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Does Botox Hurt?

by Gabbi

Botox has an exciting reputation because it can help turn back the clock, but it’s also known for its more humorous side effects. While too much Botox can give a frozen appearance, the proper dosage can keep you looking and feeling great.

It’s also one of the most popular types of injectables aside from filler. However, what may deter people from receiving Botox is the pain. It can be overwhelming to inject the skin with a needle, and the service is bound to come with some discomfort.

So, does Botox hurt? Various factors can affect how painful the service will be, like your pain tolerance or if numbing cream is applied. Many clinics claim that Botox may feel uncomfortable or that you may just feel a pinch of the needle.

Injectables may not be for the faint of heart, but they can be less invasive than going under the knife. In-office treatments have become routine, and new procedures allow Botox services to be quick, efficient, and simple.

However, visiting an experienced and licensed dermatologist for your Botox service is crucial. This will ensure you get a high-quality service that doesn’t require extra work down the road. So, what else should you know about Botox? Read on!

What Is Botox?

Botox is a well-known cosmetic service that relieves the muscles of the face. However, Botox provides various benefits besides a cosmetic appearance. 

According to Medical News Today, “Manufacturers make Botox injections with very small doses of Botulinum toxin. The drug can temporarily paralyze muscles, which can benefit people with various muscle or nerve disorders.” 

This toxin can be extremely harmful and should only be used in small doses to get the best result. 

What Does Botox Treat?

When most people think of Botox, what may first come to mind is anti-aging. Yes, Botox can be used for cosmetic purposes, but it can also treat a wide variety of concerns. The FDA has approved it for numerous treatments.

Botox can also relieve pain resulting from migraines, minimize sweating, and alleviate other medical concerns.

Cosmetic Purposes

Botox is widely-used as a cosmetic service. It can treat multiple areas of the face by relaxing the muscles to help create a more youthful appearance. Small doses of Botox are said to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

In addition, Botox can alleviate wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), forehead creases, frown lines, and more. Botox is a great non-surgical service that can greatly improve the texture of your skin. 

Reduces Tension 

Also, Botox can reduce tension and pain with conditions like migraines.

Medical News Today states, “Botox is a neurotoxin. These substances target the nervous system, disrupting the nerve signaling processes that stimulate muscle contraction. This is how the drug causes temporary muscle paralysis.” 

Minimize Sweating 

Another condition that Botox can treat is Hyperhidrosis or excessive underarm sweating. The same way Botox can disrupt the nervous system and muscle contraction; it can also affect your sweat glands. 

Botox can temporarily block the body from producing sweat and can be used to treat other areas of the body prone to sweating like the head, chest, or back.

Pros Of Botox 

All beauty services, especially in-office treatments, have their pros and cons. Botox is famous for numerous reasons, including being virtually painless, offering non-surgical solutions, and requiring little to no downtime.

However, conducting an in-depth consultation with your clinic and provider is crucial to see if you’re an excellent fit for Botox.


A considerable advantage of Botox is that it’s non-surgical. Injectables have grown in popularity because they’re less invasive than other treatments, and you don’t have to undergo an intense operation. Instead, you simply visit a clinic and are out the door.

A doctor will inject the face with a needle and Botox and that’s all that’s required during a Botox service. 

Little To No Downtime

Thankfully, there is no intense recovery period for Botox unlike other surgical procedures. However, your medical provider will still send you home with aftercare instructions, and you may be limited to certain activities.

Botox may need a little time to settle, so it’s best to avoid laying down or partaking in exercising following your appointment. Otherwise, you can still return to work and continue life as you usually would.

Here’s an explanation of the aftercare for botox from Nurse It on YouTube.

Swift Results

Finally, Botox can provide quick results. You may notice your results within a week of your treatment. However, your outcome can heavily depend on what area was treated, how much is used, and other guidelines carried out by your clinic.

The results of Botox can last for a few months on average. 

Cons Of Botox

Botox can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t a fan of needles. In addition, Botox won’t suit every candidate, which is why it’s crucial to have an in-depth consultation with your medical provider.

Some downsides of Botox include that it’s a temporary service that needs to get touched up. Also, there is a chance you may lose some control over facial muscles or experience bruising from the injection. 


While you see results appear within the first few days following your appointment, it won’t be permanent. This is why people may fear the pain of injection for a quick result. However, we know that results can last for about a few months.

However, once the effects of Botox wear off, you will need to go in for another appointment. This may not be a downside for every individual. 

Frozen Face

Most of us are aware of the meme culture behind Botox and how your face can be stuck in a particular position. Botox reduces your control over your muscles, which can affect your facial expressions.

However, one article from Healthline states, “the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that when people had Botox that prevented frowning, they have reduced negative mood.” 

Headaches & Bruising

You may experience a slight headache or pain on your way out of the clinic. It’s only natural to have some kind of discomfort following an injection to the face, but it shouldn’t last too long. You can potentially bruise around the area of your injection. 

However, this can potentially be reduced through the experience and expertise of your injector. 

Is Botox Painful?

Now that we know a little more about Botox, is it a painful service? Most professionals or Botox veterans will claim that Botox is a painless service. Botox is relatively painless compared to other beauty services.

We’ve mentioned numerous things that can affect the pain of Botox, like if you’ve used a numbing cream. You may also just feel the pinch of the needle, and the Botox material itself is nothing.

Can You Use A Numbing Cream?

