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What Happens if I Start Botox and Then Stop?

Woman considering stopping Botox looking at forehead wrinkles.


Botox is one of the most popular choices for those looking to reverse the clock and stop aging in its tracks. But what happens when you start Botox and then decide to stop? Let’s take an honest look at the potential effects of discontinuing Botox treatments and whether you’ll need to use it forever.

A Brief Overview of Botox

Of course you’ve heard of Botox (who hasn’t?). But you may not quite understand how it works. Neuromodulators (including Botox or “botulinum toxin”) are widely known cosmetic injectable treatments that work by temporarily relaxing the facial muscles that cause wrinkles and lines. By blocking nerve signals to these muscles, Botox helps to smooth out the skin and give it a more youthful appearance. It also prevents further wrinkles and lines from forming and keeps existing ones from getting worse. For many patients, Botox is a fantastic option for achieving a refreshed look without going under the knife.

Is Botox One-and-Done?

The short answer is “no.” Botox treatments typically last around 3-6 months, after which the effects begin to wear off. To maintain their results, patients usually return for follow-up treatments. But what if you decide to stop using Botox altogether?

The Effects of Stopping Botox

If you decide to stop using Botox, the first thing to know is that your face will not suddenly change overnight. Botox wears off slowly, and as it does, your facial muscles will gradually regain their normal function. This process usually takes several months, and during this time, the treated areas will slowly begin to return to their pre-Botox appearance.

One common concern among Botox users is that stopping treatments will lead to more severe wrinkles or a “deflated” appearance. However, this is absolutely not the case. While it’s true that your skin will most likely return to its previous state, it won’t be worse off than before you started Botox.

In fact, studies show Botox use may actually have a preventive effect. This occurs for two reasons. First, during the time the muscles are paralyzed, they do not cause the contractions which would normally contribute to creases; therefore, wrinkle formation is halted. Some also speculate that the repeated muscle relaxation may train the muscles to be less active, leading to a smoother appearance even after treatments have stopped.

Will I Need Botox Forever?

The decision to continue or discontinue Botox treatments is entirely up to you and your personal preferences. Some patients may choose to stop Botox for various reasons, such as budget constraints, changes in aesthetic goals, or a desire to explore alternative treatments. Others find that they enjoy the benefits of Botox so much that they decide to continue treatments indefinitely. Many patients begin their cosmetic treatment journey with Botox for its preventative effects, then choose to broaden their approach with longer-lasting solutions.

Alternative Treatments to Consider

If you’re considering stopping Botox treatments but still want to maintain a youthful appearance, there are several alternative treatments that might be worth exploring. Some popular options include:

Dermal Fillers

Like Botox, dermal fillers are injectable treatments that can help to smooth out wrinkles and restore volume to the face. However, they work differently than Botox, plumping the skin from the inside rather than relaxing the muscles. Fillers can be used on their own or added to Botox treatments for an even more impactful result.

Skin Tightening

Energy-based treatments such as Thermage and Exilis Ultra are excellent alternatives to Botox, as they use ultrasound or radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin. These non-invasive treatments are safe and effective for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and their effects are long-lasting.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

These treatments use targeted light energy to penetrate the skin. Along with removing damaged skin, laser treatments promote the production of collagen and elastin to minimize the appearance of fine line, wrinkles, and discoloration.

Considering Starting (or Stopping) Botox Treatment?

It is always best to get professional advice. If you are already a Botox patient, talk to your practitioner before stopping so you know what to expect and get a chance to explore other options if you are interested.

If you are considering Botox but are worried about commitment: don’t. You can start and stop Botox at any time! Contact our experts to learn more about the best Botox treatment plan for your aesthetic goals.