How Long Do Botox Side Effects Wear Off?

Administering Botox cosmetic injections is an effective treatment for removing stubborn facial wrinkles. Aside from the wonders it has done in getting rid of frown lines and such, it's also being celebrated because it requires little to no downtime. FDA guarantees that it's safe for cosmetic procedures and medical purposes. However, these injectables aren’t without side effects--patients may still experience having droopy eyelids, neck pain, and such. 

So how long does it take for Botox side effects to wear off? Common side effects usually last for a few days until 2 weeks. Long-term side effects from Botox need further study, but some conditions may be resolved in either less than 2 weeks or may go as long as 12 weeks, while some would emerge after years of using the substance. How long your side effects may last depends on the areas treated and the injection techniques of the practitioner.

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How Long Your Botox Side Effects Wear Off

Adverse effects from receiving botulinum toxin injections will vary per patient because it will also depend on where the injection sites are and how the injector has administered the toxin. Mild side effects are usually normal and should wear off in a few days up to 2 weeks. The side effects you will experience depends on the medical condition your injection aims to treat.

Botulinum toxin may have been around since the 1970s, but it hasn't been until 1989 that FDA has approved its use for treating several ophthalmic disorders. It's been approved eventually as a cosmetic treatment and for helping ease the symptoms of neuromuscular disorders. Medical professionals only have about 33 years of experience in using Botox for different procedures, so clinical studies about its long-term side effects still need to develop.

Botox also has long-term side effects but it only happens rarely. It sometimes resolves on its own in less than 2 weeks, but it may also last for as long as the injections are still in effect. The long-term effects some patients experience may last for as long as 12 weeks.

Some clinical studies also claim that longer-term side effects may show after repeated injections with botulinum toxin.

What Side Effects Can You Expect

Attractive young woman is getting a botox injections at beauty clinic

The potential side effects you may expect depends on the injection site reactions in your body. Mild side effects are common and shouldn’t be a cause of concern. There are risks of more serious and longer-term side effects, but they’re usually rare.

Mild and Common Side Effects

It's normal to experience side effects when receiving Botox cosmetic injections. They usually wear off on their own as the trauma from the injection heals and the botulinum toxins in the injected sites have settled. The side effects vary depending on the location of the treated area.

For Botox cosmetic injections, the most common effects to expect are the following:

  • bruising
  • swelling
  • drooping eyelid
  • excessive tearing due to eye dryness
  • pain
  • numbness

Botox is also used for treating excessive sweating of the underarms or axillary hyperhidrosis. Expect the following side effects:

  • bleeding of the injection site
  • pain at the injection site
  • sweating in other body parts
  • mild sore throat
  • itching
  • headache
  • back or neck pain

Receiving botulinum toxin injections for chronic migraine may give patients the following effects:

  • headache
  • neck pain
  • drooping eyelid

Some of the common side effects of Botox injections for blepharospasm are the following:

  • dry eyes
  • drooping eyelid
  • double vision
  • eye irritation or redness
  • swollen eyelids
  • light sensitivity

Patients who received botulinum toxin injections for limb spasticity may expect the following effects:

  • pain in the limbs
  • respiratory infections
  • constipation
  • fatigue 

For cervical dystonia patients, these are the effects to expect from their botulinum toxin injections:

  • dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing
  • upper respiratory infections
  • pain of the neck or back
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dry mouth

Botulinum toxin injections for bladder problems might cause patients the following side effects:

  • urinary retention
  • urinary tract infection

Treating strabismus with Botox injections might cause side effects:

  • drooping eyelid

All of these side effects should resolve in less than 2 weeks. Should the symptoms persist after a few weeks or worsen, you better call your healthcare provider.

A Smoother, Younger You Today

Wrinkles and fine lines are a thing of the past with a single Botox treatment. Book your first session of Botox today.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects rarely happen when receiving injections with botulinum toxin, though there are still possibilities. Some of them are corneal ulceration, urinary retention, spread of toxin effect, allergic reaction, and worsened neurologic disorders. It is crucial to seek a licensed healthcare professional to avoid these health risks.

1) Corneal Ulceration

Patients who have received botulinum toxin type A injections for their blepharospasm report experiencing corneal ulceration or open sores on the cornea. This open wound on the front eye is usually due to an infection of the cornea--the clear protective layer over the eye's front.

