What Is Botox: The Complete Guide

BY: Editors |May 17, 2019

Watch as employee Jeff gets Botox for his frown lines and forehead lines for the first time.

You probably know the basics of Botox injections, especially that they're designed to smooth wrinkles. But you might be wondering things like "how much does Botox cost" or "how long does it take for Botox to work"?

This guide will take you step by step through the process—just click one of the links below to get started:

What is Botox?

Put simply, Botox is a medication injected into muscles in order to temporarily smooth crow's-feet around the eyes and frown lines and other lines on the forehead. It contains a highly purified botulinum-toxin protein.

How much does Botox cost?

Cost varies, as some clinics choose to charge per unit and others per area. The average price is about $20 per unit, so a single treatment with 20 units would cost about $400. That typically would cover only one area on the face, and some people may need as many as 60 units per area. 

That said, if you use our site, you could find deals on Botox near you for as low as $180 for 20 units. * 

Where can I find Botox deals near me?

If you're looking for Botox deals near you, just click one of the boxes below;

How does Botox work?

Whenever you frown, laugh, or squint, certain facial muscles contract, creating lines on the face. Botox temporarily reduces this muscle activity by paralyzing these facial muscles, which helps to visibly smooth crow's-feet, forehead lines, and frown lines.

How long does it take for Botox to work? How long does Botox last?

Botox is known as a lunchtime procedure—the actual injections take only 10 minutes. That said, results generally don't show up for 24–48 hours. Faces look noticeably smoother within a week, with optimal results showing up after a month. 

Botox lasts up to four months. 

older woman with wrinkles smiling

What are the Botox injection sites?

As noted above, the most common Botox injection sites are around the eyes and on the forehead. For a visual breakdown of injection sites, and for information regarding the number of units needed for each area, check out our Guide to Botox Injections for the Face.

Can Botox treat migraines?

Botox may be best known as a miracle wrinkler-eraser, but since 2010, it's also been an FDA-approved treatment for those suffering from chronic migraines. For more information, read our article on How Botox Can Help a Headache.

Can Botox treat sweating?

Botox is FDA-approved to treat excessive sweating. When injected in the underarms, palms, or feet, the substance helps deactivate sweat glands in much the same way it hampers muscle contractions. For more information, see our Guide to Botox and Sweating.

Am I eligible for Botox?

Most adults are eligible for Botox (the manufacturer doesn't recommend it for anyone younger than 18). Do not get Botox if you:

  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients in Botox or to any other botulinum toxin product (Dysport, Xeomin, etc.)

  • Have an infection at the injection site

  • Have a urinary tract infection (UTI)

  • Are being treated for urinary incontinence or cannot empty your bladder on your own and aren't routinely catheterizing

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is not known if Botox can harm an unborn baby or pass into breast milk.

If you have other conditions, it is best to consult with your doctor before getting Botox.

Dysport vs Botox: What's the difference?

Since Botox made its first appearance in the med-spa world, a number of similar treatments have also become available. These include Dysport, another Botulinum toxin type A injectable, as well as dermal fillers (which use hyaluronic acid to plump skin) such as Juvéderm, Restylane, and Perlane. The decision to choose between Botox vs Dysport depends largely on the results you're hoping to achieve. For more information, check out the following guides:

Is Botox the same as botulism? 

Contrary to popular belief, the bacteria that causes botulism, clostridium botulinum, is not part of the treatment, nor are six of the seven neurotoxins it secretes. The only substance used in Botox injections, botulinum toxin A, is carefully extracted, purified, and standardized into FDA-approved doses. Plus, the dosage is so small, it can't get beyond the muscle tissue it's injected into, meaning there's little if any chance for Botox to reach the bloodstream.

middle age woman smiling

What are the side effects of Botox?

When injected properly, Botox injections don't require a lot of downtime. Patients can typically resume all their normal activities immediately after a treatment.

That's not to say the injections are completely risk-free, however. Mild redness, bruising, and swelling can crop up in the days following a treatment, and more serious complications aren't unheard of. These complications can be life-threatening, including problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing.

Read all of the safety considerations for Botox here


The information contained in this article is from Botox's manufacturer, Allergan. Learn more here.

* The average cost of Botox was calculated using pricing provided by Groupon merchants in 2018.




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