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Botox is such a quick and easy procedure, people can carry on with their daily lives as soon as they step out of the clinic. But as simple as these injections are, there are still some precautions that should be taken for a few hours after you receive them.

For example: exercise.

At Dr Bryan McIntosh’s practice in Bellevue, WA, we’re often asked if exercise is permissible right after a Botox treatment.

The short answer is: no.

We discourage patients from exercising 24 hours after they receive the injections, in order to get the best results from the procedure.

Botox involves injections of small amounts of a highly purified, concentrated protein into very specific parts of facial muscles. It is important to let this medication absorb. First, the increase in blood flow which occurs during a strenuous workout can impede proper diffusion of the protein and render the treatment less predictable and effective. Second, there’s risk of the protein moving beyond its intended site.

If exercise is a priority, do it before the procedure and wait 24 hours before you hit the gym again.

Besides exercise, there are a few other precautions to keep in mind as well.

The face should not be massaged in any way to make sure the protein is not accidentally moved from where it is supposed to work. The mere act of wiping sweat from the brow can palpate the protein and disperse it from its desired location.

There is also an increased risk of bruising and headaches.

So what can you do instead?

Make faces! Yes, literally.

Tense the muscles in the areas where the Botox was injected, and hold for 5 seconds before releasing. In other words, squint, frown, scowl, smile, purse your lips etc. because the act of contraction and relaxation can manipulate Botox to enter the muscles more easily.

Studies have shown that facial exercise can speed up results from a Botox treatment by as much as a day!

Following these simple rules will give you the fullest results. So, resist the urge to exercise for just 24 hours. When Botox has settled well, taken effect and you see the final look in a few days, you’ll be glad you did!