Botox may lead to complications, such as corneal ulceration once a patient's eyes severely dries up because of eye muscle weakness. Some symptoms include the following

  • blurry vision
  • watery eye
  • feeling of having something in your eye
  • pain in the eye
  • eye redness
  • white spot on the eye

If you experience numbness around the eyes, call your healthcare provider immediately and wear protective glasses. 

2) Urinary Retention

Experiencing urinary retention after receiving Botox injections has been reported by patients who sought the treatment for their bladder problems, such as overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. Those who have urinary retention find it difficult to empty their bladder on their own. The symptoms of this condition are the following:

  • difficulty in urinating
  • burning sensation during urinating
  • frequently feeling the urge to urinate

Patients who have multiple sclerosis or diabetes run higher risks of having this side effect from their Botox injections.

3) Spread of Toxin Effects

The spread of toxin effects is one of the most serious warnings of receiving Botox injections. FDA alerts dangerous effects of Botox through its boxed warning. Receiving Botox injections has risks of the toxin spreading to surrounding areas, which may cause botulism. Botulism is an illness that may happen to a patient even weeks after administration of Botox. Its symptoms are the following:

  • extensive muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • drooping eyelid
  • double vision 
  • urinary incontinence
  • difficulty in speaking
  • trouble breathing or swallowing

This side effect is usually rare, but children who received Botox injections for their limb spasticity have the highest risk. When undergoing Botox treatment, ensure that you seek a trusted and board-certified doctor.

Why You Experience Side Effects

Beautiful woman with clean and healthy skin with closed eyes

The reason why a patient experiences side effects is primarily due to how Botox works on the body. Botox contains an active substance called botulinum toxin type A--a type of toxin bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces. These toxins are what you usually find in spoiled food and are dangerous to take in orally. 

When they are refined and injected on the muscle in small amounts, it becomes safe and helpful in temporarily relaxing the muscle. Botox cosmetic injections help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by stopping the facial muscle contractions, so it wouldn't create folds on aging skin. It can smoothen out the frown lines, glabellar lines, horizontal forehead lines, and more.

It may also be used in neuromuscular disorders and medical procedures aimed at stopping the muscles from contracting. These conditions include urinary incontinence, overactive bladders, urinary retention, cerebral palsy, Lou Gehrig's disease, and more.

Patients experience side effects due to the body's reaction on the substance and the process of administering it. While they use tiny needles, injectors still make a puncture through your skin to deliver the toxin. The body needs to recuperate from the said trauma and from Botox's introduction.

It's also possible that there has been a mistake in administering Botox, because serious side effects should rarely happen.

How to Relieve Botox Side Effects 

Beautiful woman with clean and healthy skin with closed eyes

While most side effects heal on their own, a patient may still do some steps for relieving their side effects and avoid further complication. Trying these will also ensure more successful results for Botox treatment. These are regulating blood flow, applying cold compress, and taking over-the-counter medications.

1) Regulate Blood Flow

Doctors usually advise against exercising and staying in hot temperatures after Botox treatments. Aside from the risks of injection, this precaution is also to maintain the regulation of the blood flow. A heightened blood pressure might cause Botox to migrate.

2) Apply Cold Compress

For bruising, swelling, and the pain, applying cold compress on the injection site will help bring relief. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and make sure the ice bag is clean.

3) Take Over-The-Counter Medications

Patients can expect to have flu-like symptoms after Botox injections. Taking over-the-counter medications will ease these symptoms, along with the headache, pain, swelling, and bruising.

Book an Appointment at The Rejuvenation Center for Mind and Body

Side effects from receiving Botox injections usually last for a few days until 2 weeks. Serious effects are rare, but there are still risks. These symptoms may last for less than 2 weeks or may persist as long as the effects of Botox are still felt on the treated area.

When receiving Botox injections, it's crucial to seek a trusted healthcare provider. Here at The Rejuvenation Center for Mind and Body, we are made of a team of highly-trained and board-certified practitioners that ensure your health, wellness, and satisfaction. Book an appointment with us now.

A Smoother, Younger You Today

Wrinkles and fine lines are a thing of the past with a single Botox treatment. Book your first session of Botox today.



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