CAN YOU EXERCISE AFTER BOTOX®?
As a nation, lots of us are keen on regular exercise in order to feel healthier, stronger, and more energised. We might take Sunday yoga classes, lift weights at home – or even go for a run on our lunch breaks from the office. Dubbed the ‘lunchtime facelift‘, Botox® as a non-surgical aesthetic procedure is also an increasingly popular way to utilise a lunch hour, with many numbers of patients requesting this treatment across the UK. But are the two compatible and can you exercise after Botox®?
Botulinum toxin, commonly known by brand name Botox® is a neurotoxin that works by blocking the release of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine. The resulting effect is the relaxation or temporary paralysis of local muscles. The reduced muscle movement of the face lessens the appearance and development of lines and wrinkles in the overlying skin, creating a fresher and more youthful appearance. Outcomes are variable from person to person but the results can generally be expected to last around 3-6 months.
Due to the scientific and technological advancements within the aesthetics industry and the quality, safety, and efficacy of products used for anti-wrinkle treatments, the procedure incurs minimal downtime and patients can more or less carry on their day as usual.
Patients are advised to avoid pressure on or rubbing of the injected area. It is also recommended that clients do not lie down flat for at least 4 hours after treatment. This is because botulinum toxin can take a little while to ‘settle’ and this will prevent the product from migrating to other areas of the face. This is a rare but possible side effect of treatment.
It is also recommended that patients avoid exposure to excessive heat, such as hot showers or sunbeds. Clients are also advised to refrain from alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours after treatment to help mitigate against severe bruising at the treatment site.
So can you exercise after Botox®?
One of the most common queries from patients receiving anti-wrinkle treatment is whether they can exercise after their procedure. It is recommended that exercise is avoided for at least 24 hours post-treatment as strenuous movement can contribute to the possibility of the product moving to other areas of the face and also increases the risk of bruising. Strenuous forms of exercise inevitably raise blood pressure which puts greater stress on the small blood vessels in the face, which may have suffered some insult during the procedure. These vessels are therefore more vulnerable to bleeding under the increased pressures created through exercise and other forms of exertion, such as heavy lifting.
Additionally, some clinicians advocate that the more sedate exercise practices like yoga should also be avoided in this 24-hour window due to the many inverted poses and time spent prone.
Facial (only) movements
It is interesting to note, however, that a recent study has shown that simple facial (only) exercises immediately following treatment can, in fact, speed up the results, which are normally visible within 3-4 days. The research team found that those who carried out facial exercises for the 4 hours after their procedure achieved visible results one day sooner than those who did not. This may be helpful for people who are receiving treatment specifically ahead of an important event or social occasion and are concerned about the treatment taking effect in time.
Exercise is of course generally encouraged as part of a healthy lifestyle and aesthetic treatments should not impact long term exercise regimens or levels of activity. Patients should not be deterred from making the healthiest choices for their lifestyle due to aesthetic procedures.
Do your research
If you’re considering an anti-wrinkle treatment it is imperative that you conduct careful research to ensure you are being injected by a qualified and experienced aesthetician who can advise you on the most appropriate aftercare regimen to ensure your safety and help you achieve optimal results.
A full consultation should be carried out and you should have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and clarify what you are hoping to achieve from your treatment. Always ensure you are fully consented before your procedure. This is the sole responsibility of the clinician performing the treatment and a principle of practice that defines a regulated and compliant injector.