If you’ve had Botox®, or are considering having the treatment, you’ll want to know how to care for yourself afterwards.
Dr Rekha Tailor has specialised in aesthetic medicine since 2005. On this page, she shares her insights into:
- what to do to get the best results after having Botox®
- what side effects to be aware of
You’ll receive full Botox® aftercare instructions after having treatment with Health & Aesthetics, but the expert advice below will give you a good idea of what to expect.
You can find out more about Dr Tailor’s credentials and experience here.
If you want to find out how long it takes to recover from having Botox view our Botox Timeline here.
Click on the links below to view a full list of questions for each aftercare topic:
- Potential side effects after having Botox®
- What to do and what to avoid after having Botox®
- What happens when Botox® wears off
- Further frequently asked questions on Botox aftercare
Potential side effects after having Botox®
What are some of the possible side effects?
Although they are very rare, there are some adverse effects associated with having Botox. After treatment you’ll receive full aftercare instructions, including a list of potential side effects. They include:
- excessive bruising, swelling or redness at injection site
- nausea, headache or flu-like symptoms
- occasional numbness
- drooping eyebrow or upper eyelid
- red and swollen eyelids
- muscle weakness1
- allergic reactions
- rash and itchiness
- facial swelling
If you experience any of the above after having Botox®, speak to your practitioner immediately.
How will I know if I’ve had an allergic reaction to Botox®?
An allergic reaction to Botox® is very rare. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, this could be an indication of an allergic reaction and you should seek medical help immediately:
- Itching and swelling of the face
- A rash
- Having trouble breathing
If it’s the injection sites are red and tender this might be a sign that the area has become infected. But don’t worry—this is extremely unlikely to happen if your Botox® was administered by a reputable clinic with qualified staff.
What are the side effects of Botox® for migraines?
They are the same as having Botox® for cosmetic reasons. Some patients may also experience neck pain, although—as with other side effects—this is very rare.
What are the side effects of underarm Botox® injections for excessive sweating?
They are very similar to those that come with having Botox® as a facial treatment. You can find out more in the risks and side effects section of our page How Botox Stops Excessive Sweating & How It Can Help You.
Will I experience bruising after Botox®?
Bruising is one of the most common side effects of having Botox® treatment. It sometimes happens where the needles are inserted into the skin. However, unless it’s excessive, it’s nothing to worry about and is a natural part of the healing process.
How long does Botox® bruising last?
This varies from person to person, but if you do experience bruising after Botox®, you can expect it to last for around a week.
If you’re concerned about the amount of bruising you have, speak to Dr Tailor and the Health & Aesthetics team.
My forehead is swollen after having Botox®—is this normal?
Yes, some swelling is normal after having Botox® treatment.
Ways you can reduce swelling include:
- applying a cold compress to the area (though make sure you don’t rub the area or hold the compress in place for too long)
- applying arnica cream to the area (some people have found that arnica works at making swelling go down)
- avoiding lying down for four hours after treatment
If you’re worried that the swelling is excessive, speak to your Botox® clinic.
I have tightness in my forehead after Botox®—is this normal?
Yes, you may experience tightness on your forehead around four or five days after having treatment. It can last for five or six days.
What can I do to reduce swelling, bruising and bleeding after having Botox®?
There are certain medications, supplements and vitamins you should stop taking before having Botox® treatment, as they can cause any swelling and bruising to worsen. These include:
- ibuprofen or aspirin—stop at least one week before having treatment
- blood thinning medication
- St John’s wort
- gingko biloba
- vitamin E
If a doctor has prescribed you any of these medicines, you must check with them first that it’s safe to stop.
When you come to Health & Aesthetics for your consultation, we will take a full medical history from you, including any current medications and supplements you’re taking.
Can Botox® cause dizziness?
Yes, dizziness can be a side effect of Botox®, although it is very rare. If you experience dizziness after having Botox® injections, speak to your practitioner immediately.
Could Botox® cause hair loss?
No, there is no scientific evidence that Botox® causes hair loss.
Does Botox® make you tired?
No, there is no scientific evidence that Botox® causes tiredness.
Why do I have droopy eyelids after Botox®?
