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How Much Botox Is Too Much?

OnabotulinumtoxinA is the technical term for the immensely popular Botox® injections, with over 3,600,000 procedures done in the U.S. and over 7,300,000 worldwide (1% of the global population) in 2021 alone. 

Botox is a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles, but now it’s also used to treat many other issues, such as chronic migraines, underarm sweating, and urinary incontinence.

It works by paralyzing muscles in targeted areas. That may sound dangerous, but in small, controlled doses, Botox has proven safe. However, you can overdo any medication; with Botox, the results can be quite unpleasant.

At our three New York City locations, Dr. Javier Zelaya and the team at Skinworks Dermatology administer safe, effective injections, including Botox, to address the visible signs of aging. We can also help if you’re concerned about the effects of too much Botox.

How Botox works

Botox is derived from the bacteria active in botulism, a condition that paralyzes nerves that can result from contaminated food or infected wounds. The resulting Botox acts as a neurotoxin on muscles and nerves by blocking nerve signals.

First used medically in the 1970s for strabismus (crossed eyes), Botox has since gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for many medical and cosmetic uses.

Signs of having too much Botox

Botox is administered safely to patients on a regular basis, but mistakes are possible — a misplaced needle, for example, or having too much injected.

That’s why seeking treatment from trained, experienced professionals like those here at Skinworks Dermatology is vital for even seemingly basic procedures like Botox injections.

Here are common signs that a Botox injection might have gone wrong:

Droopy eyelids

Ironic since this injection can treat this problem, sagging eyelids can result from the Botox injection targeting the wrong area of your eyelid.

Eyebrow problems

Too much Botox in areas of the brow can lead to asymmetrical brows, making them appear uneven, or heavy brows, making them sit lower on your face.

Bulging facial muscles

You use the masseter muscles in your cheeks for chewing, and injections that should ease temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems can cause bulging in this area.

Lip malfunction

Lip lifts and lift flips are common, but when they go wrong, problems arise with basic functions, such as sipping, whistling, or using a straw.

Smiling problems

Attempting to treat crow’s feet around the eyes can damage the upward motion of the cheek muscles, affecting when and how you smile.

What to do if it happens

Botox isn’t designed to stay in your body for extended periods of time, so in many cases, side effects last only until the Botox has left your system. 

Depending on the work you’ve had done, that can take days or weeks. Further treatments should wait until any issues have resolved. Then we can make informed judgments about your best treatment options and work from there. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Botox injections or have concerns about a previous treatment, Dr. Zelaya and Skinworks Dermatology can help. Call the office in Maspeth, Chelsea, or Park Slope, or request your appointment online.

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