Botox is a safe and effective treatment that reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Unlike traditional plastic surgery, it’s a quick cosmetic procedure (that you can do even on your lunch break) that does not require longer recovery times or come with painful side effects (just a prick of the needle will do). However, like most cosmetic treatments, it requires aftercare.
The Basic Botox Aftercare Instructions
After your Botox procedure, your doctor will give you a list of dos and don’ts to ensure optimal treatment results. Practicing Botox aftercare also minimizes the risk of the toxin spreading to other areas and bruising.
On the day you get the procedure, it’s a good idea to:
- Relax for the rest of the day
- Exercise your face gently
- Maintain a normal heart rate
- Leave the treated area alone
- Avoid rubbing, touching or applying physical pressure on the affected area
Other best practices for Botox aftercare include:
Waiting 24 Hours To Exercise
If exercise is part of your regular routine, wait at least a day before you work out. Some doctors even recommend waiting for several days.
Physical activity increases blood flow, which could potentially spread the Botox to unwanted areas, as well as reduce its effectiveness at the injection site. It also increases your risk for bruises. If you persist in exercising, limit yourself to facial exercises like:
- Raising your eyebrows
These exercises can help speed up the effects of your treatment.
Sit up for the first four hours after the injections. Lying down or bending might spread the toxin, which leads to bruising.
Twenty-four hours after the procedure, avoid applying makeup. Doing so will run the skin, which disperses the Botox.
Ask Your Doctor About Medications
If you are taking maintenance meds, ask your doctor about their potential effects on your Botox procedure. Some medications increase your risk of bruising, so ask your doctor when it’s safe to start taking them again.
Botox Aftercare Precautions
Botox aftercare includes precautions to ensure that you’ll enjoy a younger-looking face, not a bruised one. On the day of your procedure, your doctor will most likely recommend the following.
No Touching of the Face
Immediately after the procedure, you might be curious with how your face feels. However, doing so might spread the toxin. To avoid this, refrain from touching your face for at least 24 hours. Some doctors even recommend waiting for three days.
If you get Botox in another part of the body, refrain from touching those areas too. So, if you have a scheduled massage, consider canceling or rescheduling it.
Before your procedure, your doctor might also recommend avoiding alcohol for a day. Alcohol increases your risk of bruising (even if your preferred alcohol brand is “healthy” alcohol). So, even after your procedure, wait at least 24 hours before you consume alcohol.
Refrain From Sleeping On The Treated Areas
Avoid sleeping on the injected areas to minimize pressure, which allows the toxin to settle into your facial muscles. Also, if you can, try not to sleep within four hours after your Botox.
Avoid Other Skin Treatments
Botox needs time to settle into your muscles. So, for the first 24 hours, refrain from using or undergoing other skin treatments such as:
- Dermal fillers
- Exfoliating scrubs
- Facial massages
Avoid Sun Exposure
Stay out of the sun for at least four hours. Prolonged exposure to the heat increases your blood pressure and flushing, both of which may encourage bruising. Just to be safe, stay in a shaded place for 24 to 48 hours.
Your doctor may also recommend avoiding other forms of heat exposure, which includes:
- Hot baths or showers
- Hot tubs
- Tanning bed
When Should You See a Doctor?
After receiving a Botox injection, it’s normal to experience swelling, tenderness and redness at the injection site. These side effects often disappear within 24 hours. Bruising is also a common side effect. Apply an ice pack to relieve the bruising.
However, seeking medical help is important if you experience one or more of the following:
- Vision changes
- Poor bladder control
- Difficulty in speaking or breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Muscle weakness
Bottom Line: Practice Proper Aftercare
In general, Botox is a safe cosmetic procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office at any time. You can go home immediately after the procedure. However, practicing proper aftercare is a must to achieve optimal results.
If you’re unsure of what you can or can’t do after the procedure, talk to your doctor. They can provide specific aftercare instructions based on your treatment and lifestyle.
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