How Botox Units are Measured and Determined

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How Botox Units are Measured and Determined

botox units measured determined

We get a number of questions about Botox at the offices of Steven Jepson, MD, and we’re happy to answer any and all of them for our patients. One of the handful of most common, particularly among those who are trying Botox for the first time: How much do I need?

The answer here is expressed in what are called “Botox units.” As the name suggests, these are basic measurements that allow Dr. Jepson and other Botox professionals to determine how much will be used, determinations they make based on several factors. Let’s go over what a Botox unit is, the general amounts used in different areas of the face, and some factors that may influence how many units are used for you.

Botox Unit Basics

Botox units were created during animal studies, and are based on a fixed number of botulinum (active Botox ingredient) molecules. Basically, a “unit” of Botox measures the biological strength of the Botox, or how well it will be able to relax the nerve it’s targeting.

Units are determined by Allergan, the company that created and markets Botox. Each Botox vial produced by Allergan contains exactly 100 Botox units, and these can be split up by individual practitioners as needed.

Broad Unit Guidelines

In most cases, Botox providers will use a general set of guidelines for Botox units as a starting point – then use individual factors to adjust from there (more on these in a moment). The general guidelines include recommendations for each of the following facial areas or imperfections:

  • Crow’s feet: 5-12 units per side
  • Eyebrow lift: 2-5 units per side
  • Forehead lines: 4-12 units
  • Nasalis (bunny) lines:4-8 units
  • Frown or glabellar lines: 20-30 units
  • Gummy smile: 2-4 units
  • Masseters (TMJ relief): 10-20 units per side
  • Smile lift: 4-8 units
  • Dimpled chin: 2-6 units
  • Neck bands: 4-12

Other Factors

As we noted, the above guidelines will be used as a baseline – each of these specific factors may be used to alter the unit amount and come to a final determination:

  • Gender: In general, men need more Botox because they have larger facial muscles than women. Those with larger facial structures will generally require a greater number of Botox units.
  • Metabolism: If you have a faster metabolism rate, you may need a bit more Botox or more regular injections.
  • Facial muscles: Different people have varying levels of facial muscle strength. Those who perform repetitive actions and have weakened their facial muscles over the years will require larger quantities of Botox.
  • Goals and wrinkle levels: The more severe the wrinkles, and the greater your desire for smoothness and a youthful appearance, the more Botox may be used.

For more on Botox units, or to learn about Juvederm or any of our other medical spa services, speak to the staff at the offices of Steven Jepson, MD today.