Botox Aftercare: Everything You Need To Know After Treatment


Written by Dermacare Hampton Roads on .
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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), over seven million Botox injections (also known as Botulinum Toxin injections) were given in the U.S. in 2020 for treating wrinkles and medical issues. In comparison, just over two million dermal filler injections (Juvederm, Restylane, etc.) were administered in 2018. So, it’s easy to tell which noninvasive, skin rejuvenating injectable is the most preferred among people who want to turn back their “skin clock” — Botox!

Dermatologists have also learned how to optimize the amazing results of Botox injections by studying the effectiveness of different types of Botox aftercare techniques. Here are the top 10 Botox aftercare recommendations that Botox injectors strongly urge their patients to follow to enjoy youthful, smooth facial skin. Dermacare of Hampton Roads provides quality skincare solutions, including Botox injections. Contact our office for an appointment or to have any of your questions answered.

10 Things to Know About Botox Aftercare

Your skin care professional will provide detailed Botox aftercare instructions so you’re sure to experience the full effect and benefit from your treatment. Here are a few things to keep in mind before returning to your normal activities.

1. Ice Is OK

Some people experience swelling and discomfort around injection sites. You can safely apply a cold compress on treated areas to relieve discomfort and minimize swelling. However, don’t put pressure on the cold compress. Just gently lay the compress on the swelling. Slight bruising and swelling near injection sites are commonly reported side effects of Botox injections that diminish within 48 hours after treatment. Taking NSAIDs or applying heat to swollen injection areas would not only worsen discomfort, it could cause migration.  This is strongly advised against.  

2. Exercise Your Face

About an hour after you receive Botox injections, exercise your facial muscles by frowning, squinting, smiling, and raising your eyebrows for 30 seconds. Repeat these exercises several times throughout the day to help the Botox solution infiltrate targeted muscles. However, be aware that you don’t have to exercise your face to get the same great results from Botox. Moving facial muscles and performing recommended facial exercises may simply expedite the reduced appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by approximately 1 day.

3. Wait a Couple of Days Before Heading Back to the Gym

Strenuous activity increases heart rate and blood flow. While it’s fine to take a leisurely walk after receiving Botox injections, stay off the Ellipticals and Nordic Tracks for at least 24 hours. Heavy exercise may inadvertently spread Botox to other areas, which could decrease the effectiveness of Botox and cause unintended side effects. Strenuous exercise after treatment could also increase the risk of swelling and bruising around the treatment areas.

4. Avoid Putting on Cosmetics for the rest of the day.

Applying liquid foundation, blush, face powder, eyeshadow, and even eyebrow pencil can stimulate the skin enough to cause dispersal of Botox to unintended areas. People who get Botox injections for medical reasons should also avoid pressing on injection sites and the skin surrounding the injection sites. It is perfectly fine to apply cosmetics the following day.

5. No Lying Down or Leaning Forward Significantly for 4 Hours

Lying down or bending over for more than a few minutes following Botox treatment may disperse the Botox solution from its intended site. If you are someone who bruises easily, sitting upright can also help reduce bruising by preventing increased blood flow to your face.

6. Try to Sleep on Your Back

The first night after your Botox treatment, sleep on your back as much as possible to minimize pressure on facial muscles. Of course, if your injections were meant to reduce forehead wrinkles or brow furrowing, you won’t have to worry about the pressure of your face against your pillow. However, Botox injections for treating crow’s feet are typically given near or on the side of the face. If you tend to sleep on your side, try placing pillows next to your body to stop you from turning over while sleeping.

7. Don’t Drink Alcohol Before or After Botox

Beer, wine, and hard liquor contain ethanol, a substance that dilates blood vessels and increases blood pressure. When blood vessels expand, this allows more blood to flow rapidly throughout your body. Increased blood flow means possible worsening of swelling and bruising at and around injection sites. A good rule of thumb regarding alcohol and Botox aftercare: avoid alcohol 48 hours before and after Botox treatment.

8. Put Off Other Skin Treatments

Wait for at least 24 to 48 hours before you get facials, microdermabrasion, laser skin therapy, massages. This gives the Botox time to work its magic on muscles responsible for wrinkles. 

9. Relax in the Shade

Avoid full sun exposure for the rest of the day after receiving Botox injections. Any kind of heat (including hot showers) will increase your blood pressure and promote bruising. If possible, avoid going out in the sun for one to two days to fully reduce the potential of migration due to sunlight and heat. Also, stay out of tanning beds, saunas, and hot tubs for at least 24 hours. (When it’s safe to go back into the sunshine, be sure to use a high-quality sunscreen.)

10. Botox Aftercare and Medications

Most people do not need to take any painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen after having Botox injections because any discomfort is almost always minimal and temporary. Although rarely reported, headaches may emerge in some people following Botox treatments, in which case acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken. However, if you are taking a prescription blood thinner like Warfarin, do not stop taking it until you have talked to your doctor.

What Does Research Say About the Safety of Botox?

Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on Botox over the past 30 years that show Botox is the safest, most effective cosmetic neuro-paralyzing injectable. For example, a comprehensive, placebo-controlled study involving 537 individuals receiving Botox injections found that:

  • Improvement of glabellar lines (brow furrows) proved superior to results seen in the placebo group.

  • Peak results were noticeable 30 days after treatment. Eight out of 10 participants in the study reported significant reductions in glabellar lines, with some reporting total elimination of brow furrows.

  • Headache was the most common side effect reported (13 percent). About three percent reported temporary blepharoptosis (drooping eyelid).

  • Subjects opting for second and third Botox treatment sessions reported fewer side effects.

A recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical study investigating Botox safety states that Botox is “comparably effective and safe for treating facial wrinkles.” In addition, the authors of the study report that Botox “does not cause permanent changes to targeted muscles or nerve terminals, nor does Botox cause any long-term adverse effects in the dermatology field.”

Botox Aftercare: When To Contact Your Doctor

Adhering to all Botox aftercare recommendations is the best way to ensure you see optimal results without experiencing unwanted side effects. For individuals who have Botox injections for cosmetic purposes only, the U.S. FDA cites the following symptoms that indicate you should contact a physician as soon as possible:

  • Difficulty swallowing, breathing, or speaking

  • Loss of muscle strength/general muscle weakness throughout the body

  • Blurry or double vision

  • Dysphonia (change/loss of voice or hoarseness that is not attributed to other medical conditions)

  • Reduced bladder control

  • Wheezing, itching, rash, and other signs of an allergic reaction

Although these side effects of Botox are extremely rare, be aware that they can emerge several days or weeks after receiving Botox treatment. Your doctor will be happy to talk about any of your concerns during your consultation appointment at our premier medical spa. Dermacare of Hampton Roads serves residents of Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and surrounding areas.

Contact Our Experienced Skin Care Professionals Today To Schedule an Appointment for Botox Treatment

Call 757-317-3748 to make an appointment or complete our medical history, and we’ll be in touch soon! You will be scheduled to speak with a knowledgeable Dermacare staff member who will be happy to answer all your questions regarding Botox injections and Botox aftercare.  With almost 50 years of combined Botox experience, we are here for you!

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Written By Dermacare Hampton Roads

Dermacare Hampton Roads
Our DermacareHR skin care experts listen to your concerns and design a customized treatment plan just for you. Dermacare Hampton Roads is the premier medical spa serving Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake. We understand your desire to look as good as you feel, and with our Laser and Skin Care products, we can help you reach your skincare goals.
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