When does Botox kick in and when does it start working? These are two different questions:
We'll explain the difference and tell you what you should and should NOT do for the quickest and best results.
Botox starts working as soon as it's injected.
But, most people won't notice anything until 3-5 days after injection. That's when small, subtle changes start to happen.
But, that is only the beginning...
You can expect to see full effects to kick in anywhere from 7-14 days after your Botox treatment (injection).
When the Botulinum toxin is injected, it settles in between the muscles and the nerve cells, an area called the motor endplate.
Here is where Botox does it magic!
After injection, Botox begins to bind to a group of proteins called SNARE. These proteins play a role in muscle movement because they're responsible for releasing a muscle-moving chemical called acetylcholine (ACh).
The more SNARE proteins Botox binds up, the less ACh floating around, and the less muscle movement there will be.
Without ACh, the muscles at the injection site will not move.
So, even though you don't see any difference right after injection, the toxin is working binding up those SNARE proteins and thus reducing the amount of acetylcholine.
While Botox is slowly binding SNARE proteins, your body is continuously making them. That is why there is a time lag (a few days) from the moment of injection to when muscles start to weaken.
It takes that long for Botox to bind enough proteins, so there is little acetylcholine left to allow the muscles to move.
“In the presynaptic terminal, released light chains of BoNT enzymatically destroy one of the SNARE proteins. The SNARE proteins are being continuously made. Hence the time from injection to weakness must depend on how long it takes to get sufficient damage to interfere with synaptic release. This time must be days.” 1
How to speed up Botox results: Here are some tips on what you can do and should NOT do to help it kick in faster.
While there is nothing you can do to get immediate results, there are a few things to consider, for getting the best results quickly.
The areas that usually respond quicker are the smaller or weaker muscles, like those around the forehead or crow's feet area.
Areas with strong facial muscles may take a little longer for the treatment to take effect. Do not worry if you’re one of these people. You can enjoy the rejuvenating, wrinkle-eliminating effects of Botox, too.
For areas with particularly deep lines or those who are getting their first injection late in life, more than one injection may be necessary to see the desired results.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
A: Depending on where your injection was, you might feel a slightly tight sensation or a feeling of heaviness. However, in general, most people can't feel Botox working. But, can see it when they try moving the injected muscle area.
A: No. While Botox starts working as soon as it's injected, most people will not start to see any results for about 3-5 days. And full results (when Botox kicks in) is usually seen in about 10-14 days.
A: Botox works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. When Botox is injected into facial muscles, the muscles in the treatment area become immobilized. When muscles can't move, the overlying skin (with static lines and deeper dynamic wrinkles) begins to relax and smooth out. By relaxing facial expressions, many people take on a more youthful appearance.
A: After about 3-5 days, you might feel a tight sensation around the injection area. Then, about a week after that, most people notice their dynamic lines (these are wrinkles that develop from constant and repetitive facial expressions) start to soften and become less visible.
If your wrinkles are still visible after 2 weeks, you might need more Botox and you should consult with your provider.
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