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How Many Units of Botox is Good for First-Time Users?

One of the most significant benefits of Botox treatments is that it mostly works the same between different patients. Since it targets the muscles, it can achieve a wide variety of improvements to your appearance regardless of your skin type or skin color. But that doesn't mean there aren't any considerations to how it's used. One area of concern is the number of units for people getting Botox for the first time since their bodies have no prior exposure to the toxin.

So how many units of Botox should first-time users get? While the exact number of units will depend on which facial muscles or which injection sites Botox treatment will be injected into, the potency of the product means that first-time patients should always get the lowest possible unit dose. Once the risk of shock has passed and their doctor/dermatologist has recommended further treatments, then it's possible to increase their dosage.

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Why It's Important To Be Conservative With Botox Applications for First Time Patients

Any first-time Botox user will need to be extremely careful with the amount of toxin being injected into their system. While the typical treatment of Botox doesn't really put too much strain on the body, the botulinum toxin itself is an extremely potent formula and can cause adverse reactions in the body, especially with regular treatments.

Here are some reasons why first-time patients need a lower overall dose of Botox for first-time patients.

Injection Sites

Botox can work almost anywhere on the body, but it's areas like the face where it can see the most use. Because the skin and muscle groups in the area are more complex and tightly knit compared to other areas of the body, most providers will usually prefer to dose their patients with a lower unit count of Botox.

This is usually done to make sure that any first-time patients don't experience excessive muscle weakness or discomfort in the time between treatments. Since their bodies aren't used to the formula and its effects, providers will typically choose the lower average of the treatment to avoid any serious complications.


Botox is rarely a one-and-done deal, primarily because Botox treatment options aren't a permanent solution for lines and wrinkles. The average longevity of treatments can often be measured in months, so patients must report for repeat injections to make sure that their results last.

But for first-time patients, the first dose of Botox shouldn't be too much, since the body may have an adverse reaction to high levels of toxin without being conditioned beforehand. It's always better to increase the dose of Botox over time (if needed) rather than injecting too much into the muscles for the first time.

Checking For Adverse Side Effects

Even if all precautions are taken, there are still some cases where a patient may have a negative interaction with Botox. While most side effects can be accounted for and prevented, each person's reaction to Botox injections can be different - and you may be an outlier when it comes to your body's reaction to Botox.

Providers will usually administer a conservative dose (strong enough to take effect but not too much to linger into your system), monitor your condition for a few weeks after your treatment, and then administer additional units if necessary. If you pass this period without getting any symptoms or side effects, you're cleared to go with regular treatment.

How The Average Unit Count of Botox is Measured

Rear view of hand holding syringe

Botox use is always measured via units - it's how users and providers can easily keep track of how much botulinum toxin to administer with each injection. Any beauty treatments that use Botox in some way will also differ from person to person, which means it's important to have some average unit count that can be relied on for reference during treatments.

There are usually three ways to determine how much average Botox should be used in a treated area:

1) The Muscle Groups Involved

Because Botox isn't a permanent treatment, some groups of muscles tend to burn through the toxin faster compared to others. Dynamic wrinkles like glabellar lines, forehead lines, and smile lines are all in areas of the face that move frequently - which means that these areas need more frequent reapplication of Botox.

However, doses also need to be limited since these areas of the skin are near vital organs or have very little skin to affect. More Botox in an area doesn't mean that the effects will last twice as long: it'll just make getting more severe complications likely.

Learn more: How Many Units of Botox Do You Need for Marionette Lines?

2) The Age of The Patient

The older you are, the more Botox you'll likely need - especially if you're getting moderate to severe wrinkles as glabellar lines are treated. Because your body is also going through an increased loss of skin elasticity, it's more prone to sagging, which requires more Botox to counteract.

However, older patients also run the risk of going through moderate to severe side effects from Botox injections, since their bodies can't fight off the toxin as fast as younger patients. This means that the average dose of Botox for older patients should lean into the conservative side, even if they've been getting their injections done for a long time.

3) Preventative Botox

Some patients try to get ahead of the appearance of wrinkles by getting Botox before they even appear. This method is called preventative Botox and has shown some success in managing facial lines and wrinkles in younger patients. As this treatment relies on conditioning the body as early as possible to the effects of Botox, the overall average dose of a patient going through this will be less than average.

This is because their bodies have already been conditioned to the effects of Botox, which means that they'll likely require less of it for future treatments. As long as re-applications remain consistent, the conditioned muscle requires less Botox to relax.

Botox Treatment, Dermal Filler Injections, and Other Non-Invasive Procedures at Dr. V Medical Aesthetics

First-time patients getting Botox treatments should always aim for lower Botox units since their bodies aren't used to the effects of botulinum toxin yet. Successful treatments of Botox rely on conditioning the muscles over time (or sometimes even just over months) to make sure that the skin can tolerate the levels of toxin after treatment. This is especially true for people who are getting treatment for lines that are on the delicate areas of the face.

Dr. V Medical Aesthetics has plenty of experience helping first-time Botox patients through their injections for fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Our team of specialists has a keen understanding of the effects of Botox, and we can help you effectively restore your youthful appearance. If you want to know more about Botox cosmetic treatments or ask about other skincare concerns, book a consultation with us today.


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