There are a few different factors that go into deciding whether or not you want to commit to a treatment like Botox. (Will it hurt? How much does it cost? Will I still be able to move my eyebrows?) Another thing to consider: How long will the results last?
According to Tracy Evans, a board-certified dermatologist and medical director at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology in San Francisco, "Botox lasts approximately three and half to four months, on average. Few people will have a small lasting effect after the four month mark."
Which begs the question: What are some factors that can cause it to wear off faster? And conversely, how can you extend the results?
"Patients who exercise a lot or are overly expressive often complain that their Botox wears off faster," explains Evans. "To extend the effect of Botox, your healthcare provider can use more units or a higher concentrated dose," she adds.
Does Botox wear off faster in certain areas of the face?
"Yes! Botox usually lasts the longest in the frown lines between your brows (aka the 'elevens'), followed by the forehead. It has a shorter lifespan on the crow’s feet around your eyes, the lip lines and the platysma bands of the neck which cause neck lines," says Evans.
How should someone prepare for their first Botox appointment?
Evans reveals, "Best practices are to see your healthcare provider ahead of your appointment for a consultation. To help prevent bruising, do not take any medications that thin the blood such as aspirin, ibuprofen or fish oil, unless you have been prescribed a blood thinner for another reason." She also notes that you should be sure to sit upright for a few hours later and do not exercise right after your treatment."
If I start getting Botox now, will I have to get it forever?
"People are often afraid that once they start getting Botox they will not be able to stop. That’s just not true. You may choose to stop at any time and the lines you had on your skin will eventually return, but they will not be any worse than they would have been if you had not used Botox," explains Evans. "Furthermore, because Botox helps to prevent lines from forming, it can stop wrinkles before they deepen, which is why some people start getting it in their 20s."
Of course there is some criticism over whether or not that's too young to start getting Botox, to which Evans says, "There isn't a specific age to start. Rather, it's a clinical and aesthetic decision based on the way a patient uses their muscles of facial expression—and that's not tied to an age."
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