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By Cate Holliday • July 17, 2018

What is a Unit of Botox and How Much do I Need?

Botox is one of the most popular aesthetic services in the United States, and has been for over 10 years. Botox (Botulinum toxin) is a naturally occurring substance that helps to diminish the look of wrinkles and fine lines on your face and neck. Most clients are familiar with what botox DOES, but what exactly IS a unit of Botox?

A unit is a measurement used to determine the amount of Botox given. All medications have measurements that describe that amount of the active ingredient of the medication, and most medications are measured by weight (milligrams, grams, etc.). However, medications that are biologically derived (such as botox) are measured in units which describes the amount of effect of the medication in a given lab test. Insulin for example, is measured in units, just like Botox! A Botox unit is essentially a measure of a defined amount of biological activity and corresponds to a fixed number of botulinum toxin molecules. Just like Botox, the other wrinkle relaxer called Dysport is also measured in Units. It is also a botulinum toxin A. However, these two drugs are not equivalent. Some claim that Botox is approximately 3 times stronger than Dysport, but Dysport is simply a smaller-sized molecule so its unit measurement is different than Botox. Overall, both products are very similar and the comparison of the two would be like Coke to Pepsi - it’s a personal preference!

While a unit is the measurement used to determine the amount of Botox given, the true question now is “How many units of Botox do I need?” Most of our clients use Botox for problem areas like the forehead, upper eyelids, neck, and the areas around the brow. Some treatment areas need only 5 units while others may need 20! Thankfully, our Master Providers are expertly trained to evaluate your concerns and advise you on the best course of action. A completely free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Master Providers is available to all of our patients at any time to advise you on exactly what you need. While you won’t know exactly how many units of Botox you need until you visit us, here’s a quick guide on the typical amounts of Botox used on each area for most clients:

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If you were to estimate your Dysport unit needs for each area, you would simply multiply the number of Botox units by 3. So if you need 20 units of Botox on your forehead, you would need 60 units of Dysport! All of the included measurements on this graphic are estimates, and everyone is different. You may need more or less Botox, and this is best determined during your free consult with your Master Provider. While this graphic includes areas such as the Forehead, Glabella, and Crows Feet,  there are also many other areas that can be treated with Botox! 

Did you know that Botox can be used for more than just relaxing wrinkles? Botox also helps with migraines! In a twelve-month study Botox injected into various spots on the head and neck of participants resulted in 70% of enrolled patients seeing a more than 50% decrease in their number of headaches. For alternate uses of Botox such as migraine prevention, more units are typically needed to achieve the desired results. The typical migraine dose of Botox is about 155 units. This may vary depending on your personal biological factors. Over the last decade, Botox has become known for helping to stop excessive sweating. It is typically injected under the arms, actually blocking the message from sweat glands to secrete sweat. These injections have been shown to decrease sweating by up to 87%. To achieve this reduction in sweat, your underarms typically requires about 50 units of Botox per arm. This would be about 100 units total for the entire treatment! Botox injections have also been shown to slim the appearance of a “square face” by concentrating injections in the Masseter Muscle (the muscle around the jawline). With proper administration, this muscle will relax and actually give the face a narrower appearance! This is a great option for people who clench and grind their teeth at night, as the Botox relaxes your muscles and can ease the tension that carries over into your day. For Masseter Botox, about 25-35 units are used per side to relax your jaw. The amount used can vary for each client due to biological factors and the severity of the muscles to be treated.

Both Botox and Dysport can be used for all of these purposes, and more! From wrinkle relaxing to sweat prevention, Botox is truly one of the best noninvasive aesthetic treatments out there. It’s also virtually painless! Most people report no pain at all with Botox injections. There is no numbing medicine administered for these injections because none is needed. The needle used for Botox is much thinner than the average needle such as those used to draw blood. Botox is one of the safest cosmetic treatments available. Long-term study results have shown that 853 treatment sessions with Botox over a 9 year period resulted in no side-effects for 99% of participating patients. Many clients get Botox injections before work, during their lunch hour, or after work and return to their normal routine with no symptoms of having been treated! Allergic reactions and side-effects are extremely rare when it comes to Botox. It’s important for potential clients to discuss their known allergies, or medications, at the initial Juvly free facial assessment to ensure your Master Provider chooses the treatment for you. Would you like to explore your options with Botox or Dysport? Use the button below  to book a completely free consultation with your Master Provider to determine if wrinkle relaxer is the right choice to achieve your aesthetic goals! We'd love to see you soon!

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