Botox, or botulinum toxin, may sound a little foreboding, but it can help ease wrinkles, reduce chronic migraines and even prevent excessive sweating. That’s because Botox contains a compound that blocks nerve impulses to muscles. This is helpful because the nerve impulses can signal the muscles in your face to contract, causing you to experience wrinkles. When the muscles stop contracting, certain areas in your face, such as frown lines between your eyebrows, can start to ease and appear less wrinkled. The result is a rejuvenated face thanks to a procedure that typically takes around 30 minutes and does not require anesthesia or an extensive recovery period.

Botox isn’t a permanent solution to your wrinkles because the toxin ultimately leaves your system. The typical amount of time for Botox injections to last is about two months. However, it’s possible for your results to last longer or shorter. With a regular Botox dosage schedule, however, you may find your muscles become more accustomed to relaxing. This means you may find you are able to extend the amount of time between Botox treatments, which can save you money in the long run.

Average Botox Costs

The average estimated Botox costs can vary based on location and the cost of time for the physician who gives them. A number of organizations estimate the average cost for Botox procedures, which can vary slightly based on the reporting body. These include:

  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: $396
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons: $400
  • $350 to $500

Always talk to your physician about Botox costs prior to the procedure because the costs can be determined by how much Botox your physician recommends injecting. If your facial lines requires more than one vial of Botox — such as when your physician is treating frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet or the wrinkles on the sides of your eyes — the cost may be greater.

Consider Your Costs

On a per-treatment basis, Botox costs tend to be less than surgical fillers or laser treatments. However, you must evaluate long-term value and your physician’s recommendations when you consider the best option for you.

“When you’re trying to figure out the best treatment for you, consider something permanent versus something temporary,” says Dominic Brandy, MD, cosmetic surgeon and Founding Medical Director of The Skin Center Medical Spa in Pittsburgh, Penn. “Try to figure out what’s best for your face, and what the procedure will cost you over time.”

Remember also that you are trusting your face to your physician — and Botox injections are no time to look for a sale.

“Although Botox and dermal filler injections are performed quite commonly, there are side effects that can occur when the procedures are performed by an untrained specialist or someone who does not perform the injections often,” says Constance Barone, MD, FACS, a plastic surgeon based in San Antonio, Texas. “I see often see patients who come in for corrective procedures. The first thing they say is that ‘I have tried to save a few dollars, and I am so sorry I did this.’”

To have the best Botox experience possible, Dr. Brandy recommends:

  • Finding a physician who regularly performs Botox injections — she will be more practiced in giving Botox injections and how they will best work for your face. Ask the physician how many procedures she has performed.
  • Ask to see photos of before and after patients have received Botox injections. If a doctor can’t show you these, you may need to find another physician.
  • Talk to your physician about your goals for Botox treatments. By having a clear understanding of the results you’re hoping to achieve, your physician can pinpoint the best locations to place the Botox injections.