An increasing number of people are turning to Botox to address the signs of aging, with it coming in at No. 1 among the top five minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2018, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

It should really be no surprise as it’s one of the safest and most effective minimally invasive procedures for reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It can even treat a wide range of medical conditions from acne to migraines. From Botox in Scranton, PA to Botox in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, no matter where you live, there’s likely to be a facility near you. The question probably isn’t whether to get the injections, it’s what to do and what not to do afterward. 

As with any medical procedure, even minimally invasive cosmetic procedures like Botox injections, you should first and foremost follow the instructions of your doctor. If you don’t take care of yourself properly, it’s unlikely you will be able to enjoy the full benefits of Botox and you may even experience negative side effects, including physical discomfort or harmful drug interactions.

Below is a helpful list of dos and don’ts to ensure you get the most out of your Botox procedure.

The Do’s

Exercise your facial muscles.

For about an hour immediately after treatment, performing facial exercises will make it more effective by increasing the uptake of targeted muscle groups. It helps the Botox reach the cells it needs to in order to work. In fact, studies have shown that it will even speed the change in your appearance by a day.

For forehead injections, raise and lower your brows, completing three sets of 40 reps, 10 minutes apart. You might also want to scowl, frown, smile, and work on making a variety of other facial expressions. Do this for about hour after the procedure. After that, however, it’s recommended that you avoid any extreme facial expressions for the next 12 hours.

Try to relax.

Following the aforementioned hour of facial muscles exercises, it’s important to relax. Do not, however, lay down. Both bending and laying down can cause the Botox to diffuse, leading to decreased efficacy and potential bruising at the injection site.

Instead, find your comfiest chair and perhaps make a cup of tea before digging into a good book or browsing the Internet on your phone. The goal is to stay upright but relaxed for the first four hours after the procedure.

Sleep on your back.

The first night after getting Botox injections, sleep on your back to allow the Botox to settle into your muscles. If you sleep face down on your pillow, it could prevent it from settling in, leading to less than perfect results. Likewise, the pressure on your facial muscles could cause the Botox to disperse evenly and/or incorrectly.

If you’re not used to sleeping on your back, remember: it’s only for one night. The positive effects of Botox injections last much, much longer.

Book a follow-up appointment.

Wait about two weeks following your Botox injections to allow the procedure to heal and for the effects to settle. After that, you’ll want to meet with your doctor so you can both observe the results and discuss the possibility of additional touch-ups.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor with any questions or concerns you might have. Report any side effects you may be experiencing, and be sure to get an expert opinion before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

The Don’ts

Work out.

Strenuous exercise will get your heart pumping which is great for your cardiovascular system, but not for Botox. Increasing blood flow can cause it to diffuse away from the injection site, temporarily paralyzing the surrounding muscles and also diminishing the positive effects of Botox. The increased blood pressure can also lead to swelling and/or bruising in that area.

You should wait at least 24 hours before working out, although your doctor or other professional that provided the injections may suggest waiting for a few days. When resuming normal exercise activities, start small before gradually increasing exertion to a level you are comfortable with.

Get too hot.

Avoiding getting too hot for at least 48 hours after Botox treatment. That not only means avoiding strenuous exercise, but also keeping cool in hot weather, forgoing your weekly sauna or steam room visit, and steering clear of outdoor sunbathing as well as tanning beds. 

The reason for this is because the heat will increase your body’s blood flow which, as noted, can cause the Botox to become dispersed, temporarily paralyzing the surrounding muscles greatly reducing the injections’ results.

Wear makeup.

Take a break from makeup for at least 24 hours after receiving Botox injections as rubbing cosmetics products into your skin may, again, cause the Botox to disperse.

After the first 24 hours, you can begin wearing makeup again, although it is recommended that you do so in moderation. To reduce the risk of Botox diffusion, use a light dabbing motion when applying cosmetics, rather than a rubbing or spreading motion.

Drink alcohol.

It’s best to avoid alcohol completely for at least 24 hours before and after getting Botox as it increases the risk of bruising. In fact, many doctors recommend you abstain from alcohol for even longer, as much as two weeks before and after the procedure.

In addition to bruising, alcohol often leads to dry and cracked skin, and it can compound common Botox side effects like drowsiness and dizziness.

Avoid certain medications.

As noted earlier, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking before or after your procedure. You may need to suspend the use of certains medications or supplements for a brief period following Botox injections, to prevent harmful drug interactions.

This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, such as Ibuprofen, Omega 3, Aspirin, Vitamin E, and more. As with alcohol, some medications can compound the side effects of Botox, and vice versa.

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