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What Is a Unit of Botox?

Botox has been the first choice of many people when it comes to erasing years off their faces. This procedure has delivered successful results in removing fine lines and wrinkles and bringing back your youthful appearance. Botox has little to no downtime, which makes it perfect for those who lead a hectic lifestyle. With the accurate dose, it can provide you with a natural-looking glow.

So what is a unit of Botox? A unit of Botox is what we use to measure the amount of botulinum toxin we should inject into the body to achieve effects. It’s a fixed number of molecules you will need to have biological activity. Botox is usually rated per unit, which is relative to 100—the number of units per vial.

Say Goodbye To Your Wrinkles and Fine Lines

With just a few simple injections, our providers can erase your wrinkles and fine lines in no time with Botox. Call us today to book your appointment.


What Is a Unit of Botox

A unit of Botox (or botulinum toxin type A) is what plastic surgeons and experts use in measuring Botox, much like how we use milligrams and milliliters in measuring medicine. A unit is the fixed amount of botulinum toxin molecules needed for biologic activity or for the botulinum toxin to incur qualitative change on the subject.

Botox comes in a 50 or 100 single-use unit vial and a multi-use 100 or unit vial. This purified protein appears in crystallized form, which is why the vials look empty. Plastic surgeons mix unused saline with a 100 unit vial before they inject it on facial muscles and in any other location. They usually mix normal saline of 2.5 mL with 100 unit vials of Botox, which will give you 4 units of botulinum toxin product per 0.1 mL.

Plastic surgeons can mix up the measurements with the dose in the unit vial as their baseline. Some prefer to make it more concentrated, hence mixing in fewer unused saline. Some will add more normal saline for a more diluted unit. Botox diluted with more normal saline will be easier to measure for smaller doses, which are ideal for administering on the lower parts of the face. Your plastic surgeon varies the reconstitution of your Botox on the goals of your cosmetic treatment.

Cost of Botox Per Unit

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of Botox per unit ranges from about $10 to $15. These rates will still differ per location, so you should also research and compare the prices of service providers in your area.

The pricing for Botox treatment sessions doesn’t depend on the injection sites or the treated areas–it depends on the number of active units you need to achieve your aesthetic goals. What you might need to tighten your facial wrinkles is not the same as others. The recommended unit for your crow’s feet is not the same as your forehead lines. The only thing constant is the number of Botox units, which is why it’s the basis for the pricing.

Aside from this, a syringe of Botox is not the same as the others, because they might contain different units. 2 mL of Botox might not be the same as another 2 mL. That is why pricing Botox per syringe or per mL is not as reliable as other cosmetic treatments, like dermal fillers. Your plastic surgeon must explain to you how they had reconstituted their vials of Botox.

How to Know the Correct Dose for Botox

We mentioned that the units of Botox that you will need vary depending on your consultation and assessment with your plastic surgeons. There isn’t a fixed dose when getting treatment with botulinum toxin. Here are the factors that your doctor looks into when measuring the right unit of Botox you need:

1) Area

The first thing your plastic surgeon will look into as you get your Botox cosmetic treatment is the area you want to get treated. The units of Botox you need will differ per area. The effective dose you need to reduce the appearance of crow wrinkles won’t be the same as the number you need for your horizontal forehead lines, for example. 

2) Gender

Gender is also a factor that determines your needed Botox unit. Men will need more units of Botox because they have larger muscle mass compared to women. Men with larger muscles or build will also need more doses per session than slender men with smaller bones. We avoid here the patient receiving fewer doses than they need.

3) Metabolism Rate

Eligible patients who have a faster rate of metabolism need more doses of Botox than others. Each person has a different metabolism or capacity to transform food into energy. Since Botox is also a form of protein, those with higher metabolism can break down the botulinum toxin in their bodies a lot faster, making the efficacy of the cosmetic treatment fade quickly.

If you have a high rate of metabolism and if you lead an active lifestyle, you might need to have more frequent sessions of botulinum toxin injection.

4) Strength of Facial Muscle

We develop facial wrinkles as our skin loses elasticity and forms folds when we make facial expressions. Those with stronger facial muscles may develop deeper and more wrinkles. They would need more units of Botox injections.

How you repeat facial expressions and muscles will also be a factor. The more you do similar facial expressions, the more your muscles will weaken. If you have weaker muscles, you might also need more doses of Botox.

5) Face Shape and Size

The size and shape of your face will also be another factor for determining the effective dose of Botox for you. The bigger the face shape and size, the more doses of Botox you might need.

6) Aesthetic Goals

The number of Botox units you need will also depend on your aesthetic goals. If you want to focus on a few areas, you may receive fewer Botox injections. You may have a cumulative dose of Botox if you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles gradually.

7) Severity of Wrinkles

The dose of Botox cosmetic injections you need will also depend on the severity of your wrinkles. Those who have mild wrinkles may need only fewer units of Botox, while those with moderate to severe lines may require more units. For better results, your plastic surgeon may also recommend adding dermal fillers for more volume.

8) History of Use

Another thing to look at when you’re getting Botox cosmetic injectables is your history of using them. The longer Botox you receive, the weaker your muscles become. That’s why the effects of your Botox may last longer. Botox normally lasts for about four months, but it can also last for six months if you have been getting additional injections regularly.

