Botox is the most popular, and probably the most effective single cosmetic treatment available. In fact, it was it’s discovery of how well it could treat wrinkles that truly enabled minimally invasive rejuvenation.
One of the most common questions I receive about Botox treatment from patients is how long it will take before results are seen. The short answer is that it typically takes 3 days to start seeing results and 2-3 weeks to see full results.
Botox treats wrinkles by preventing muscles from contracting and wrinkling overlying skin. It actually does this by blocking nerves from sending signals to the muscle to contract.
After being injected, Botox gets absorbed by the nerve endings in the area. Once absorbed, Botox blocks the nerve’s ability to release chemicals that lead to contraction of its associated muscle.
Under normal circumstances, your brain signals a muscle to contract by sending a message down a nerve fiber leading to the release of chemicals onto that muscle. Those chemicals cause the muscle to contract. Botox works by blocking the release of those signaling chemicals from the nerve fiber.
Why it takes a few days to start seeing effects and longer to see full results is because it takes time for Botox to be absorbed and exert its effects on a nerve fiber. However, once it kicks in, there’s no denying that Botox works great.
In fact, according the realself.com, Botox gets a 95% user satisfaction rating. That is very high especially considering the number of people who get Botox and have weighed in with their opinion.
One of the reasons Botox is so highly rated is that it’s effects are predictable and noticeable. In fact, it is rare for one not to respond to treatment. There are some patients who develop a resistance to the effects of Botox, but it is rare.
The most common reason for patients to think Botox did not work is because they see residual lines in the area treated. Wrinkles can have both a dynamic and static component. Dynamic lines only appear when the muscle is flexed. These will virtually always respond to Botox treatment.
Static lines are present even when the skin is at rest. These lines are “etched in”. One way to tell whether or not you have static lines is to stretch your wrinkle. If you can still see a line even as your wrinkle is stretched, it means there is a static component. A filler such as Restylane or Juvederm is needed to treat the static component of the line.
It has been my observation, too, that static lines diminish over time with regular and consistent Botox treatments. It’s almost as though the area of wrinkling acclimates to its less wrinkled state.