How Many Units of Botox do I Need?

February 24, 2021

Woman wonders about Botox treatment

While Botox Cosmetic, and other neurotoxin injections, are some of the most popular cosmetic dermatology solutions, few patients actually know what to expect from the treatment process. According to Certified Physician Assistant Tori Burns of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Dallas, Texas, “Many patients aren’t sure how many injections they’ll need, how much Botox treatment should be applied, or what they should expect after treatment. Answering these questions is what your dermatologist is here for, but knowing the basics about Botox treatment can help you make the most informed decisions about your cosmetic dermatology needs and achieve the ideal results.” In this blog, Ms. Burns walks through what to expect during Botox sessions to address the most common treatment areas.

Is Botox the Right Treatment Option?

Ms. Burns says, “Before we even dive into discussing the different areas that can be treated with Botox and how many units are needed, I talk to my patients about their options. Some people come in feeling sure Botox is the best solution, and it’s a versatile and effective treatment. However, it’s not always the ideal cosmetic dermatology procedure to achieve a patient’s goals. Rather than just say, ‘Sure, let’s do Botox,’ I ask them why they want Botox and talk through what they can expect from the procedure. If Botox is a good option for them, we can start talking about treatment planning, including the right number of units to use for their procedure. Every person is different, so while I have a typical recommendation for specific areas, each person’s body will respond differently to Botox injections. We’ll monitor progress and adjust our dosage throughout the process to ensure the patient achieves the best results.”

Botox Cosmetic has an array of applications, including preventing and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, drooping eyebrows, crow’s feet in the corners of the eyes, bunny lines around the nose, downturned lips, and chin dimples. While Botox can be used on a range of areas, it is most often recommended for wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and in the corners of the eyes.

How Many Units of Botox do I Need to Treat the Forehead?

The forehead is one of the most popular application sites for Botox Cosmetic. The neurotoxin injections help to prevent the formation of new fine lines and wrinkles across the forehead as well as maintaining a smoother, tighter appearance. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan, but your dermatologist will likely begin with the following basic suggestions:

  • Location of injection – There are five main injection sites on the forehead. Two directly beneath the hairline, two over the temples, and one in the center of the forehead. Everyone’s anatomy is slightly different, so it’s important to go to a trained and experienced provider who can watch your facial movement and know exactly where the injections are needed.
  • Number of units – The basic recommendation from the manufacturer of Botox Cosmetic is four units for each of the injection sites (20 total). Most dermatologists say they administer between 10 and 50 total units, depending on the individual patient’s needs and history with the treatment.
  • Frequency of application – For the first application, your dermatologist will likely administer a lower dosage of Botox (one to two units per injection site) to test your response. They will ask that you return in two to three months for assessment and retreatment. Once you achieve the desired results, maintenance appointments are recommended every three to four months.

How Many Units of Botox do I need to Treat the Area Between the Eyebrows?

The lines between the eyes, often called elevens or frown lines, are another popular application site for Botox Cosmetic. These lines can be very deeply embedded, and Botox is a great option to prevent the development of these wrinkles in the first place or halt their progress. For this reason, your dermatologist may recommend a combination of cosmetic dermatology solutions to diminish the appearance of existing wrinkles between the eyebrows followed by Botox to prevent the formation of new lines. Each person’s treatment plan will vary, but a basic Botox treatment plan to address wrinkles between the eyes usually involves:

  • Location of injection – The manufacturer of Botox recommends injecting in five spots along the upper brow and between the eyebrows. Imagine a V-shape above your eyes with the point between your brows. Again, everyone’s anatomy is different. A trained provider will watch your facial movement to see exactly where injections should be placed.
  • Number of units – The manufacturer suggests up to five units per injection site (25 units total) to achieve the desired results, but dermatologists say they provide between 20 and 50 total units in this area.
  • Frequency of application – Like the forehead, it’s usually recommended to begin with fewer units to determine the right amount. Once you and your dermatologist determine the ideal number of units, retreatment visits are typically scheduled every three to four months.

How Many Units of Botox do I Need to Treat the Corners of My Eyes?

While your dermatologist doesn’t want to apply too much neurotoxin into the sensitive skin around the eyes, the deep lines and wrinkles may necessitate a more aggressive approach. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and determining the right number of units for Botox treatment in the area at the corners of the eyes is essential. Your dermatologist may suggest some trial treatments with lower doses to ensure you safely achieve the desired results. Each person’s Botox plan to address crow’s feet will be a little different, but a typical treatment plan may include:

  • Location of injection – There are six injection sites recommended to address crow’s feet. At the outer corner of the eye, an injection will be placed above and below the eye and a third injection midway between the two. As noted above, there should be no such thing as “cookie-cutter Botox.” Everyone’s anatomy is different and placement of injections will reflect that.
  • Number of units – As is the case with Botox treatment between the eyebrows, the average is five units per injection or 25 total, but dermatologists may provide between 20 and 50 total units, depending on the individual’s needs and their response to treatment.
  • Frequency of application – Again, your dermatologist may schedule a recall visit about two months after your initial Botox treatment to see your results and make adjustments to your dosage and ongoing maintenance plan. Once you achieve the desired results, most dermatologists suggest retreatment after three or four months.

Schedule Your Consultation with U.S. Dermatology Partners

If you’re ready to create the best Botox Cosmetic treatment option to achieve your goals, the U.S. Dermatology Partners team makes it easy to get the process started. Simply take a few moments to complete our online scheduling request form. When we receive your request, one of our team members will be in touch to finalize the details of your upcoming cosmetic dermatology consultation.

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