Each year, more than seven million injections of Botulinum Toxin, commonly known as Botox, are administered in the United States to treat facial wrinkles and medical issues, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
This extremely popular non-invasive skin treatment that helps people look younger requires patients to maintain an aftercare routine to achieve the best results and avoid complications. Aesthetic medical providers recommend following specific aftercare tips to prevent bruising and maximize their chances of enjoying youthful, smooth skin.
Botox is a brand name for one brand of botulinum toxin injections, but you will also find Botox injections under the names Dysport, Myobloc, and Xeomin, among others. Whatever brand your doctor uses, the skin care regimen you follow for a specified amount of time will be similar.
What Happens When You Get a Botox Treatment?
Doctors often give their patients rules to follow before getting Botox. Although these recommendations may differ among providers, you can generally expect your doctor to tell you not to drink alcohol for a week prior to your Botox injection appointment. You should also stop anti-inflammatory medications to help prevent bruising.
How Long Does a Botox Procedure Take?
Generally, Botox injections take 10 to 15 minutes to administer. However, if you want to target multiple areas, your session may take longer. Before the injections, your provider will clean the treatment area. You may be asked to move some of your muscles to help your doctor administer Botox.
Anesthesia isn’t necessary, but you may receive a topical numbing cream to make the injected area more comfortable. Expect to feel minor discomfort when your provider inserts the needle.
Top Botox Aftercare Tips
Although Botox treatments are generally considered safe, not listening to your provider can result in increased side effects and a longer recovery time. Following these top Botox aftercare tips will increase your chances of having a successful procedure.
1. Use Ice on the Treated Area
If you experience swelling, redness, or discomfort around the injections, you can safely apply a cold compress on the affected area to ease the symptoms. Just lay the compress gently on the site and don’t apply pressure. You can also use ice to cool your skin.
Bruising and swelling are the most common side effects, most of which disappears within 48 hours. Never take ibuprofen or apply heat to Botox injection sites, as either could cause the toxin to migrate to unintended areas.
2. Skip Exercise for a Few Days
If you regularly do cardiovascular workouts or weight training, skip your routine for several days. Don’t do any strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after Botox injections. Exercise increases overall blood flow and may unintentionally spread your Botox treatment to other areas and lessen its effectiveness.
3. Stay Out of the Sun and Away From Heat
Avoid sun exposure for at least 24 hours after receiving Botox injections. Any heat is also bad for you as both the sun and heat will increase your blood pressure and lead to bruising. Stay away from tanning beds, hot tubs, saunas, and excessively hot showers and baths. When you head back into direct sunlight, make sure you use high-quality sunscreen on the areas where you received your treatments.
4. Avoid Alcohol
After your Botox injections, you should wait at least 24 hours to drink alcohol. Alcohol has anti-inflammatory properties and can thin your blood, increasing possible bruising.
5. Avoid Touching the Injection Sites
Whether you have received Botox to target wrinkles on your face or for medical treatment on another part of your body, don’t touch the affected area for one to three days. Touching or rubbing the injection site can move the botulinum toxin away from the site where you want it to work. If you had injections on your forehead, avoid wearing tight headbands.
6. Give Yourself a Break From Other Skin Treatments
Avoid facials and other skin treatments like dermal fillers, exfoliating scrubs, microdermabrasion, and similar procedures for at least 24 hours. Getting another treatment can potentially dislodge your Botox injections before they have a chance to settle into the targeted muscles. It will also allow the effects of Botox to take hold and work their magic on your facial wrinkles.
7. Ditch the Makeup
You can wear makeup after Botox, but most doctors recommend not doing so for at least 24 hours. By applying makeup, you’ll put pressure on the injection sites. If you must wear makeup, apply it as lightly as possible.
8. Be Careful When Sleeping
Whether you get Botox injections on your face or elsewhere, avoid lying down or sleeping for the first four hours. On the first night after the procedure, sleep on your back or on the opposite side from where the injections were placed.
Overall, Botox is a safe cosmetic procedure. Following these aftercare tips will allow the toxin to settle properly into the muscles to get the best possible results while reducing the chances of getting any adverse side effects or complications.