We have all been lectured on things we shouldn’t do after getting Botox. Or maybe you’ve never been told you shouldn’t do certain things after injections (which speaks to irresponsible practice on the providers end of things)! But why is it important to follow these directions? Let’s break it down:
1. Avoid rubbing, massaging, or manipulating the area for 4-6 hours post injections. Neurotoxin doesn’t fully absorb into the muscle for about 4 hours. You don’t want to displace the neurotoxin and paralyze the wrong muscle. A high percentage of “dropped brows” and “dropped lids” is because the patient did not follow these instructions. I encourage my patients to pat gently when applying makeup or washing face after a treatment instead of rubbing or pushing on the skin. This is especially important around the eyes!
2. Remain upright for 4-6 hours post injections. Like we discussed above, Botox won’t be fully absorbed into the muscle for about 4 hours post treatment. It is controversial whether gravity can move neurotoxin, but how many of us sleep flat on our backs? The concern here is laying on a part of your face that will create pressure and displace that neurotoxin. Even when I try to sleep on my back, or sitting upright, I end up sleeping on my face.
3. Avoid vigorous activity for a few hours after injections. The 2 concerns here are displacement of neurotoxin (like we talked about above) and increasing circulation and blood pressure leading to possibility of bruising or worsened bruising at the injection sites.
4. Avoid direct sun exposure, tanning beds, saunas, and hot tubs for the first day after receiving Botox. Heating up the body can increase the risk of bruising. Additionally, hot tubs are filthy and you don’t want to risk getting that bacteria-filled water near your injection sites.
5. Don’t judge whether or not your Botox “worked” until 2 weeks post-injections. Even if you start seeing effects of Botox after a couple of days, it takes a full 14 days for Botox to fully kick in. Different muscles may be paralyzed quicker than others so just be patient! Until 2 weeks you can’t judge your results and shouldn’t get a “touch up.”
Remember that, although aesthetic injections and procedures are elective, they are still medical and it is important to understand the procedure itself, aftercare instructions, and the risks. Make sure to talk and ask questions to your injector so you understand what you are getting into. Knowledge and beauty go hand-in-hand!