Celebrities such as Olivia Culpo and Bethenny Frankel have changed their look by trying a very simple treatment. Botulinum toxin injected in the masseter muscle can have slimming effects on the lower face. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about jaw slimming Botox.
What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin that has been prepared to relax or fully paralyze specific muscles they are injected into. How does the paralysis happen? The muscle contracting transmitters can't get out of their uber to get to the muscle, so they go back home. This causes no damage to any structures of the nervous or musculoskeletal system.
Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau, are Botulinum Toxin Type A brands for cosmetic indication to treat the glabellar complex. Just like Kleenex, we often refer to the treatment as the brand name, Botox. "I'm going to get Botox." "Pass me the Kleenex." What we mean to say is, "Pass me the tissue," or, "I'm going to get Botulinum Toxin type A injected in certain muscles to relax them."
How Does Tox Slim The Jawline?
Botox relaxes muscles. Let's use your bicep muscles as an example. If you do bicep curls every day for years, you will have big biceps. One day, you stop doing bicep curls cold turkey. It will take some time, but your biceps will start decreasing in size.
Your masseter muscles are the muscles in the back corner of your jaw. Take your fingers, place them at the back corner of your jawline, and bite down. You should feel the muscles clench when you bite. If you clench often, those muscles may be strong and big. Botulinum toxin relaxes these muscles, allowing them to shrink, or hypertrophy, from clenching less.
What Are The Risks of Botox In The Jaw?
Injection Site Reactions
Injection site reactions are the most common risk. This includes bruising, swelling, minor pain, and sensitivity. Bruising and swelling are not common in the masseter.
Smile asymmetry is possible if tox spreads to affect the muscle that pulls the smile back. This is the risorius muscle. The risorious muscle can be affected if the tox is injected too quickly or too high. Tox can be injected on the opposite side to create more symmetry, or it will need to wear off.
Jowl Increase in Visibility
The masseter muscle provides mass and structure to the back of the jawline. If you have visible jowl fat pads, decreasing the mass of the masseter muscle may take away some of the support to the jowl fat pad. Taking away support can make the jowl look more visible.
Google-able Scary Side Effects
If you google "Botulinum Toxin Side Effects" or Adverse Effects, you may read some scary reactions like difficulty swallowing, breathing, or talking, severe muscle weakness, or loss of bladder control. These are systemic results that can occur when upwards of 300-400 units of tox are used. Botulinum toxin is also used for hypertonic muscle conditions, like dystonias. Full limbs are treated with multiple hundred units of tox. The likelihood of a scary adverse event happening is extremely unlikely with cosmetic dosages of tox.
With this said, most patients will never experience any of the above adverse effects.
How Much Will Jaw Slimming/Masseter Botox Cost?
Some clinics charge by unit, while some clinics charge by area.
Most places charge by unit, and the price per unit or per area will vary based on the specialty, location, and many other factors.
The Masseter usually takes a minimum of 15 units per side. If the muscle is of average strength, it likely needs 20 units or more per side.
What Should I Do Before My Jaw Slimming/Masseter Botox Appointment (Pre Care)?
Avoiding blood thinners to prevent the risk of bruising is a good idea. Common blood thinners are alcohol, aspirin (and NSAIDs), fish oil, gingko biloba, ginseng, and garlic. If you are on a prescription blood thinner, it is possible to have injections as long as your primary care gives the okay and you are not in critical health.
If you have high anxiety or are really nervous, you may have a history of fainting with injectables, like getting needle pokes or giving blood. This is called vasovagal syncope. To avoid fainting, make sure you have eaten before the appointment, avoid coffee, and be hydrated. Communicate your fainting history to your provider. It helps to talk during the treatment, or be distracted. To avoid fainting, make sure you do not hold your breath. Relax your upper body. If you feel yourself about to faint, squeeze your abdominal muscles, and tell your provider so they can lay you down.
If you love to workout, plan your workout before your appointment. Sweating profusely is discouraged for the rest of the day, or 24 hours after tox.
What Are Jaw Slimming/Masseter Botox Appointments Like?
First your provider will assess your concern. They will estimate the amount of units and check your medical history. You should disclose any medical conditions, allergies, medications, and current pregnancy or breastfeeding information. The only people who should not get Botox are those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, severely or acutely ill, or who have some muscular weakness disorders.