If the Botox® has been injected too low in the forehead, it can cause the muscle to overly relax and ‘push down’ on your upper eyelids. However, this effect isn’t permanent and will wear off in three to four months.
Choosing a qualified and experienced practitioner will help avoid having negative results such as droopy eyelids.
I’ve had Botox® without realising I was pregnant. What should I do?
It’s not advisable to have Botox® injections when pregnant because there have been no large-scale, long-term studies to assess the effect Botox® has on a developing baby.
However, as the amount of Botox® administered is small and won’t easily move to other areas of the body once injected, the risk of it harming your baby is extremely small.
Can you reverse Botox®?
No, it isn’t possible to reverse the effects of Botox®. So, if you’re unhappy with the results, you’ll need to wait around 10–12 weeks for the effects to wear off.
Choosing a highly experienced and qualified Botox® practitioner will ensure you’re happy with your results. However, if you’re not satisfied for any reason, speak to your practitioner, as they may be able to do some corrective work.
What to do and what to avoid before and after having Botox®
To ensure you get the best possible results from your Botox®, there are a few do’s and don’ts you should follow after having the treatment.
Pain management after Botox®
Should I apply ice after having Botox®?
At Health & Aesthetics we recommend not applying any pressure to the area as this can move the Botox, this includes pressing ice onto the area. Instead we suggest you take arnica tablets to help reduce the risk of bruising and also to help any bruising to settle
What painkillers can I take before or after having Botox®?
You can take paracetamol before and after the procedure but avoid anti-inflammatory medications such as Can I take ibuprofen before having Botox®?
You should avoid taking ibuprofen before having Botox® as the medicine is an anticoagulant. This means it can prevent blood from clotting properly, which can increase the risk of bruising.
You should also avoid taking ibuprofen for at least four days before having Botox® treatment.
Botox aftercare and sleeping
Can I sleep on my side after having Botox®?
Yes, provided you wait at least four hours before lying down. Botox® takes a few hours to settle into place, so lying down straightaway could cause it to migrate to other muscles in your face and increase the risk of complications.
Should I sleep in a certain position?
You can sleep in any position after having Botox®, but you should avoid lying down for at least four hours following the treatment.
How long after having Botox® can I lie down?
We recommend not lying down for at least four hours after having Botox®. Not only will it help prevent any excessive swelling but it will stop the Botox® migrating to other parts of the face and causing muscle weakness in those areas, a rare but possible side effect of having the treatment.
Exposure to heat after Botox®
Should I avoid heat after Botox®?
Yes, as heat can increase the chance of you suffering bruising where you were at the injection site. You should avoid hot showers, baths and hot tubs for 24 hours after having Botox®.
Can I go on a sunbed after having Botox®?
After having Botox®, you should wait at least four hours before you use a sunbed. This is because lying down for extended periods immediately after the procedure could cause the Botox® to move to other muscles in the face, away from the muscles that were injected.
Although exposure to UV light won’t affect the results of your Botox® treatment, it’s the number one cause of wrinkles. So, if you want your skin to look younger for as long as possible, avoid using sunbeds and use a strong sunscreen if you’re out in the sun.
How soon can I go out in the sun after having Botox®?
You can go out in the sun immediately after having Botox®. Sun exposure can cause wrinkles though, so be sure to wear a strong sunscreen.
Exercise and movement after Botox®
How soon can I exercise after Botox®?
It’s best to avoid strenuous aerobic exercise for 24 hours after having Botox®. Strenuous exercise can result in bruising and, in rarer cases, cause the Botox® to move to other areas of your face and temporarily paralyse the muscles there.
For the same reason, you should avoid doing yoga for 24 hours—the inverted positions can cause Botox® move to other muscles in the face.
What happens if I bend over after having Botox®?
It’s possible that the Botox® may shift from where it was injected to other areas of your face. However, the risk is very small, so unless you’re bending forward repeatedly or for substantial periods of time (for example, if performing yoga moves) straight after having Botox®, you should be fine.
Should I do facial exercises after having Botox®?
Certain studies have shown that doing facial exercises after having Botox can speed up the effects of having the treatment2.
Drinking, driving and flying after having Botox®
How soon after having Botox® can I consume alcohol?
