“How Does Botox Work?” is becoming a more and more well-known process, yet it’s still one of the most popular Google searched phrases in the aesthetic industry. And we get why. If you’re considering this treatment, you absolutely should understand how it works.

Botox (Botulinum Toxin) is one of the most effective non-surgical cosmetic procedures to smooth fine lines and wrinkles in the face. No downtime, or recovery, are required. You can resume all normal daily activities immediately after treatment with a few exceptions which you can review in our Botox Instructions page.

You may have researched that these injections are an effective treatment for more than reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles. It’s true. Botox can also be used to treat conditions such as excessive sweating, an overactive bladder or chronic migraines. 

Research by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that, among 13.3 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2020, Botox was number one. Over 4.4 million Botox treatments were performed in 2020. 

Botox vials How Botox Works

What is Botox?

Before we have a look at how it works, let’s have a look at what it is. 

Botox is a protein made from botulinum toxin which is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. Just because it is a toxin, doesn’t mean it’s toxic – especially when used with the small doses required for cosmetic use. When it’s used correctly and in small doses, it can have huge benefits for both cosmetic and medical uses. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox Cosmetic for treating frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Its other FDA approved indications are for conditions such as neck spasms, excessive sweating, overactive bladder, lazy eye and to prevent chronic migraines. It has been proven across a number of medical indications.

How does Botox work?

Now you know what Botox is, your next question may be how does it work? 

Botox injections are administered by a fine needle at very small doses of botulinum toxin which, in its active form, temporarily paralyzes muscles. This neurotoxin targets the nervous system. The nerves secrete a substance called acetylcholine and Botox prevents acetylcholine from being released, which halts muscle cells from contracting. Nerves are not damaged or made to atrophy.

A combination of factors can cause facial lines to occur, but among them at #1 is repeated muscle contractions from facial expressions such as frowning, smiling, squinting, or raising your eyebrows. When Botox is injected into your skin, your muscles will begin to relax over the next two weeks, and fine lines and wrinkles will start to look smoother. 

Botox is provided in a powder form which is diluted with saline to make it injectable. There are very few side effects of Botox which is what makes it such a popular and safe treatment!

Cosmetic uses of Botox

Botox injections are a common and effective treatment recommended by our providers and for the following areas of the face shared with us by our patients: 

  • Wr
  • Forehead Lines
  • Frown lines (aka 11s or glabellar lines)
  • Crow’s Feet
  • Small wrinkles on the sides of the nose (also known as bunny lines)
  • Upper lip (aka Lip Flip)
  • Dimpled chin on the skin (orange peel skin)
  • Smoker’s lines
  • Vertical lines of the neck (platysmal bands)
  • Horizontal lines of the neck (necklace lines
  • Excessive sweating
  • Gummy smile
  • Jaw Slimming
  • TMJ

Botox is a temporary treatment. This means you’ll need to continue receiving treatments to maintain your beautiful, refreshed result. Results usually last between 3-4 months, depending on the type of treatment you have and how quickly your body metabolizes treatment. If you have a fast metabolism, it will wear off faster. If you have a slower metabolism, you may be able to enjoy your results beyond the four-month mark. Most commonly, we see patients return between 3-4 months.

If you’re starting to see early signs of aging in your face or that your strong facial expressions are causing wrinkles to form, Botox may be the best treatment for you. Alongside smoothing existing lines and wrinkles, repeat treatments can also be used to prevent wrinkles from forming over time by weakening the muscle that makes those facial expressions and allowing you to look refreshed and rested.

model getting botox around eye
model getting botox around eye

What to expect at your appointment

You’ll meet one of our expert aesthetic injectors for a consultation first. At this initial consultation, you’ll discuss the results you’re looking to achieve and to make sure Botox is the right treatment for you by your provider’s assessment of your facial anatomy. It’s important to understand that every patient is different and will require different amounts of Botox to achieve results. 

During treatment, you’ll really exercise those facial muscles. Your injector will ask you to frown, smile, raise your eyebrows, and will take pictures for comparative purposes and to document your progress. Then your injector will proceed to inject that contracted muscle with a micro needle. When it comes to your forehead, you’ll get to understand how your muscles work, and that’s it’s not always about injecting the muscle that’s making the contraction, but often the muscles around it as well so you get a balanced, natural result. One to three injections are usually given per muscle. 

The full procedure is short and usually takes approximately 10 minutes. You’ll be able to carry on with your daily activities post treatment. It’s advised that you do not workout for 24 hours after having treatment, massage the area, or lay down for 4 hours after treatment. Your injector will provide you with post treatment tips to make sure you get the best results from your treatment. 

After your treatment, you may experience slight pain or bruising at the injection site. This is normal and will go away within a few days. For any questions or concerns you have post treatment, you’re encouraged to contact your injector.

To learn more about Botox and how it works or to book a consultation at our Denver or Greenwood Village clinics, please contact us today.