.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Botox and Staying or Leaving the Body

Botox is completely gone after 3-4 months in the body.   Whatever you have heard is not from a medical professional educated in botox treatments.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Botox and Effects

Botox is a fabulous injection and the results are 100 percent temporary.  Botox leaves the body in four to six months and there is no permanent side effects.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Botos loeaves 100% within 4 to 6 months

You have had some very bad information.    Botox leaves the body 100 % and does not cause lumps.   Enjoy your Botox.  My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

I was told that Botox doesn't actually leave the body, just the effects of the Botox becomes inactive. Is this true?

You've received very uninformed advice. Botox is a protein and like all proteins is relatively rapidly broken down within the body. It does not accumulate and does not form lumps over time. I've been a Botox injector and patient for over 10 years and I don't have any new lumps to show for it. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Botox and when it leaves the body

This is totally false. if a doctor told you that change doctors. Botox binds to the nerve endings and snaps off a piece and then the action starts but the Botox itself is shortlivedl as the effect wear off, the nerve repairs itself and everything is left as it was before. 

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


Who ever told you that has very little understanding of how this protein works or what happens to proteins in the body or perhaps you misunderstood the conversation. Botox is a protein that attaches to neurotransmitter receptors, blocking the stimulation for muscle contraction. This protein breaks down over 3-4 months and is cleared and no longer binds the receptors. Over time, the treated muscle becomes atrophic if treated consistently. I don't understand what you mean by Botox still being there but inactive. If its still in the form of Botox, its active, when it breaks down, it can no longer competitively bind the receptors and becomes ineffective. I also don't understand what becomes "lumpy". Botox has no effect on the skin. 

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 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.