Medically reperceived by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — Written by Sara Lindberg on January 27, 2020

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If onabotulinumtoxinA, a neurotoxin obtained from a type of bacteria referred to as Clostridium botulinum, is a term you’ve never heard before, you’re not alone.

Otherwise known as Botox Cosmetic, this prescription medication is used to temporarily paralyze facial muscles and also assist make modeprice to serious forehead lines, crow’s feet, and also frown lines much less noticeable.

Considered a fairly safe and also straightforward procedure, according to a 2016 study, you deserve to commonly mean to see and feel the complete results of Botox 10 to 14 days after the procedure.

You are watching: How long does botox take to set in

We talked through a couple of specialists to find out exactly how long it takes for Botox to occupational and how long you have the right to mean to see and feel outcomes.


When Botox takes effect

In basic, you deserve to check out the effects of Botox as early on as 3 to 4 days after an injection. Dr. Osauto Trujillo, a facial plastic surgeon at Columbia College Irving Medical Center, states many patients will see outcomes within 10 to 14 days but must wait the full 14 days to watch the maximum outcomes.

While the results vary based on components such as the area treated and also frequency of injection, Trujillo says outcomes mostly last 3 months.

In addition to the area treated and also frequency of injection, the timeline of efficacy is also impacted by the dose of Botox. According to Dr. Melanie Palm, a board-certified dermatologist and also cosmetic surgeon, it shows up that the better the dose offered in a space, the longer the impact on the muscles.

“Because of this, lighter dosing that looks a lot of ‘natural’ may last only 6 to 8 weeks, while heavier dosing (even more units) could last more than 6 months however ‘paralyze’ the appearance of muscles, such as the frown lines,” she sassist.

Due to the fact that of the distinction in outcomes, Palm says this breakable balance between dose, wanted look, and duration is somepoint you have to comment on through your healthcare provider prior to therapy to collection proper expectations.


Timeline for forehead, crow’s feet, and between the brows

The the majority of widespread locations of the confront for Botox include the forehead, about the eyes (crow’s feet), and also between the eyebrows. In general, Trujillo states the finer the lines, the quicker the results.

“For example, patients will certainly generally view results more quickly in areas such as the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) and fine forehead lines,” he shelp.

However before, Trujillo says the results may take much longer for areas wbelow the lines are deep or etched. “This includes the lines between the eyebrows or incredibly deep or etched forehead lines,” he sassist.

In addition, Palm says it’s not that Botox injected in various locations takes different quantities of time to check out outcomes — it’s really the concentration of product injected and just how it’s injected into the muscle that determines the ultimate effect.

That sassist, “It is possible that larger muscles receiving much less units (think forehead) may appear to kick in slower than a smaller sized muscle (a weaker frown) receiving even more units,” she defined.


While some outcomes are noticeable after 3 or 4 days, it deserve to take a few weeks to check out maximum outcomes. Why this delay?

Botox binds at a link allude between muscles and nerves referred to as the motor endplate. When this happens, Palm says the nerves “bark orders” at the muscle to relocate, and also the motor endplate of the nerves, which is the megaphone, hollers at the nerve to contract.

“Botox binds to a particular protein referred to as SNARE at the motor endplate that sends chemical messages (the shouting protein, aka, acetylcholine) to tell the muscle to move,” sassist Palm.

Botox silences this game of telephone, and also without the chemical acetylcholine being released, Palm claims the muscle doesn’t relocate.

Although Botox binds easily, Palm claims the shutting off of SNARE, and the silencing of acetylcholine takes numerous days. This describes why the onset of Botox isn’t prompt, however rather takes several days.

“Botox is administered by injection under the skin, wright here it is took in by nerve cells in call via the muscle,” shelp Trujillo. In extremely fundamental terms, Trujillo claims it takes time for Botox to take effect on the muscle and also speak or undermine the muscle contractivity that reasons the lines and also wrinkles to show up on the surchallenge of the skin.

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“Once those muscles speak contracting, the lines or wrinkles release, resulting in an improved appearance of the skin,” he added.