When people think of Botox® (Botulinum toxin injections), most will commonly associate it with smoothing wrinkles and improving the appearance of the skin. However, there are other uses, less widely known, which can have equally as pleasing aesthetic benefits, as well as medical benefits too.
One such use is to alter the shape of the jawline. A square jaw is one typically associated with a traditionally masculine appearance, whilst a softer more oval jaw line is often desirable on females. Women ask for this treatment to soften and reduce the appearance of a square jaw. Men may also feel the size or shape of their jaw is not in harmony with the rest of their face, and so this treatment is popular for both men and women.
A square jaw can be caused by overuse of the jaw (Masseter) muscles, causing these muscles to enlarge and giving this distinctive square jaw appearance. This might happen in people who regularly chew gum, or who grind their teeth at night – anything that works these muscles. In others, the masseter muscles are naturally stronger and larger, even without excessive use.
The use of toxin injections in this area involves 3 almost painless injections into the muscle on each side of the jaw. Over the following 2 weeks, the treatment works to relax the jaw muscles which in turn reduces the muscles in size. The result is a slimmer jaw line with results that can last an average of 4-6 months.
The benefits of this treatment are not only cosmetic, but medical also. People who grind their teeth at night (a condition known as Bruxism), will benefit from an improvement in this problem, as the muscles causing this to happen becomes relaxed with treatment. People with Bruxism may be aware of tooth damage, a tight sensation or stiffness in the jaw, headaches, jaw pain and disrupted sleep. For this reason, treatment to the masseter muscles can be a very rewarding experience, as it is able to reduce these symptoms in those that suffer them.
Another little known use of toxin injections to achieve excellent results is for treatment of the chin. The mentalis muscle forms the chin and can become enlarged or overactive. An overactive mentalis muscle results in chronic repetitive small contractions, which would not be noticeable as they are happening. However, the result of these continual movements is to distort the overlying skin, resulting in a ‘cobbled’ or ‘dimpled’ effect, resembling an orange peel in texture. Some people may instead notice a ‘mental crease’ which refers to a horizontal groove running between the chin and the lower lip. This creates an illusion of further emphasizing an over pronounced chin. With two precisely targeted injections into this area, the muscle will relax, which will in turn improve this appearance.
Both treatments described here – the Jaw Line (Masseters) and the Chin (Mentalis) – are short procedures with no downtime. No anaesthetic is required. Clients can return to their usual activities immediately following the procedure. The results develop over the following 2-3 weeks, peaking at around 8-10 weeks, and may last up to 4-6 months.
We are delighted to be able to offer these treatments at Face Clinic London. Please book a consultation with a doctor to discuss whether these treatments may be suitable for you
-Dr. Mark Lister