One popular Botox aftercare instruction is to avoid exercising following your appointment. But why? Is it really necessary to abstain from your regular fitness regimen after your Botox injection? How does working out affect the results of the treatment?
Before we answer these questions, let us first learn more about the basics of this injectable and how it works.
The basics of Botox
Botulinum toxin or Botox is an FDA-cleared anti-wrinkle treatment that can improve or reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. It uses a neurotoxin protein that temporarily blocks the signal from a nerve to a muscle, preventing the facial muscles from contracting. This then smooths or relaxes the wrinkles.
Botox is the most popular brand of botulinum toxin injection. It is approved for treating moderate to severe frown lines (angry 11s), forehead lines, and crow’s feet or wrinkles in the corner of the eyes. Many turn to this injectable for wrinkle smoothing or cosmetic purposes, but providers also use it to treat excessive sweating, migraines, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Are you getting Botox for the first time? Check out our previous post for some helpful things you should know.
Why you should avoid exercising after Botox
There are three reasons why you need to wait to exercise after getting Botox:
- Exercise increases blood flow
Working out (particularly aerobic exercise) gets your heart pumping, which is beneficial for your cardiovascular health. Increased blood flow to the muscles, however, could cause the Botox to diffuse away from the original injection site. This can then cause temporary paralysis in the surrounding muscles. Raised blood flow, furthermore, can contribute to further swelling in the treatment areas.
- Exercise can put extra pressure on the injection site
Another important aftercare instruction is to avoid touching or applying any pressure on the treated area for at least one day (up to three days) after the injection. Wiping away your sweat after exercise can cause you to unintentionally put pressure on the area. The same is also true for engaging in activities that require head or facial gear (like swimming or cycling).
- Exercise requires movement (that can involve changes in head position)
Even light exercises like yoga and Pilates can cause changes in head position. The same goes for any routine that requires you to position your head below your heart. This can cause the Botox to diffuse or migrate to an unintended site. This is also the reason why injectors recommend patients to keep their heads upright (at least six hours after the treatment) and not lie or bend down.
Do take note: Botox is safe and effective for smoothing and relaxing facial lines and wrinkles. Just make sure to let your injector or aesthetic doctor know about your fitness routines or habits before your appointment. They may give you pre-treatment instructions or even modify your treatment plan.
How long should you have to wait before exercising?
The general recommendation is to avoid all exercise for at least 24 hours and wait for 3 more days before engaging in any rigorous or intense workouts. Some providers and aesthetic doctors may even recommend that you wait for at least a week (before exerting yourself) just to be on the safe side.
Keep in mind that your metabolism or level of physical activity significantly affects the results of Botox. Athletes, fit patients, or those with high metabolism are likely to notice a shorter period of results. This is mainly because their bodies break down or metabolize Botox faster than those who lead an inactive lifestyle.
Read our previous post about the 5 factors that affect how Botox lasts.
What are the other things you need to avoid when getting Botox injections?
Your injector is likely to provide you with a list of the things you should do and shouldn’t do after your injection. Some of the things you need to avoid may include:
- Taking blood thinners or medications that thin the blood
- Drinking alcohol
- Consuming too much caffeine
- Taking a hot shower
- Exposure to sun or heat conditions (saunas, sun lamps, tanning beds)
- Applying makeup
- Applying retinoids or skincare with active ingredients
- Having facials or any face treatments
Are there any Botox alternatives?
Xeomin is another botulinum toxin injection that is also FDA approved for treating facial lines and wrinkles. It works the same way as Botox, blocking the signal from a nerve to a muscle, which then softens the wrinkles. Providers recommend Xeomin if Botox doesn’t work or stops working for you.
Unlike Botox, Xeomin does not contain any additives, providing a purified form of neurotoxin. It undergoes another purification step to make it free from accessory proteins. It is also said to work faster, as it doesn’t have complexing proteins that it needs to break free from before bonding to the facial muscle.
The absence of additives, furthermore, means that the body is less likely to develop an immune response to it. With both injectables, however, you need to avoid exercise or facial manipulation 24 hours after the treatment. But then again, Xeomin binds faster to the muscles. This means fewer chances for the active ingredient to migrate, especially for those who like to move or work out.
Schedule a consultation today
Want to learn more about Botox and how it can make you look younger and more refreshed? Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and schedule a consultation with our Harvard-trained aesthetic doctor, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.