As a Northern Virginia facelift surgeon, I am often asked to speak about recent breakthroughs in facial enhancement. Recently, I was invited to speak at an educational seminar in Washington, D.C., about a new use for BOTOX® Cosmetic. Most people are familiar with BOTOX as the wrinkle-reducing injectable that treats forehead lines and other facial creases. However, it can be used for many other purposes, including the treatment of excessive sweating and migraine headaches. Now, BOTOX is also being used to reduce the flare and width of a prominent jaw – a problem that was previously considered treatable only through surgery.
How It Works
BOTOX is a purified protein that causes muscles to relax. Injecting BOTOX into the masseter muscle (the muscle responsible for chewing) causes the muscle to weaken and become smaller over time. As the muscle shrinks, the surrounding bone adapts, as well, thereby creating long-lasting changes. BOTOX can be used to make a square jaw more oval and create a softer, more pleasing facial shape.
Changes begin to appear gradually within 1 to 3 months. You may need follow-up treatments once or twice a year, or maybe less often, depending on how your body responds. Because BOTOX causes the muscle to shrink, your results will last much longer than typical BOTOX injections used for wrinkle reduction.
Is It For You?
Those who will benefit most are individuals with a thick masseter muscle who desire a more delicate or symmetrical facial shape. This procedure is not appropriate for everyone, so I carefully evaluate my patients to make sure they are good candidates for the treatment.