Botox starts to work after a few days and lasts for months.
How many months is the big question. I’ve been treating patients with cosmetic botulinum type A since my residency days in New York City and I’ve administered thousands of Botox injections. On average, Botox lasts about 4 months. But, this isn’t the case for everyone. Why?
Botox works better with successive treatments.
The smoothing effect on wrinkles is a result of targeted muscle relaxation. When a muscle isn’t moving as much as it used to, it begins to shrink. Just like when you remove a cast from your arm that has been there for 2 months, the arm looks smaller. With the next Botox treatment, your muscle may take longer to recover because it’s smaller. I have some patients that see Botox results for 6 – 9 months, mostly if they have been getting treatments for a few years.
What if Botox lasts less than 4 months?
The most likely reason for a shortened duration of action is under-treatment. My first consideration would be to look at how many units were used and perhaps a stronger treatment is required. There is a rare possibility of developing antibodies to the Botox molecule, but this is unusual. Some doctors advocate the use of supplements that improve the absorption of zinc in your diet. These supplements may help but they’re not completely reliable.
Botox remains the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world so the length of effectiveness is acceptable to most people.