They should take baseline pictures in consistent lighting of your muscles relaxed, contracted, and smiling to store in your chart. They should educate you on the risks of the procedure. They should assess the characteristics of your muscles.
Your jaw region will be cleaned, and the product will be injected in 2-4 injection sites per side.
What Do Botox Injections Feel Like In The Masseter?
The injection feels like a tiny pinch, maybe equivalent to plucking a thick hair in the area or extracting a pimple on the border of the lip. You may or may not feel the fluid being injected. It has the consistency of water. It may or may not be cold. You may or may not feel a little bit of blood from this area after the injection. It is common and normal for blood to come out of an injection site, though the injection site may also not bleed.
You may feel like the treatment is working immediately, but that is just the presence of the fluid in the tissue. It takes a minimum of hours, usually a few days to begin seeing effects.
What Should I Avoid After My Treatment?
There were general rules created when tox was developed for cosmetic use. These are 'do not sweat, workout, or use a sauna for 24 hours after, do not lay down for 6 hours after, and do not touch the area treated for an hour.' You can also use the muscles treated more after the treatment to help the tox kick in faster.
What Does Botox Feel Like Kicked In In The Lips?
Squeeze your hand tight. This is what your muscles do without Botox. Move your hand a little bit, but don't squeeze it tight. This is what Botox feels like. You won't be able to squeeze the muscles of the area tightly. You may be able to move them, but they will not squeeze tightly.
All toxin products take ten days to fully kick in. The strength is the greatest in the beginning, and will wear off with each passing week. Most describe masseter Botox as less tense or relaxed once kicked in. Some do not feel much of a difference.
What To Expect From My Treatment
If you express your goals and expectations to your provider, your provider should be able to educate you on if those goals and expectations are realistic or not, and what they recommend.
All toxin brands take ten days to fully kick in. It takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks, or 2 months to start seeing change. The muscle will be relaxed, but the muscle needs time to decrease in size. A very large bicep will not lose its mass in a matter of days, but takes months to see significant decrease in size. If the masseter muscle is not large to begin with, it will does not have much room to decrease.
Which Tox Product or Brand Should I Pick?
I could make a whole blog post on this topic alone. Early in my injectable career, I set out to compare every single publication on all types of toxin for cosmetic use for efficacy. I spent over half a year trying to compare all of the studies, and learned that it was impossible to compare. The indicators of efficacy such as onset, duration, or improvement in lines are defined differently in every study. Most studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies that profit off the product and have bias. There can be flaws found in every single study, or findings can be disputed. The points used in-vitro to support a product as 'the best' are also not indicative of product efficiency. Accessory proteins and total toxin load are terms used to make obtuse claims when there are no conclusive studies on these terms. I could ramble on end about this topic.
Here's my advice. I feel every patient should at some point try every product type. All of the products are so incredibly similar. Every patient has a different goal and different opinions on what they feel is the best outcome for them. Keep in mind placement of injection is greatly responsible for patient satisfaction. Placement is directly influenced by the patient's communicated expectations and feedback. Providers are also heavily influenced by the price they get the product for and politics associated with the companies. If you feel too pressured by a provider to pick a specific product, they are not the right provider for you.
Try whichever product makes you feel the most secure. Try the product the injector recommends for you. Try a different product if you weren't happy with the previous treatment (and communicate your concerns to the provider to alter their injection placement if not previously satisfied).
Am I A Good Candidate for Botox In My Masseter?
You are not a candidate if you have some rare muscular disorders, expect tox to perfectly change your face shape, or do not accept the risks that come with the injection. Your first treatment is a learning experience for both you and your provider in terms of finding an appropriate dose. It is also very possible to not see significant results. If you are not okay with this, you are not a good candidate.
A good candidate is someone who is looking to try to decrease the mass of the masseter muscle. They understand and consent the risks of the injection. They understand they may or may not see significant results. They do not expect the fat of their face to decrease. They are able to be local to the clinic ten days to two weeks later in case they need a touch up.
If you live in Southern California, specifically Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego, schedule to see Jasmin in Costa Mesa, California for Botulinum Toxin Jaw Slimming Masseter Tox. Consultations are free.