Numbing cream may not always be necessary during a Botox appointment. However, it can depend on where you’re receiving Botox and how much of it. Sometimes a tiny pinch of the needle won’t require numbing cream.

You can still apply one or discuss your concerns with your provider. 

What’s The Size Of The Needle?

The fear of needles may diminish with a Botox service because it’s performed with thin, tiny needles. A small needle can also affect if the service will be painful. There may be less of a chance you’ll feel pain with a small needle.

However, one study compared 30- and 32- gauge needles and found there to be little pain difference. The 30-gauge needle is typically used in most Botox services. 

What Can Affect The Pain Levels Of Botox?

Everyone may have a different experience or reaction to Botox. While Botox is considered to be painless, various factors can affect its outcome. First, you’ll want to ensure you’re visiting a trusted and well-experienced clinic. 

Numbing Cream

Whether or not you use a numbing cream will impact the pain levels of your Botox. A numbing cream will temporarily create a numb effect on the area needing treatment, so you don’t feel the needle injection.

Numbing cream may not always be required, but it can help individuals with low pain tolerance.


The size of the needle may or may not affect the pain of the service. The study we listed earlier showed very little difference between a 30- and 32-gauge needle.

However, the same study found “the average pain score was 4.38 +/- 2.02 for 20-gaige needles and 3,98 +/- 1.65 for 32-gauge needles.” So the needles may or may not affect the overall pain of Botox. 

Personal Pain Tolerance 

Everyone will react to pain differently. The needle pinch may feel like an unnoticeable mosquito bite for some individuals or more prominent for others. Your pain tolerance will impact how painful you find Botox.

This will also be great to discuss with your provider to determine if you can use a numbing cream. 


Finally, your clinic can have a significant impact on your Botox experience. An inexperienced provider can leave you with unhappy results or other side effects like headaches, bruising, or nausea.

Seeking a trusted provider will ensure you keep yourself safe and achieve your desired results. So, it’s crucial to take your time researching and conducting consultations.

What To Expect During Your Botox Service

You can go into your Botox appointment expecting to feel some discomfort. A needle will prick the skin to distribute the Botox to your desired area, so it can be challenging to make it painless without the help of numbing cream.

So what things should you expect during your appointment? 

Slight Pinch

The most amount of pain you may feel during Botox is the pinch of the needle injected into your skin. Most clinics claim that Botox itself doesn’t hurt when applied to the face, and the only painful part will be this initial pinch.

So be prepared for the injection, and the rest is most likely tolerable even without the use of numbing cream.

Prepare For The Syringe 

Some people may even get startled by the sounds of the syringe. 

Healthline writer Sara Garone described her experience, “ I was also unprepared for the sounds the syringe made as it plugged its contents into my skin: like crunching boots on snow or the signature crack of bending a glow stick.” 

This experience can create fear or an illusion that Botox is more intimidating than it actually is.

What To Expect After Your Botox Service

You may potentially feel some soreness or tenderness following your Botox service. Remember, you will get injected with needles and may feel some residual after effects. Your provider may advise you to alleviate the area with an ice pack.

Also, you’ll be provided with aftercare steps to ensure you maintain your results post-service. 

Botox Aftercare

You will most likely discuss the aftercare required to maintain following your Botox appointment with your injector. Aftercare is crucial to ensure your Botox results are looking their best. Also, you may need to make minor lifestyle adjustments.

Thankfully, the recovery from Botox isn’t too extreme, and you can quickly go back to your regular routine. There will be a little change to your face and it can look undetectable at first. 

Keep Head Level

The most important thing you can do post-Botox is to keep your head level. So, you’ll want to avoid laying down, reclining, or moving around too much. Keeping your head level will ensure the Botox settles exactly where it’s placed.

Also, this will minimize the risk of Botox from possibly moving around or settling elsewhere. 

Avoid Activity

You’ll also be advised to avoid any rigorous activity the day of your appointment or a few days after. This includes any form of exercising. Again, it’s crucial to avoid moving the face or body where it could potentially affect your results. 

Avoid Touching The Face

Finally, you’ll want to avoid touching your face excessively. Most of the initial aftercare will keep the head still and allow adequate time for your results to settle in the following days.

You may need to eliminate your skincare from your routine or anything that causes you to rub your face. Allowing the face to keep still will ensure you fall in love with your Botox.

These are some general guidelines but always follow the exact aftercare instructions from your injector or provider. 

You may also want to wait before taking a shower.

How Does Botox Compare To Other Injectables?

Now that we’ve covered the pain levels of Botox, how does it compare to other injectables like filler? Fillers can pose more risk because they can quickly move around and may require a numbing cream before the injection.

Some fillers may contain lidocaine but can still produce soreness and tenderness following your appointment. 

Always Consult With A Dermatologist

Before deciding on any service, always have an in-depth consultation with your dermatologist. They can help you choose the best procedure for you and guide you through each step of the process.

You may find out that Botox may not be for you, and another service will be more beneficial. You can also receive personalized care with a dermatologist. 


So, is Botox painful? It can depend on numerous factors, but relatively Botox isn’t painful. The insertion of the needle is usually the most uncomfortable part of Botox, and the actual Botox material itself doesn’t produce any pain.

However, your personal pain tolerance, the size of the needle, numbing cream, and clinic expertise can all play a role in how painful your service may or may not be. So, it’s crucial to take your time and research the best provider in your area.

Always have an in-depth consultation with a dermatologist before going through any procedure to minimize risks. 

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