Many patients wonder, “How many units of botox do I need?” This article will provide you with a guide to help determine the right form of treatment and the appropriate amounts needed to provide you with optimal results. 

What Is Botox?

Botox is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, a harmless bacterium found in many natural settings such as soil, lakes, and forests. It can also be found in the intestinal tracts of mammals and fish. Neurotoxins target the nervous system.

Botox is the first FDA-approved treatment to temporarily alleviate moderate to severe frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead lines in adults. Botox can be used to treat certain muscular conditions or as a nonsurgical cosmetic treatment because it temporarily paralyzes the targeted muscle. 

Botox is a non-permanent, nonsurgical treatment that takes about 10 minutes and requires minimal downtime. Results can be seen within 1-2 weeks. The treatment delivers subtle results. The amount of botox injected into the area of treatment can be fine-tuned to offer optimal results that can promote a more youthful and lifted appearance

Where Can You Get Botox?

The most commonly targeted areas of botox are the face and neck. Botox can also be injected into areas of the body to treat symptoms other than wrinkles. Some doctors use Botox to treat certain muscular conditions such as uncontrollable muscle spasms or excessive sweating in the armpit area or hands. 

Botox vs. Fillers


Neurotoxins are temporary muscle paralyzers or muscle relaxers. Botox is one brand of neurotoxin. 

There are currently four different types of neurotoxins. These brands are listed in order of strongest to gentlest: Dysport, Botox, Jeuveau, and Xeomin

If the patient needs a lot of facial movement, doctors typically recommend Jeaveau or Xeomin. These gentle muscle relaxers allow for more facial movement. These brands are recommended to actors because they need a wide range of movement in their line of work. 

The doctor will usually recommend Dysport or Botox for patients who want minimal or no movement. It is important to remember that all of these neurotoxins can be adjusted; the doctor is able to inject more or less depending on the patient. Keep reading to find out how many units of botox you may need for certain areas of the face. 

Neurotoxins, such as Botox, don’t add volume because they only affect the muscle activity. Neurotoxins, unlike fillers, are not volumizers. Instead, they simply relax the muscle. Neurotoxins are non-permanent and result typically last between three to four months. Patients must be reinjected to continue to see results. 


Like neurotoxins, fillers are non-permanent and non-invasive. Fillers are different from neurotoxins because they work to add volume to the treatment area that is injected. There are different types of fillers that can help patients depending on their goals. 

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers (HA Fillers):

The human body’s cells float in a jelly-like substance, known as hyaluronic acid. 

These fillers typically last six to 18 months. They do not last the whole time, however. Hyaluronic fillers slowly deteriorate, so it is important to get a touch-up every six to nine months, as this is the time that typically half of the filler will be gone by. 

Some brands of hyaluronic acid fillers include Juvaderm, Restylane, Belotero, and Voluma.

Calcium-Based Fillers:

Calcium-based fillers (known as calcium hydroxylapatite) are typically thicker and last longer than hyaluronic acid fillers. These fillers last a minimum of 12 months for most patients. Research shows that calcium-based fillers may stimulate natural collagen production and are best for areas where bony enhancement is happening, like the jaw or chin. 

Radiesse is a popular form of calcium-based filler. It is typically recommended for areas with bone, including the jaw, chin, temple, and cheeks. This filler is best for patients who want a lot of definition. It is also FDA approved to rejuvenate the backs of the hands.

Polylactic Acid Fillers:

Polylactic acid fillers (PLLA) are a biodegradable synthetic substance. They promote the body’s natural collagen production. 

Sculptra Aesthetic is the most popular polylactic acid filler. The filler is made out of lactic acid particles. When injected into the body, collagen forms around the cells. Using these fillers is a slower process, as patients must wait for their bodies to create collagen. Some patients prefer this type of filler because it lasts longer than others. Due to the slow growth of collagen in the body, multiple treatment sessions and patients may be necessary. 

