Do's and Don'ts After Botox?

Are there any important aspects that I should know about before undergoing a Botox treatment? Things to avoid or, on the contrary, undertake in order to prolong the result? I understand there's not much you can do after the procedure, meaning that what you see is what you get. Is this true?


F, 39, New Jersey

There are a few things you can do before and after a Botox treatment to speed up the recovery process and maintain your results.

Prior to your Botox injection your doctor may ask if you take fish oil, omega-3 or vitamin E. These supplements are known to thin the blood and may increase the risk of bruising. Your physician may ask you to stop taking these supplements or devise an aftercare plan that addresses the elevated risk of bruising.

After your Botox procedure, it's important to avoid all strenuous activity for a minimum of 24 hours. You should also refrain from massaging or manipulating the injection site and the surrounding area for a minimum of four hours. Similarly, don’t lie down for a few hours after treatment as there's a risk  this could interfere with your results. Some doctors also have specific recommendations about contracting the treated facial muscles. The important thing is to simply follow your doctor's instructions as directed.

Most people are able to recover very quickly after Botox, and the procedure carries little risk of serious side effects.

Botox aftercare is straightforward. You should avoid all exercise on the day of treatment and any strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after your procedure. Do not lie down for at least four hours after treatment and avoid touching, massaging or putting pressure on the treated area for at least 24 hours. Your doctor may also advise against flying on a plane or using blood thinners for 24 hours after treatment. To reduce bruising, you can use ice and/or an anti-inflammatory such as Arnica.  

As with any type of procedure, it's important to follow your doctor's post-treatment instructions to the letter in order to get the best results and minimize the risk of complications.

Botox injections are pretty straightforward, and short of icing the area afterwards for a few hours to reduce swelling and bruising, there's not much you can do either before or after the procedure that will help or hurt the outcome.

Our recommendations for post-care after Botox has changed -  No heavy exercise the rest of the day. No heavy rubbing the area (applying make-up is ok). No swimming or steam baths or hot tubs for 2 days.  

The results start kicking in in 2-3 days and are in full effect at 2 weeks.  The higher the dose seems to be the biggest factor that increases duration of the results.

Ken Oleszek, MD
La Fontaine Aesthetics
Denver, Colorado