Botox is the most popular non-invasive cosmetic treatment, according to a 2020 report. 6.2 million Botox injections were administered globally, and each year this figure grows. It’s safe to say that botox is a popular treatment. It’s effective, requires zero down time, and results are long lasting.
But as with any procedure, you need to follow the right pre and post care instructions for botox to get the best results. So today we’ll be answering some of the most asked questions about botox aftercare, with the help of Dr. Oisin Browne, who works out of our 15 Anne South St, Dublin Sisu Clinic location.
BOTOX® is the brand name for the cosmetic form of botulinum toxin, more informally referred to as botox. Botulinum toxin is a neuromodulator that, when injected into the skin in small doses, relaxes muscles. BOTOX® is just one brand name. There are other neuromodulators that work similarly, including Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®.
When botox or another neuromodulator is injected, it relaxes the muscles. This has many uses.
The most common use for botox is to prevent and minimize wrinkles. Wrinkles and lines in the skin are caused by facial expressions. The underlying muscles of the face move when you talk - for some people more than others. Over time, this causes lines and folds in the skin that become more noticeable with age.
To prevent wrinkles from facial movement, botox is injected into the muscles to relax them. As a result, the muscle does not move and fine lines soften. Ideally, getting botox before any lines appear will prevent them from forming. Thus, you’ll maintain your youthful appearance!
But this is just one of the many uses for botox. Another popular use is for excessive sweating, medically known as hyperhidrosis. For people who experience excessive and abnormal levels of sweating, botox is an effective treatment. Botox can be used on any body part, including hands, to treat overactive sweat glands. Sisu Clinic treats patients who experience excessive sweating of the feet, hands, and forehead, among other areas.
Botox is injected into the area of concern and the chemical blocks the nerve signals that are responsible for sweating. The result is that the sweat glands that produce sweat have been halted. You’ll still sweat elsewhere like normal, but the areas that overproduce sweat will be directly targeted. The treatment is non-invasive and quick, with results lasting between 6-12 months.
Some people notice that they grind their teeth and clench their jaw - often during the night while they are sleeping, but for others it can be a response to stress and anxiety. Injecting botox into the masseter muscle can weaken its strength and thus prevent strenuous jaw clenching and grinding.
Another side effect of masseter botox is a facial slimming effect. However, this only occurs for individuals that are experiencing masseter hypertrophy; which is when the jaw muscle increases in size as a result of excess clenching over time. To get the facial slimming effect from masseter botox, a few treatments are required. This is because the jaw muscle can metabolize botox quicker than other areas because of how frequently the jaw is used for eating!
For some, smiling reveals their gums. This can be due to facial anatomy or thin lips. Injecting botox relaxes the upper lip so that it no longer rests high on the gumline, which is what causes a “gummy smile”. Many patients comment that their lips look bigger despite no filler being injected. This is because the botox prevents the lips from ‘peeling back’ when you smile. You can enjoy these results just one week after treatment.
A neck lift using botox - sometimes referred to as a Nefertiti Neck Lift - is a treatment where botox is administered to specific muscles in the neck. The application makes the muscles less pronounced and smooths out the skin, minimizing and eliminating fine lines and creases. A botox neck lift is a smart option for patients who want to rejuvenate and refresh their neckline without invasive and painful surgery.
Botox is used as a way to treat migraines, and is effective in about 50 percent of patients, according to the co-founder of Sisu Clinic, Dr. James Cotter, “For those patients who have exhausted all other options of migraine-relief, Botox is an extremely effective option and can drastically improve their quality of life."
Botox helps to relieve tension from chronic migraines by reducing painful muscular contractions and pain signals typically sent to the brain during an episode. Botox for migraines targets the chronically tight muscles that cause tension headaches, including cervicogenic headaches.
For this treatment, botox can be administered in the forehead, temples, scalp, neck and at the back of the head. Your medical provider will try to identify and address trigger points that are the source of the pain to determine the appropriate areas to target..
Injecting botox around the eyebrows can help to create a subtle lift and improve uneven arches. It’s popular for patients with droopy or hooded eyes; something that oftens worsens with age. That’s because the excess frowning or tension in the forehead can cause the brow to sag. Treating the underlying muscles can release the furrowing.
