What to Expect After your Neuromodulator Treatment
What to Expect After Neuormodulator (botulinum toxin) injection: Your Recovery Timeline
There is virtually no recovery time associated with neuromodulator treatments. In fact, it's often referred to as a “lunchtime procedure” because patients are usually able to immediately return to their daily activities, including work. There are no incisions, sutures, or bandages of any kind. Generally, neuromodulator side effects are extremely mild and fade within minutes to days.
Immediately After Treatment
As soon as your treatment is complete, you might notice a small amount of redness and swelling at the injection site. This is normal, and typically resolves itself within a few minutes. Most patients do not feel any pain or side effects during or after their treatment, though a very small group of people have reported a mild headache in the following hours. This is always easily taken care of with over-the-counter pain relief.
Your injector will provide post-treatment information and instructions specifically tailored to your treatment. This will outline all the details and any post-care advice from your injector. Make sure to follow them closely for the best results.
Once you return home, it's best if you try not to lie down for a minimum of four hours, and avoid rubbing the treated area for at least 12 hours. Either of these actions may cause the injected solution to move outside the targeted area.
1 Day After Treatment
The majority of people who undergo an injection treatment will not have any outward signs of the procedure at all. That said, mild bruising is always a possibility, and can usually be easily covered with a concealer. Some individuals experience a mild headache, which can be easily treated with mild pain medication.
It takes some time (3-7 days) for the neuromodulator to take effect, so do not be concerned if you don’t see an improvement one day after treatment.
1 Week After Treatment
At the seven day mark, you should be able to see the results of your treatment. The area will look smoother, and appear more refreshed. After your first treatment, it's not uncommon to feel a mildly tight sensation in the skin and muscles, or even a feeling of heaviness. These fade over the course of a week or two.
If you don’t see anything at this point, you may need to wait one more week. Some patients find that their results appear more slowly, taking up to 2 weeks to appear. If you don’t see anything by the second week, make sure to return to your injector to discuss your results. You may need a touch-up.
1 Month After Treatment
After a month your results should be clearly visible, and still very noticeable. Some people may start to see a small amount of movement return to the treated area, but it varies for everyone.
4 Months After Treatment
After four months you will slowly start to see movement return to the treated area. Many injectors will recommend you book another assessment, and follow up treatments at this time.
Risks, Side Effects, and Complications
When performed by an experienced and knowledgeable injector, neuromodulators have been proven to be extremely safe with a low risk of complications and side effects, most of which are mild and temporary.
How Long Do Results Last?
Botox is not permanent! The single most important factor to understand regarding your treatment is that results are temporary.
Generally speaking, if performed by a skilled and experienced injector at the recommended doses, your results should last three to four months.
Injections around the eyes also tend to have shorter results, often wearing off before three months. However, the muscles become conditioned to the neuromodulator with repeated use, and results should last longer. The longevity of your results depends on three factors: dosage, application and how fast your body metabolizes the product.
A good injector will work with you to ensure your treatments are worth your time and money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it hurt?
Most patients would say no. The needle used is very small, and most patients say the injections feel like a little pinch, but everyone is different. In most cases, patients are surprised at how easy it is, often remarking, “Was that it?”
How long does the treatment take?
The exact length of your treatment will depend on your specific goals, and the areas of your body being treated. Your injector will discuss your goals ahead of time, and carry out an assessment to determine what treatment will be best for you. The actual injection process, however, generally takes between 10 and 15 minutes.
Is it safe?
Yes, it is. Neuromodulators have been used safely for years. There might be some mild bruising, tenderness, or swelling, but even these are somewhat rare.
What is a “unit?”
A “unit” of a neuromodulator is a very small measurement of the drug. The exact number of units you'll need to reach your goals is something that will be discussed during your consultation.
As an example, treating frown lines between the eyebrows generally requires an average of 25 to 35 units for most women, but can require as much as 50 units for men. I
Will it look worse when it wears off?
Absolutely not! Your face will never get worse if you stop using neuromodulators or when the treatment wears off. At worst, your face will simply return to looking as it did when you started your treatments, but there will be no additional “damage” due to using Botox. Some patients remark that they may look worse, but that’s only because they got used to the improvement they got from their treatment!
I don't want my face to become an emotionless mask. Is there a risk of that?
Not in the hands of an experienced injector. Most people just want to look “natural, relaxed, and refreshed,” without looking like they've “had work done.” With the advancements made in both treatment and technique, the “natural” look is easily attainable with virtually no risks. The key to a natural-looking result is to soften wrinkles rather than totally erase them.
Does insurance cover neuromodulator injection?
Generally speaking, cosmetic procedures to address wrinkles and the signs of aging are not covered.
If the results are only temporary, is it worth it?
It's easy to see how someone might believe a temporary solution won't be worth the cost, but neuromodulator - and filler - treatments have both short- and long-term implications. Short term, these treatments can deal with a variety of issues, like improving the appearance of wrinkles. Long-term, they can prevent those wrinkles from getting worse. And no cream or moisturizer can do what injectable botulinum toxin can do!
What are the effects of long-term use?
Because the results are temporary, many people think neuromodulators are only effective for a “quick fix.” But the truth is you can make your wrinkles look better permanently by preventing them from getting worse over time.
Consider it this way: everyone makes dozens, if not hundreds of facial expressions every day. This causes temporary dynamic lines to appear, which go away when your face returns to its resting position.
As you continue to make these expressions, day after day, year after year, and as your skin ages, these temporary dynamic lines start to etch themselves into your face. That's how frown lines get deeper and deeper in people who frown all the time. It’s like folding a piece of paper, flattening it out, and folding it again in the same spot – the crease just gets worse and worse. Eventually, those dynamic wrinkles stop being dynamic, and are just there, even when your face is at rest.
This is one of the reasons why neuromodulator treatment also been touted as a preventative treatment for wrinkles as well, making it suitable for younger patients in their early 20s and 30s.
Neuromodulators can reduce the visible signs of aging and be a great tool for lifting eyebrows, reducing a dimpled chin and smoothing out upper lip lines and neck bands.
While neuromodulators requires reinjection every four months to maintain results, it's among the most affordable and quickest cosmetic procedures available.
Botox is the most popular botulinum toxin brand, but alternatives like Dysport and Xeomin each offer their own set of advantages. Speaking with a qualified injector can help you discover which is best for you.