How much Botox do I need for my wrinkles? How much does Botox Cost?

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How much Botox do I need for my wrinkles? How much does Botox Cost?

The question of how much Botox you need to treat the wrinkles on your forehead or around your eyes is closely related to the question, “How much does Botox Cost.” Due to this, I decided to write about both of them together.

Let’s start with, “how much Botox do I need to treat my wrinkles?”

When facial plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons use Botox, we measure the amount in what is called a “unit.” This can get confusing as some people think a unit is an injection, but this is not the case. Think about units the same as you would milligrams (mg) of a medical like Tylenol. One Tylenol tablet contains 325mg of the medication. For Botox, each injection contains a certain number of “Units.”

Everyone is different. Men are different than women, younger people are different than older people and thus the number of “units” of Botox required is different, just like some people require a higher dose of Tylenol. If someone has very deep wrinkles and strong muscles causing the wrinkles they may need more “Units” of Botox, or written another way, a higher dose of Botox. Remember, they may have the same number of needle pokes, but the dose injected with each poke is bigger.

Here is an example. A 30 year old woman is interested in treating the subtle wrinkles between her eyes. When you ask her to frown and make the wrinkles worse, the plastic surgeon using the Botox notices that she does not have a strong muscle causing this movement (remember from a prior blog posts that Botox prevents muscles from moving). Because of this, the plastic surgeon decides to use a lower dose of Botox and uses a total of 20 Units. The Plastic surgeon will still do 5 injections (this area of the face requires 5 injections to treat the muscles), and each injection will have 4 Units. Make sense? Now, what if we then see a 50 year old male with very deep wrinkles and strong muscles. This person may require 40 Units of Botox. Again, he would still require 5 injections (or 5 needle pokes) but each poke would have more Botox Units than the young female.

So, this brings us to the second question, “how much will it cost to get a Botox Treatment for Wrinkles?” This depends on how many units you require. The vast majority of Plastic Surgeons will base the cost of the Botox on the total number of units injected. Different Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons who use Botox will set their own “price per unit” meaning, 1 Unit may cost $10.00 for one surgeon while another it may cost $15.00. So, if you see a Facial Plastic Surgeon who charges $10.00 per unit and you need 20 units, the cost will be $200.00 plus Tax (depending on where you live). This is just an example to highlight how most Facial plastic surgeons charge for a Botox treatment.

So you can see, there are many factors that determine cost. It’s also fair to say that those places with the most experience and quality injectors will often charge slightly more. Injecting Botox is a very precise science and art. You need to ensure you see someone who understands the physiology, the anatomy and has training in the special techniques of injection.

Dr. James P. Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Head and Neck Surgery
Facial Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery