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How Long Does Botox Last?

Have you ever wondered how long Botox lasts? Keep reading to learn more.

What is Botox?

Botox is a purified protein used to treat wrinkles caused by facial expressions. Think of the vertical frown lines between your eyebrows. These get deeper when you frown. You also have crow’s feet around your eyes. These are multiple wrinkles that look like a crow’s foot and they get deeper when you smile. Botox relaxes the muscles that cause these wrinkles.

Clinical Trials

Before a medicine such as Botox is approved, it goes through clinical trials. These trials test to make sure the Botox is both safe and effective. In these clinical trials there are very specific guidelines on how it is to be used and how much is to be used. For example, the first clinical trial for Botox cosmetic was done for frown lines. Botox comes in a powder and they added 2.5 mL of saline into each 100 unit vial. This makes the concentration 4 units in every 0.1 mL. The guidelines in this trial were to use 20 units total in five injection points that were each 4 units (or 0.1 mL). This was done exactly the same way for each person in the trial. What they found is that this dose improved the appearance of frown lines with minimal side effects. They also found that most people enjoyed their results for about three to four months. So when Botox cosmetic was approved to treat frown lines, the manufacturer had to train all users based on the dose used in the clinical trials. However, in real life things are a little different. Botox relaxes muscles and some people have stronger muscles than others. Therefore, some people need a higher dose. And even though the average duration was three to four months, for some people Botox lasted longer and in others Botox didn’t last as long.

Real-Life Duration of Botox results

 Now that Botox has been routinely used in frown lines and other areas, we have learned a lot about how to use it. For example, people with stronger or larger muscles need a higher dose. In general, men have stronger muscles than women, both on the body and on the face. Therefore, often times men will receive a higher dose than 20 units for frown lines. It’s not uncommon to use 30 or even 40 units. We’ve also learned that some people metabolize their Botox faster than others. So while a dose of 20 units for frown lines may last three months for one person, it may only last two months for someone else. This is because everyone’s body is different. We have noticed that people that are thin and exercise a lot tend to go through their Botox faster. So the real answer to the question of how long Botox lasts is it depends. It depends on your muscles, it depends on your metabolism, and it depends on the dose you get. Most people that get 20 units of Botox for their frown lines enjoy their Botox results for three to four months. For some it’s shorter and for others it's longer. You’ll really only know for yourself after having a Botox treatment. It also makes sense that if you get a lower dose of Botox, it won’t last as long. So if you only get 10 units of Botox for your frown lines it usually lasts about half as long, six to eight weeks. Also, multiple studies have shown that if you get a higher dose of Botox, it will last longer. In general, when receiving the standard dose of Botox (20 units for frown lines or 24 units for crow’s feet) most people enjoy their results for three to four months. At that time, a maintenance treatment with the same dose is recommended, unless the dose wasn’t enough or was too much.

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