What to Know About Botox Aftercare

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on February 29, 2024
3 min read

Botox is an injectable form of botulinum toxin that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, help lazy eye, improve neck spasms, and help an overactive bladder. Botox is the brand name for this treatment. Other options that also use botulinum toxin include Daxxify, Dysport, Jeuveau, Myobloc, and Xeomin.

Botox is a neurotoxin that blocks nerve signals. This keeps your muscles from contracting, easing the appearance of wrinkles and preventing new ones from forming.

After a Botox injection, your cosmetic surgeon or a nurse will advise you on aftercare. You should avoid any exercise for at least 3 hours after treatment.

You can try frowning and raising your eyebrows about an hour after your treatment. These facial exercises aren't necessary, but they may lead to better results.

Don’t get a facial or head massage for a full 24 hours after Botox. You should also avoid rubbing your face in the area that was treated.

Don’t lie down for at least 1 hour after receiving Botox.

Don't go into any saunas, hot tubs, or tanning booths for at least 4 hours. This helps to prevent bruising because heat can raise your blood pressure.

Otherwise, you can resume your regular activities right after getting Botox.

If you plan to get Botox injections, avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure. Don’t take blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. This helps prevent redness and bruising.

Botox starts to take effect about 3 days after the injection. The full effect happens about 2 weeks after Botox injections.

Botox lasts 3 to 6 months. After that, your wrinkles should come back. If you were using it to treat another condition like excessive sweating or headaches, the symptoms will also return. 

Once it wears off, you will have to get more Botox injections to get the same results.

You may have minor side effects after Botox, including headaches, neck pain, or flu-like symptoms. You may have redness, swelling, or bruising at an injection site. You may also get indigestion.

If you notice eye drooping, call your doctor right away. This side effect is temporary, but it’s always best to rule out other conditions.

Also call your doctor if you notice:

  • Blurry vision
  • Urinary tract infection symptoms
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble talking, especially slurred speech
  • Numbness in your face
  • Paralysis in your face
  • Severe indigestion

Botulism infection from Botox is rare. 

Botulinum exists naturally in soil and on some foods. If you consume too much of it, you can get sick with botulism. The botulinum toxin used for cosmetic purposes has been developed in a lab. It's sterile and diluted so that it won't cause botulism.

Whether you get a Botox injection at a doctor's office or a medspa, you'll probably go home on the same day. Anesthesia isn’t always necessary, but you might get local anesthesia if you're getting Botox for an overactive bladder. Some practitioners will use topical numbing cream to make the procedure more comfortable. Either way, it's normal to feel a little discomfort or pain when getting Botox injections.

Practitioners who inject Botox for cosmetic purposes know exactly how to target any of the 43 muscles of the face to reduce wrinkles in a specific area. They use a thin needle to give multiple injections. The number of injections depends on the area being treated. You can expect your appointment to take about 15 minutes.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of botulinum toxin injections is $408. But the price varies, based on where you live, how much product you get, and the experience of the practitioner you visit.