For starters, it may be best to have only a few units and receive increasing doses in the next treatment with botulinum toxin.

What Happens If You Get The Wrong Botox Unit

Syringes on a yellow background

Doctors are always keen on giving the right dose for every treatment with botulinum toxin. Some patients may get too excited and request more Botox than their bodies could handle, which may result in undesirable effects.

Getting lesser units of Botox than what you may need poses less serious problems than getting more. If you become underdosed with Botox, you may not receive the results you want. You may receive an additional botulinum toxin injection for a more effective treatment.

If you receive more units of Botox there might be more adverse effects. You run the risk of Botox spreading to the surrounding muscles of the injection sites. It can also cause blurred vision and botulism.

Botulism is an illness that affects the nerves in your body, which results in muscle paralysis and difficulty in breathing. It may also cause nausea and vomiting. This illness is one of the adverse effects of the clostridium botulinum toxin type–an active ingredient present in Botox.

Botox is FDA-approved for the treatment of several medical conditions, such as chronic migraine, axillary hyperhidrosis, urinary disorders, and other types of neurologic disorders. Adult post-stroke patients rely on Botox, too. It has the right active substance that eases different types of spasticity in adults, such as focal spasticity, upper limb spasticity, and more. The effects of Botox on these neurologic disorders have been tested in animal studies and have reported successful results in patients.

The action of botulinum toxin can help ease symptoms from chronic migraine and others, but you may receive more units. When seeking Botox treatment, see a trusted board-certified plastic surgeon or neurologist.

How Many Botox Unit You Need

You may need varying units of Botox for different injection sites. Here are some Botox cosmetic treatments and the average unit you need per area:

1) Between the Eyebrows

For resolving the lines and wrinkles between your eyebrows, the average dose of Botox that you need is about 15-20 units. The injection sites are in the corrugator and procerus muscles.

2) Eyebrow Lift

It helps to administer about 10-15 Botox units in the crow’s feet area at the side of your eyes, so your brows will lift and look more lively. Injecting Botox on the forehead does not help with raising your brows, contrary to popular belief. Forehead muscles help you lift the brows, which is why paralyzing them with the active substance in Botox will lower your brows even more. It will only cause eyelid ptosis or droopy eyelids.

3) Brow Furrows

These are the vertical lines you make when you furrow your brows. Low collagen will cause your skin to leave lines like these. 15-20 units of Botox will do the trick in reducing its appearance.

4) Smile Lines and Cheeks

Smiling makes you look younger, but not when it leaves smile lines at the side of your mouth. However, Botox may not be the best option for removing smile lines because you might not be able to move them anymore. Acid fillers will do the trick!

5) Glabellar Lines

Glabellar lines are the lines colloquially known as the “11 lines.” For reducing the appearance of these horizontal forehead lines, you need about 15-20 units of Botox.

6) Forehead

Aside from glabellar lines, there are other fine lines on the forehead. The recommended unit for these lines is about 5-15 units of Botox.

7) Gummy Smile

A gummy smile is when your gums show up when you smile. The solution to this is getting a lip flip! For this treatment, you will receive about 2.5 units of Botox on either side.

8) Crow’s Feet Lines

Crow’s feet lines are the slanted horizontal lines and wrinkles you see around your eyes. For crow’s feet lines and other wrinkles near the eyes, your doctor may recommend about 10 units of Botox. They will administer these in strategic injection sites.

9) Bunny Lines

Bunny lines are the ones you see on either side of your nose when you wrinkle them. These lines may need 10 units of Botox in the proper injection sites.

10) Frown Lines

Frown lines are your glabellar lines, vertical lines on the nose, and the lateral canthal lines. These lines can be quite strong, so you might need more Botox units. Doctors generally administer about 15-20 units of Botox, but you may receive more depending on the severity.

11) Marionette Lines

Marionette lines are the vertical lines on either side of your lower lip, like the ones in dolls. Botox to reduce the appearance of marionette lines might be one of the misconceptions that some people might initially think. The action of botulinum toxin near marionette lines may affect your smile, so the best treatment is to get acid fillers.

12) Masseter Muscle

The muscles on your neck, called the platysmal bands, become more evident as you age. If you make an exaggerated “E,” these may show up. Plastic surgeons administer about 20-50 units of Botox in the injection sites to make this look rigid.

TreatmentNumber of Botox Units
Between Eyebrows15-20 Units
Eyebrow Lift10-15 Units
Brow Furrows15-20 Units
Smile Lines and Cheeks
Glabellar Lines15-20 Units
Forehead5-15 Units
Gummy Smile2.5 Units
Crow’s Feet Lines10 Units
Bunny Lines10 Units
Frown Lines15-20 Units
Marionette Lines
Masseter Muscle20-50 Units

Get a Youthful Appearance From Botox Treatment

Injecting the accurate dose of Botox in the injection sites can do wonders not only for your appearance but also for neurologic disorders. Knowing the units of Botox you need is crucial to achieving the results you want.

At aNu Aesthetics, you can rest assured that we will give you the best unit of Botox that you need. The expert administering techniques from our highly-trained doctors and practitioners promise comfort and satisfaction for our clients. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Say Goodbye To Your Wrinkles and Fine Lines  

With just a few simple injections, our providers can erase your wrinkles and fine lines in no time with Botox. Call us today to book your appointment.



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