The best way to establish whether botox is the right treatment for you is to have a consultation with an experienced, highly skilled aesthetic provider. Book a free consultation here.
Wondering what to do before your botox appointment? As a non-invasive procedure, you don’t have to do much other than look forward to your appointment! However, there are a few things that you can bear in mind to accelerate your recovery and get the best results. Here’s what to do, and what to avoid before getting botox.
When it comes to getting botox injections, it’s important to know what your desired end result is, and making that known to your cosmetic provider.
At Sisu, we spend time in each consultation and at the beginning of each appointment to listen to what you want and advise accordingly. We do not suggest treatments unless specifically asked as we understand that each individual has different desired outcomes. Our goal is to naturally enhance your features, but if you want something specific out of your botox injections, make that known so we can fulfill it!
It’s also important that you share any relevant medical history with your provider, including any medications you are taking. This is to prevent any side effects and to get the best possible results in the safest possible manner.
Similarly, it’s important to do your research on botox before getting it. If you’re reading this, you’re on the right path! We advocate for informed decision making when it comes to cosmetic treatments to make sure it’s the right decision for you.
For example, there are situations in which you should not get botox. Like if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. During your initial consultation for botox your provider will also go over this.
Plus, part of the research is to manage your expectations. If you come in with heavy-set brows due to your natural facial anatomy, you should not expect a brow lift to drastically alter the position of your brows. Your Sisu provider will go over this with you during the consultation, but conducting your own research will also help to set your expectations.
Certain types of medication thin the blood which increase your risk of bleeding and bruising after botox. These include but are not limited to:
We recommend avoiding blood thinners for around a week before your botox appointment. If you have been prescribed blood thinners by your doctor, seek their professional guidance before stopping.
Avoid indulging in alcoholic beverages for the 48 hours leading up to your botox injections. This botox pre care tip is key as alcohol has adverse effects on the skin. Firstly, it dries out the skin and makes it more sensitive. As a result, you may experience more bruising, swelling, and redness after botox. Secondly, alcohol is also a blood thinner, which as mentioned above can also delay recovery.
Before getting botox, remove any makeup you have on your skin. Your Sisu provider will clean the injection sites prior to treatment with an antiseptic, however, it’s still a good idea to remove makeup before botox. This will make sure your skin is clean so that no bacteria is going into the skin.
During your appointment, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your Sisu provider will walk you through each step, so you are completely aware of what is happening and when. However, if you have any additional questions relating to your botox injections, feel free to ask.
Now that your botox injections have been administered, it’s time to relax and wait for it to kick-in! But there are some botox aftercare instructions that you should be aware of to make sure that you recover optimally and allow for the best results possible.
What you do after botox is vital. Even though it’s a non-invasive procedure, your skin has still experienced a tiny puncture from the needle and the targeted muscle has been exposed to the neuromodulator and is getting absorbed by the nerve cells. For this reason, there are certain things you should avoid after botox, and some things that help speed up recovery after botox. Here’s what you need to know.
When you exercise, your heart rate increases and your body temperature rises. Both of these factors can impair your body’s ability to recover optimally after botox.
As your heart rate elevates, it increases blood flow around your body, including to the injection site. This could possibly cause the Botox to spread from the initial injection site. This could reduce the efficacy of the treatment, or perhaps even temporarily paralyze surrounding muscles. Increased blood flow can also cause swelling in the injection area, which will delay your results.
When your body temperature increases, you’re more likely to sweat. This can increase your risk of bruising and swelling after botox.
Four or so hours after botox you can engage in light exercise that doesn’t spike your heart rate, like walking. However, you still want to stay in an upright position. We’ll explain why in point three!
Check out this article we wrote that explains more about exercise and botox, and why you should skip the workout after injections.
It’s not just exercise that increases your body temperature. Saunas, steam rooms, sun tanning, or sunbeds all raise your body temperature and can increase your risk of swelling and bruising after botox.
If you live in a hot climate, try to stay inside for the first day after getting botox. Keeping the area cool will help you recover quickly.
This may sound like a strange one, so you may be wondering “what happens if I lay down after botox?”, and the answer is: probably nothing. However, it’s better to err on the side of caution. You want to give the botox a chance to ‘settle in’. Lying down after botox may cause it to migrate or spread to the surrounding tissues.
Plus, because many people sleep on their side, when you lay down after botox, you are likely putting pressure on the injection site. This can cause swelling, bruising, and general discomfort as well as increasing the risk of migration.
In general, aim to stay upright for at least four hours after botox. If you get botox in the evening and are going to bed within four hours, lay down on your back with your head elevated. This will help to minimize blood flow to the area to combat bruising and swelling after botox.
Botox is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure. You may experience a pinprick sensation, which some tolerate better than others. If you have a low threshold for discomfort, you can ice the area immediately after treatment. Icing the area constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow so also has advantages in terms of limiting bruising and swelling after botox injections.
Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap an ice pack in a light towel and gently hold it to the skin. Do not apply pressure as this may worsen discomfort. Do this for five to 10 minutes when needed for the first 24 hours after botox.
Avoid putting on makeup immediately after botox. It’s best to avoid it for the rest of the day if you can, but if you do have plans and want to put makeup on, wait at least four hours before applying it. If you do apply it, make sure the makeup applicator is sterile.
Applying makeup or using unclean makeup brushes increases your risk of spreading bacteria into the injection site and possibly getting infected. While this likelihood is very low and not something commonly seen, it’s better to practice hygienic habits after botox to recover as quickly as possible.
For the first day or two after botox, avoid touching the injection site. The reasons for this are two-fold: to avoid spreading bacteria to the treated area, and to avoid placing pressure on the site which may cause migration or swelling.
Some people wonder if they can do Pilates after botox, and unfortunately, if you will be putting pressure on the injection site it’s advisable that you skip it for the first 24 hours.
Other things that put pressure on the injection site include wearing a hat, scarf, headband, or your sleeping position.
Arnica is a homeopathic herb that has been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling, making it one of the most effective, natural remedies for bruising after botox. You can apply arnica topically in a cream or gel form, or orally in a supplement form.
If you would like to naturally avoid bruising after botox, take an arnica tablet before your appointment, and every six hours after your injections, for the next few days.
Here are other natural ways to avoid bruising:
While doctors recommend avoiding makeup for 24 hours, you should still stick to your skincare routine after botox, with a few adjustments. For example, harsh ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, hydroxy acid, vitamin C, and any other exfoliants or ‘actives’. Despite being extremely effective, active ingredients can be harsh on the skin. After botox, your skin is more sensitive and may respond poorly to these ingredients.
So what is the best skincare advice after botox? Stick to gentle ingredients and a simplified routine - a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF in the morning. You only have to do this for the first day or two after botox. If you have specific questions about skincare and botox, like if you have been prescribed topicals from your dermatologist, discuss this with your provider.
If you’ve followed the pre-botox protocols, continue this for another day! Avoiding alcohol after botox will allow your body to recover quickly and reduce the risk of swelling and bruising after botox.
The final botox aftercare tip we’ve got is to be patient. The general timeline for botox to work is between three to seven days. However, this might be longer for certain areas. For example, if you want to enjoy the facial slimming effect of masseter botox, it takes three to six months to see improvements.
Once the botox has been injected, it will do its job. But you have to be patient. If you are not seeing the results you wanted after the timeline set by your provider, you can come in to be assessed. There is always some variation in how each person responds to botox, which your provider will be able to pre-empt when they treat you consistently, to ensure you get the best results every time!
To wrap up, let’s summarize what we’ve covered. Here’s what you should do before botox:
Here’s what what you should do after botox:
To get the best results from your botox injections, follow these pre and post-care tips. For more information, or to book your botox consultation, click here.
Sisu Clinic is a doctor-led aesthetic medicine destination offering a comprehensive range of the most advanced beauty treatments in the world—including botox, dermal fillers, skin boosters, thread lifts, and more.
Our patient-focused, empathic approach to care is focused on enhancing the natural beauty of our patients, favoring timelessness and elegance over trends and artificial results and empowering everyone we treat to put their best face forward.