It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol for a day or two before and after the procedure. As alcohol increases fluid retention and thins the blood, it can worsen the mild bruising that often occurs where the needles are injected.
Drinking alcohol is highly unlikely to have any long-term detrimental effects on the results of your treatment.
Can I drink coffee before Botox® treatment?
Yes, the caffeine in coffee shouldn’t cause any problems with your Botox® treatment.
How soon after having Botox® can I fly?
We advise our patients to avoid flying for 24–48 hours after treatment. There are concerns that the changes in air pressure in an aeroplane cabin can affect the results of Botox® by moving the substance to other muscles in the face.
Can I drive after having the procedure?
Yes, Botox® injections won’t affect your ability to drive. If you would prefer to take public transport home after your procedure, there are excellent public transport links from our Elstead clinic, which is just on the outskirts of Farnham. You can find us on the map here.
Make-up, face washing and facial treatments after having Botox®
How soon after having Botox® can I wash my face?
You can gently wash your face straight after having Botox®. However, for seven days after the procedure you should avoid facials, massages and other treatments that put direct pressure on the face.
Can I touch my face after having Botox®?
Yes, you can continue your regular skin care routine, including touching your face to cleanse and moisturise it. However, it’s best to wait at least six hours—ideally 24 hours—before massaging or rubbing the skin.
How soon can I have a facial or a microdermabrasion after having Botox®?
It’s best to wait at least seven days before having facials or a microdermabrasion. You should also avoid chemical peels, laser treatment and sunbeds for at least seven days.
I rubbed my face after having Botox®. Will this affect the results?
No, it should have no effect, especially if it happened several hours after having the procedure. However, rubbing your face immediately after having Botox® isn’t recommended, in case it causes the Botox® to move away from the injected part of your face and into other areas.
Can I get my eyebrows waxed after Botox®?
Yes, as long as you wait two weeks first. Having Botox® can influence the shape of your eyebrows, so allow two weeks for the treated part of your face to fully heal and show the full results.
Waiting two weeks before having waxing, or any form of hair removal treatment is recommended.
Can I wear make-up after having Botox?
We recommend not applying make-up for at least four hours after having treatment. After this time you can return to your usual make-up and skincare routine.
What happens when Botox® wears off
What happens when the results of Botox® wear off?
After around three to four months2, you’ll start to notice the areas you had treated with Botox® gradually returning to how they looked before having treatment.
How long will the results of Botox® last?
Most people’s results last for 10–12 weeks.
Can you feel Botox® wearing off?
You shouldn’t be able to feel Botox® wearing off but you’ll gradually notice its effects subsiding and wrinkles starting to reappear.
When Botox® wears off, are wrinkles worse?
No. If you feel your wrinkles look more pronounced after Botox® treatment has worn off, it will most likely be because you’ve become used to your face looking smoother.
Further frequently asked questions on Botox aftercare
How long does it take for Botox to work?
You should start to see the effects of Botox® around two to three days3 after having the treatment. You’ll gradually notice the effects become more pronounced until the full results appear after about 14 days.
What should I do after having Botox® in my forehead?
You’ll be able to resume most of your regular activities straightaway. The only things you’ll be told to avoid immediately after treatment are:
- drinking alcohol
- having a hot shower or bath
- rubbing your face
- lying down or leaning forward for extended periods
You’ll be advised to avoid these activities for up to 24 hours after treatment.
To help work the Botox® into your facial muscles, you can exercise those areas of your face (for example, by raising your eyebrows or pursing your lips).
Can I do anything after having Botox® to ensure the treatment works as well as possible?
Yes. Four hours after the treatment, you can begin to exercise the treated muscles by making facial expressions such as frowning, squinting or raising your eyebrows. This will help to work the Botox® into your facial muscles.
You can find out more information about having Botox® by browsing our Advice Centre here.
If you’ve had or are planning to have dermal fillers, we have a full aftercare guide here, and an aftercare guide specifically for lip fillers: Lip Filler Aftercare FAQs: Dr Rekha Tailor Answers Your Questions.
Please be aware that results and treatment experiences may vary from patient to patient, taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history. You’ll receive full Botox aftercare instructions after having treatment.