Autologous Fat Injections:

Autologous fat injections use borrowed fat from a part of the patient’s body where it is not desired and placed into the face where it could use some more volume.  There is also an off-the-shelf fat (commonly referred to as Renuva, it’s a brand name) that constitutes the most recent class of filler. Renuva uses cadaver fat that is irradiated, so no more live cells are in it. The only thing that remains is the structure and architecture of fat. The body will build fat and collagen where it is injected. This treatment is great for filling liposuction divots, building the buttocks, or forming fat in areas the patient wants it to grow. The results from Renuva and autologous fat may last for years and even be permanent. 

The Bottom Line:

The latest thing is injecting Sculptra, Radiesse, and Renuva fillers to create long-lasting volume in liposuction divots or buttocks. 

There are many types of fillers out on the market. It is important for patients to consult with a doctor who has knowledge and experience. Fillers that are not injected correctly will result in an over-the-top voluminous look. 

Neurotransmitters, such as Botox, do not build volume. They simply relax the injected muscles. On the other hand, fillers help build volume. It is important to not be scared of creating volume. Many patients actually need volume. Increased volume does not make you appear fatter. When used properly, it gives a more chiseled, lifted, and well-rested appearance. 

Both neurotoxins and fillers can be great anti-aging tools. As we age, we lose volume. This means we lose bony volume, muscle volume, or fat. Fillers can combat aging and help patients exude a youthful, healthy appearance. Neurotoxins also help prevent wrinkles and can lift the skin. 

how many units of botox

Who Is the Perfect Candidate for Botox?

The ideal candidate for Botox is someone who wants to treat moderate to severe wrinkles or certain muscular conditions. The patient may be a good fit for Botox if they are unhappy with the appearance of wrinkles, are generally in good health, and have realistic expectations for results. 

The patient may not be a good fit for Botox if they are allergic to certain neurotoxins, have a skin infection, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a severe muscle or nerve condition. Prior to the procedure, the patient will schedule a consultation with their doctor to determine the right course of treatment for them based on their needs and goals. 

Pros and Cons of Botox


  • Fast and painless procedure
  • Non-permanent treatment
  • Little to no downtime
  • Quick results
  • Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles


  • Around 1% of people receiving injections of Botox develop antibodies to the toxin which makes future treatments ineffective. They are then switched to a different brand of neurotoxin like Dysport.
  • May prevent facial expressions
  • Expensive
  • Temporary solution

Risks and side effects

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Dysphagia
  • Bruising
  • Soreness

It is important to set up a consultation with a qualified doctor to express any concerns you have regarding the procedure. 

How Much Botox Do I Need?

How Many Units of Botox for Smile Lines?

Botox is not used for smile lines. Botox is a temporary muscle relaxer. Therefore, if you injected it into your smile lines, you wouldn’t be able to move your mouth. Filler can be injected into smile lines to fill in volume loss.

How Many Units of Botox for in Between Eyebrows?

15-20 units of botox are recommended for in between eyebrows.

How Many Units of Botox for Brow Furrow?

15-20 units of botox are recommended to mitigate furrowed brows.

How Many Units of Botox for Eyebrow Lift?

Injecting 10-15 units into the crow’s feet on the side of the eyes helps lift the brow.  A lot of people think that injecting botox in the forehead lifts the brow, but that is incorrect.  

Botox in the forehead temporarily paralyzes forehead muscles. The job of the forehead muscle is to lift the brows so, if you paralyze it, the brows lower.  

Instead, injecting botox under the brow and around the crow’s feet of the eye lifts the brow. The muscle that causes crow’s feet pulls the brow down. Paralyzing the muscle around this eye (orbicularis oculi) helps lift the brow.

How Many Units of Botox for Cheeks?

Botox is not used in the cheeks. Many doctors recommend adding fillers to the cheeks. 

How Many Units of Botox for the Forehead?

5-15 units are recommended, depending on the size of the forehead or how much movement is needed.

