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How long does Botox last?

This is a question very often asked by my clients. We would all like the effects of muscle relaxing treatment to last as long as possible, but there are a few factors that effect exactly how many months’ of a wrinkle free brow you can expect. The longevity will vary between person to person. We are all different!

Typically the treated muscles will retain their relaxed state for around 3-4 months. Even when the muscle starts to become active again, the appearance of the wrinkles associated with the original muscle contraction remain improved. Longer lasting results will be obtained if the treatment is carried out regularly, when the full strength of the muscle has not returned. In this way you learn to animate and use your facial expressions slightly differently e.g. you don’t frown as much, so with repeated treatment over time the effects can last 6 months. Remember that the purpose of botox treatment is not to completely paralyse the muscles but to gain a relaxation so that the furrows and fine lines become less obvious. They are not going to disappear completely overnight!

People with bulkier, stronger muscles tend to see the motion of the muscle return quicker than those with less prominent muscles.In some men and women with very strong muscles the effect may only last 2-3 months. It also depends on how much you exercise. If you are a gym junky or a regular runner the effects will wear off quicker with an increased metabolism. If you’re happy to relax on the couch with a glass of rioja, then you may find you appear smoother for longer than your energetic friend!

As the botulinum toxin requires zinc to work some studies have suggested that an zinc enzyme supplement may improve the effects of treatments. However the proof for this remains inconclusive.

The way in which the product is reconstituted and stored also plays a part, as does the experience of the medical professional treating you. There is no one recipe that works for all. Experience and anatomical knowledge is key. Make sure that your practitioner has a lot more experience than a one day course!

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