treatments call appointment

How Many Units of Botox Do I Need?

August 10, 2023

Neurotoxins, such as Botox and Dysport, are used to relax muscles and soften fine lines and wrinkles in the skin. There are guidelines for how much of each product (units) should be used in each muscle area.  Because we are all individuals with different patterns of muscle movement, you may have different dosing than your friend who also gets neurotoxin injections.

Let’s talk about what the guidelines say and why individual assessments by a trained medical provider are important for figuring out the best dose for you.

By: Kristin Gaskins, NP


Every treatment plan and Dose is Different 

It is first important to understand that the dose of neurotoxin is directly related to the duration of action. It is important to have a provider that listens to you and asks for feedback, or has you come back in for follow-up to ensure your dosing is adequate. At first, your injector is learning how your muscles work and because of this, it can take a treatment or two to perfect your dosing. Each individual also processes medication differently and may find that one brand works better for them over other brands.

We broke down some “do’s and don’ts” of botox in a previous blog—click here to read that!

Atalo Aesthetics practitioner demonstrating facial injections on a patient

Common Botox Treatment Areas 

The most common areas treated with neurotoxin are the glabella (“11s” between the brows), horizontal forehead lines, and crow’s feet.  The bunny lines over the nose is another area in the upper face that can be treated with neurotoxin.

Commonly treated areas in the lower face include:

  • Masseters: to help with jaw clenching and slim the lower face
  • DAO muscles: soften the pull down of the corners of the mouth
  • Lip flip: to help with fine lines around the lip or to give the appearance of a slightly fuller upper lip
  • Gummy smile: decrease excessive gum showing when smiling
  • Chin to help decrease the pebble appearance of skin
  • The platysmal bands of the neck.

Not everyone will be a candidate for treating all of the areas mentioned above. This is again the importance of a thorough evaluation by a trained provider.

Units of Botox Needed Based on Treatment Area 

Below is a chart that shows a typical neurotoxin dose range depending on the area that is being treated. These are just ranges and each individual is different. It is important to discuss what your goals are with your provider. If you are looking to have a more frozen look with minimal to no muscle movement, then you will need a higher dose. If you want to soften the fine lines that are forming, but would prefer to have the muscle activity quieted versus stopped, then you may be able to have a lower dose.

Again, the units of Botox and Dysport listed below are just general guidelines: 

Photo of hands holding a vile of Dysport with a small syringe inserted into the top of the vile
Forehead lines5-20 units
Glabella ( “11s”)10-20 units
Crows feet6-12 units per side
Eyebrow lift2-5 units per side
Bunny lines (bridge of nose)2-5 units per side
Lip Flip4-6 units 
Gummy Smile1-3 units per side
Masseters15-30 units per side
DAO (muscle that pulls the corners of the mouth down)2-4 units per side
Chin (helps pebble appearance)2-8 units
Platysmal bands on neck25-50 units

The Negative Stigma Surrounding Botox

Depending on who you talk to, there can be a negative stigma surrounding Botox/Dysport and other aesthetic treatments. First, it is more common than you think. It also is not all about vanity. Small treatments can give us a confidence boost and at the end of the day how we feel about ourselves is the most important thing!

Still, have specific questions about doing dosing or how many units of Botox you may need? If you live in the Cincinnati area, give the office a call at (513)-984-2000 to schedule an appointment with one of our medical providers. You can also schedule a complimentary consultation by filling out our new patient inquiry form here!