21st November 2018

Post Botox Care: Pre and Post Instructions You Need to Know for Botox Injections

Last Modified: May 29, 2023

Since 2000, there has been an 819% increase in the number of Botox treatments. These minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures are on the rise compared to cosmetic plastic surgery because they require little or no downtime, are affordable, and give excellent results.

Botox was first invented in 1977 for treating problems with the eye muscle. Doctors started using Botox for cosmetic reasons in 1996 and have been on the rise since then. You can view more about the history of Botox here.

It's not just celebrities that use it, either. Nor is it reserved for women of a certain age. Today, almost 20% of Botox users are between 30-39 years old.

Before you get botox injections, you must ensure that you follow specific instructions for best results and to avoid any adverse side effects. Read on to learn all about pre and post Botox care for visibly younger, smoother skin.

2 Weeks Before Botox

Make sure you schedule your Botox appointment at least 2 weeks prior to any special occasions such as a vacation or a wedding. Results from Botox injections and dermal fillers take around 4-7 days to appear.

You should also avoid blood thinning medications and anti-inflammatory medicines for the 2 weeks leading up to your treatment. Also avoid aspirin, vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, St. John's Wort, Omega 3/Fish Oil supplements, and NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Advil.

All of these can thin your blood which increases the likelihood of you experiencing swelling or bruising after botox injections. Discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have. It may not be prudent for you to stop taking certain prescription medication.

48 Hours Before Botox

2 days before your Botox procedure you should stop taking Retin-A. Also, do not take it for the 2 days following your botox injections.

If you have a cold sore or an acne breakout on the target botox area, reschedule your appointment. If you are prone to cold sores, let your botox clinic know. You may be given anti-viral medication during your visit.

24 Hours Before Botox

Alcohol has a blood thinning side effect. Do not drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours before your treatment.

On the morning of your procedure, ensure you eat a healthy, nourishing breakfast. If your appointment is later in the day, make sure you eat close to your appointment. This will prevent you from becoming faint or lightheaded during your treatment.

Post Botox Care

Your provider may give you specific botox aftercare instructions. Here is what you can expect to avoid following your botox injections.

No Strenuous Activities and Exercise

You need to allow the ingredients in your botox injections to settle into your body. Plan to avoid doing any exercise or strenuous activity for 24 hours after Botox.

Touching the Injection Site

If you are new to botox injections, you may be tempted to massage the injection site. Resist that desire and leave the area alone.

Your skin needs time to recover from the treatment. You will slow down your healing process if you aggravate the injection site by rubbing or massaging the area. After 6 hours, you may gently wash the injection site with soap and water, but not before then.

Avoid Napping Face Down

Most people recover from botox within 2-4 hours. You might feel like taking a nap after your treatment, but you should avoid lying down for the first 4 hours.

While you are sleeping you may inadvertently roll onto your stomach and press your face against your bed or pillow. This may cause the Botox serum to slide into your eyes and cause drooping eyelid.

Give yourself something to do in that first 4-hour window and then you can certainly take a nap. If you can sleep face up for the next few days following your Botox treatment, even better.

No Drinking

One of the most important post-botox instructions is to avoid drinking for at least 1 day following your botox treatment. It is in your best interest to avoid alcohol to reduce your risk of negative side effects including bruising.

Don't Take Blood Thinners

Consult with your family doctor before resuming any blood thinning medications. If possible, do not take any blood thinners for several days after your Botox injections.

Avoid Exposure to Heat

After your Botox treatment, you need to avoid being out in the heat, tanning, self-tanning beds, or heat lamps for 72 hours following your treatment.  You should not expose yourself to excessive heat until all the redness and swelling has gone from the injection site.

No Facials

Botox aftercare includes avoiding any facials, laser treatments, or microdermabrasion for a minimum of 10 days following your procedure. If you are unsure about how long to wait before having a certain procedure, talk to your Botox provider.

Remember that your Botox results will begin to appear 3-7 days after your treatment. Give your face time to recover before undergoing other treatments.

Relieve Symptoms After Botox

If you have any discomfort following your Botox treatment, you may take Tylenol as needed. Applying a cool compress on the injection site can help reduce swelling.

Place the cool compress on the site for 15 minutes every hour. If you have swelling, you can prop up your mattress or head with pillows to help bring the swelling down.

Bottom Line on Post Botox Care

Botox results can take up to a week to appear. If you did not get the results you wanted, you may need additional botox treatments for the desired effects.

Remember that following all the pre and post-botox care instructions will give you the best results and reduce your adverse symptoms. Next, check out 8 benefits of botox you need to know about.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 21st November 2018
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

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