Why Didn't My Botox Work for Me?

Botox is the single most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. People are looking for ways to look and feel younger.  Botox injections are quick, relatively painless, inexpensive, and most importantly, Botox works... except when it doesn’t. Although it’s extremely rare, some people have had Botox treatments that didn’t work or didn’t last for the expected duration of 3-4 months. WHY?

  1. Botox takes 5-14 days to take effect.  Sure, the temptation is to stare at your face the next day looking for signs of improvement, but as they say, a watched pot never boils.  Give the Botox time to do its magic.
  2. Botox is measured in units.  Stronger muscles need more units.  Therefore, you need more Botox between your eyebrows than in your crow’s feet and less in your upper lip area than on your forehead, etc.  Some people have naturally stronger muscles and need more units than the average person.  Men will require more units than women because their muscles are typically bigger and stronger. Some patients only have a budget amount for a certain amount of units, and if that is the case your Botox will wear off quicker despite what the injector may inform you on how much you need.
  3. There is no true evidence that being thin and fit is ever a bad thing, even when it comes to Botox.  Research has shown patients  that use tanning beds, hot tubs, saunas with a high metabolism may decrease the amount of time that Botox lasts. Heat may decrease the amount of time. Also someone who wears hats a lot may decrease Botox.
  4. While most injectors will dispute the possibility of anyone developing an immunity to Botox, Allergan (the makers of Botox) have gone on record to say that, yes, it is possible.

Botox is a protein complex and in some patients the body’s immune system responds by producing antibodies capable of breaking down the protein complex.  This is more of a concern in patients who are receiving large doses of Botox in areas of the body other than the face for medical conditions such as cervical dystonia, and even that is extremely rare.  Rare as in super rare, about 1 to 3%.  But still, technically, it could happen.

Jamie Riley
Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

Maria SanchezComment