How Many Units of Botox for Glabellar Lines?

To diminish glabellar lines, doctors recommend 15-20 units of botox.

How Many Units of Botox for Lips?

Botox can be used in the lips to soften kiss lines. However, it also makes it difficult to drink out of a straw as that muscle (orbicularis oris) is temporarily weakened. Because of this, many doctors recommend using lasers or superficial fillers to help with lines around the mouth.

How Many Units of Botox for a Gummy Smile?

2.5 units are recommended on each side. This is recommended for patients whose smiles reveal their gums. The botox relaxes the muscle down and creates a smile that shows all teeth and no gums. 

How Many Units of Botox for Crow’s Feet?

10 units are recommended on each side to improve the appearance of crow’s feet.

How Many Units of Botox for Eyes?  

10 units are recommended on each side. 

How Many Units of Botox for Frown Lines?  

15-20 units of botox are recommended for frown lines. Because the muscles are very strong, more units of botox are needed to combat these lines.

How Many Units of Botox for Bunny Lines?

10 units are recommended on each side. Anything less will not give the desired effect because the muscle is like a fan and treatment must hit the whole muscle.

How Many Units of Botox for the Face? 

This depends on which areas are treated. Refer to other questions for specific facial muscles. 

How Many Units of Botox for Marionette Lines?

Botox is not used for marionette lines. Botox is a temporary muscle relaxer. If you injected it into marionette lines, your smile would be off.  Fillers can be injected in front of the marionette lines to fill in volume loss and camouflage the indentation in front of the marionette.

How Many Units of Botox for Migraines? 

This depends on a variety of factors. This is best answered by a neurologist.

How Many Units of Botox for Smoker’s Lines?  

Similar to the lips, many doctors recommend using lasers or superficial fillers to help with lines around the mouth.

How Many Units of Botox for the Chin?

It is not recommended for patients to get botox in the chin area. Botox around the chin can throw off the smile, as it is a wide muscle. As a result, some areas of the chin may move and other areas may not. If the patient has a lot of wrinkles on their chin, it may be because they have a weak chin and need fillers to build up the bone. 

How Many Units of Botox for the Neck?

The platysmal bands may stick out as you get older. You can check yours by making an exaggerated E sound with your mouth and looking for two lines on your neck. When activated, the muscle protrudes. Injecting botox helps suck in the muscle and make it look taut. Doctors recommend anywhere between 20 to 60 units of botox. 

How Many Units of Botox for the Masseter Muscle?

The masseter muscle is activated when patients grind or clench teeth. This can result from stress or simply be a bad habit. This may cause soreness in the jaw, lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), or result in a wide look at the bottom of the face. Doctors typically recommend injecting 15-20 units on each side, which can promote a slimmer face and also act as functional relief because it combats symptoms of teeth-grinding or clenching. 

There are many areas that Botox injections can help treat. It is important for patients to do their research and consult with a doctor who is able to answer their concerns and questions. The doctor will help the patient come up with a personalized treatment plan to meet their goals. 


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There are three main types of neurotoxins that the majority of practitioners use. Here’s why I use each of them. 💁‍♀️ @skinbyalexa . . . 1. #Dysport: Made by the same company that makes #Restylane. This toxin has more spread and I prefer it on patients that want complete paralysis of their forehead, frown lines or crows feet. It also starts acting in a few days after injection. . . . 2. #Botox: Made by the same company that makes #Juvederm. This toxin has less spread and can be tuned up or down easily with more or less amounts used. It starts to take effect after a week or so. . . . 3. #Xeomin: Made by the same company that makes #Radiesse. This toxin is best for those that want to maintain some movement. More injections and amounts are needed to paralyze like the other two. But patients like it because of it’s more subtle results. It starts to take effect a few days after injection. . . . Oh… and these neurotoxins are not snake venom!! I get this all the time, and I have no idea where that started. 😒 #SMH #Nope

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