Facial Slimming

What is Facial slimming?

Facial slimming or jaw-line reduction with Botulinum therapy is a very common procedure in Asia and is becoming increasingly common within Australia. Botulinum therapy is used to slim down the jawline by reducing the volume of the chewing muscle known as the masseter. (This is also performed to reduce teeth grinding, otherwise known as ‘bruxism’, and to help improve the pain of temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction). The Botulinum therapy acts to cause a ‘thinning’ of the muscle, or atrophy of the chewing muscle or masseter. Facial slimming or jaw-line reduction can be performed by surgery however many people prefer to avoid a surgical approach if possible. Facial slimming is much more common among people of Asian ancestry because of their predisposition to a more square and well-defined jawline due to a larger masseter muscle mass compared to people of European ancestry. Facial slimming nonetheless is becoming popular world wide as people become more aware of the availability of this procedure. Facial slimming creates a more oval or more feminine shape to the face instead of a more square shaped, or masculine type facial structure. An oval face is often seen as a characteristic of beauty and femininity. It also tends to make people look thinner despite there being no actual weight loss.

How long does Facial Slimming take to work?

It works differently compared to Botulinum therapy in other cosmetic treatments because it does not simply cause a relaxation of the muscle, which is commonly seen in two weeks, but rather an atrophy or thinning of the muscle mass which tends to take considerably longer. Some people notice an improvement within two weeks due to the relaxation of the masseter muscle however this is not in fact very common. It usually takes six weeks to two months before the weakness or atrophy of the masseter muscle sets in which means the cosmetic affect can take that long before the slimming of the face begins to occur. This is a cosmetic procedure that takes patience, similar to collagen stimulation of the skin.

What is involved with the procedure?

The treatment with Botulinum therapy is relatively pain free and only takes a few minutes to complete once the procedure has been explained. Numbing cream is very rarely used because it is a very comfortable procedure. Sometimes a vibrating instrument can minimize any discomfort associated with the treatment, and also ice can be used as well.

What are the risks?

As with any treatment with Botulinum therapy, there is a potential risk of asymmetry and drooping, however this is uncommon. There is also a risk of narrowing of the smile however this is relatively uncommon in the treatment of Facial Slimming or jaw-line reduction. Of course bruising is a possibility with any needle within the skin and can occur within approximately 25% of cases in this area however it is easily managed, and is usually small and subsides relatively quickly.

How much will it cost approximately?

The amount of Botulinum toxin is much higher than is commonly used in the treatment of the frown or crow’s feet because the muscle mass is considerably larger and it also works differently because instead of merely relaxing the muscles, it is necessary to cause a weakness or atrophy within the muscle. Therefore doses are much higher than commonly used in cosmetic treatments, especially with commencement of the treatment. Often doses of 60 up to even 100 units of the Botox trademark brand of Botulinum therapy (other brands include Dysport or Xeomin) are used initially to create atrophy of the masseter muscle. This dosage can often be reduced at a later date to continue the cosmetic effect of facial slimming and to maintain the result. Often the longer you use Botulinum therapy, the longer it tends to last. Interestingly Caucasians or Australians tend to need less Botox to create a facial slimming effect compared to people of Asian extraction do due to their thinner muscle mass. Often the cost of the Botulinum therapy for Facial Slimming commences around $800 to $1000, however those on a budget can sometimes start in the $600 bracket however their cosmetic effect will take longer to kick in and they will need a top up sooner. The higher the dose of Botulinum therapy, the longer it tends to last and the stronger the effect.

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