It may be a minimally invasive treatment, but as a prescription medicine, Botox aftercare is important. When you invest in Botox treatment, you want to get the best results possible. And while most responsibility lies in the skilful hands of your practitioner, there are steps you can take after treatment to help. You should be given verbal instructions by your practitioner, but it can be easy to forget – especially if it’s your first time having Botox. So to give you a handy reference guide, if there was anything you were planning to do after having Botox but weren’t sure, here’s a quick rundown of the dos and don’ts of Botox aftercare.
What to do after your treatment?
- The most important and universally agreed instruction when it comes to Botox aftercare is one you’ll like the sound of. Take it easy, sit down and relax!
- You don’t want to do anything strenuous, so for the first 4 or 5 hours, get comfy on the sofa (sitting not lying down), put something decent on to watch and take the opportunity to enjoy some precious time off.
- Most practitioners will tell you to use your facial muscles to help get the Botox into where it’s needed. So practice your normal range of facial expressions – chatting and laughing at a good comedy will help.
- For any swelling or bruising, you can gently apply an ice pack. Arnica cream can help with bruising too. If you’re prone to bruising, you can also try arnica tablets as a preventative measure – start the day before treatment and carry on for 5 days afterwards.
What to avoid?
‘Bad Botox aftercare’ is probably overstating the case against these activities, but if you’ve never had Botox before and want to take all the sensible precautions you can, you’ll want to avoid a few things.
Rubbing the treated area is a no-no for the first few hours. This includes any kind of massage – so that relaxing facial will have to wait. The rationale for this is to minimise the risk of diffusion, i.e. Botox spreading to other muscles – in particular, the eyelids.
For the same reason, it’s wise to avoid bending forward or lying down for four to five hours following treatment. Additionally, if you stay upright, it’s less likely that you’ll nod off and rub your face in your sleep.
You’re also advised to wait 24 hours before taking part in any strenuous activity. Any activities that cause an increased heart rate will increase blood flow to the treated area, which is bad for two reasons. Firstly, because of the risk of Botox travelling into – and affecting – other muscles. And secondly, because you want the Botox to stay in place in the treated area for maximum effect. Dispersing some into other areas may compromise your results.
Try not to get too hot for the same reasons above, as heat will increase your blood pressure. So no saunas, sun beds or hot baths/showers in the first few hours after your treatment. It’s also a good idea to avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol for the first 24 hours too.