Can Botox Backfire?

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Botox has been hailed as the anti-aging wonder drug of the 21st century. And, don’t get me wrong, it is. It has literally changed the face of cosmetic medicine. But it turns out this injectable youth elixir may also has a dark side: over-freeze your forehead for too long and you could eventually be in need of what you’ve been Botoxing to avoid — brow lift surgery.

First, let me say, Botox really is like youth in a syringe. If you want to soften crow’s feet, smooth away the elevens, lift the eyebrows a little or relax forehead lines, it’s an anti-aging miracle. And if you’re in your 20s or early 30s without static lines or wrinkles, I find subclinical (very minute amounts of) Botox provides very natural results and also makes skin look amazing. At the same time, there are things that can go wrong, ranging from Spock eyebrow to (rarely) blindness.

Fortunately, you can avoid these by going to a well-trained, experienced injector. 

The aforementioned dark side? Like many things in life, too much of a good thing can backfire. That perfectly smooth forehead that doesn’t move? That’s what you don’t want to do — and for more reason than just the trend to achieving a more “natural” looking result.

Consider this: What happens when you are unable to use a muscle for a long period of time? It atrophies. And if that happens in the brow (as a result of regular, complete Botox paralysis)? It eventually falls and, that’s right — you’ll likely need surgery to lift it back up again. 

So how do you avoid this potential situation? Use Botox a little more sparingly. By maintaining some movement, your brow muscles are less likely to degenerate plus you get nice, natural results. 
Dr. M
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Shrewsbury Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon