How many units of Botox do I need?

Every patient that sits in my chair gets a full consult. I suspect the most frequently asked question I get in regards to Botox is “How many units do I need?”. Interestingly, almost no one that has had Botox before actually knows how many units they have had in the past. My experienced, Botox savvy patients usually know but most do not recall. I find it interesting that people ask how many units they need but what they really want to know is something completely different. Like “how much will this cost?” Or “how bad are my lines?” Or “how many needle sticks do I have to have”. In our clinic we usually do not sell Botox by units. As a matter of fact we don’t really sell Botox at all. We sell beauty. We sell results. Most patients invest in packages that will make them feel their best Skintastic self. Packages include products, lasers and/or injectables that target a concern. Either way I thought I would try to explain to everyone how many units you really need.

In my opinion, how many units you get is more related to how long your Botox lasts and not necessarily what it looks like. I think that what your Botox results look like are more related to where your injector places your Botox. For example, if I get 40 units of Botox in my forehead and around my eyes it looks exactly the same as if I get 50 units in the same locations. The difference is that 40 units only lasts me about 2.5 months and 50 units lasts me about 4.5 months.

It’s also important to consider what has been studied and FDA approved. That is 20 units for the glabella(the area of the forehead between the brows that makes the “11”lines), 20 units for the frontalis(the muscle that raises the brows that causes horizontal forehead lines) and 24 units for the crows feet. Those are the dosages that have been shown to last 3-4 months. If you get less than that you can expect to either not have satisfactory relaxation or results won’t last the entire 3-4 months.\

Every person is likely to need a different amount of units. Men tend to need more than women since they tend to have bulkier muscles. Every single person is different. We all are born with a gallbladder. Some of our gallbladders come out at some point due to malfunctions and some of us keep our gallbladder our entire lives. Even though it is the same organ it is different in everyone. Same goes for our muscles. One patient may get 20 units in their crows feet and it look perfect and last 4 months and the next patient gets 28 units in the exact same location and it only last 3 months. Their orbicularis oculi muscle is the same muscle injected just different from person to person.

The moral of the story is get an injector you trust. You can’t figure out how many units you need on your own. You need to come in and let me look at your muscles. Let me assess you. Then stay with me. Let me check you in 2 weeks to make sure your botox is perfect initially. Let me make adjustments every 3 months as needed. When I know where I injected last time and can see what adjustments we make your Botox injections could quite possibly get better and better. It’s hard to know who the expert is and who you can trust. I encourage you to make an appointment with my cosmetic coordinator, Margaret by e-mailing and find out exactly how much you need to reach your goals and stay in your budget. You will never pay full price at Johnson Dermatology because we offer brilliant distinctions, elite program and more! We are just an e-mail away to help you reach all your skin goals. And FYI, one of my favorite patients told me this weekend that she needed to come in for her “Ninamen C” so for the record that is what I will be referring to Botox as from here on out!

Stay skintastic, Nina


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