Botox isn’t just for the face. Master injector Dr Aggie Zatonska, of Atelier Clinic reveals 5 surprising things you can treat with Botox
Not so long ago, Botox was magical jab that nobody wanted to admit to having.
Now most of us are out and proud when it comes to the occasional ‘tox top-up, whether that’s to iron out deep frown lines or soften crow’s feet.
But did you know some of the more creative cosmetic doctors are also using Botox to slim down jawlines, create a more elegant neckline and even to de-bulk footballer’s calves?
‘BTX-A – the generic name for the toxin – is known for its ability to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,’ says Dr Aggie Zatonska, a highly-skilled injector and founder of the Atelier clinic, in Egham, Surrey.
‘But it can be also be used to treat muscle asymmetry, debulk muscles and to stop excessive sweating’.
‘When botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) is injected into the muscle, it blocks the effect of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that communicates the nerve with the muscle, effectively stopping the muscle from contracting.
can be also be used to treat muscle asymmetry, debulk muscles and to stop excessive sweatingotox
‘That relaxes the muscle and can result in either reduced movement and therefore skin relaxation, or debulking the muscle to improve contouring’.
These are ‘off-label’ uses, meaning the toxin is not licensed be used in this way. But just because it’s not officially sanctioned by the manufacturers that doesn’t mean it’s not safe.
‘Off-label use of any medicine should be performed by appropriately trained, experienced medical practitioners and should have research to back it up,’ explains Dr Zatonska.
‘Patients must be fully informed of possible side effects, and must fully consent to all procedures’.
Here are 5 creative uses of Botox, currently taking the cosmetic world by storm…
#1 Recontour your jaw
If the stress of Covid has you clenching and gnashing in your sleep, or you simply want to slim down a masculine-looking jawline, a judiciously applied jab could help.
‘An over-developed jaw muscle can lead to teeth grinding, face pain, headaches and broken or ground-down teeth,’ explains Dr Zatonska.
‘In some patients it may be causing widening of the jawline and lead to a square lower face contour.
‘BTX-A can be used to relax the muscle and ease the tension on the teeth, but can also visually slim square jaw line’.
The technique involves injections of micro droplets of BTX-A into the orbicularis oris muscle, immediately above the top lip.
‘If done correctly, this procedure leads to relaxation and outward curl of the lip, resulting in the appearance of a fuller lip without any added volume,’ explains Dr Zatonska.
‘It also reveals more of the lip when smiling and can additionally have a wrinkle-reducing effect on the upper lip, taking the edge off the vertical lines’.
leads to relaxation and outward curl of the lip
The result is very subtle and lasts usually no longer than three months.
‘The function of the muscle needs to be retained so we can speak smile and eat properly, therefore it needs to be done with caution,’ explains Dr Zatonska.
#3 Smooth orange-peel chin
Sometimes referred to as the pouting muscle, the mentalis muscle is located in the chin and lower lip area.
‘An overactive mentalis muscle causes dimpling and bumps and after years of repetitive movements may lead to forming of fine lines and irregular appearance of the skin in this area,’ explains Dr Zatonska.
‘Skin texture may worsen over time creating a cobblestone chin or orange peel chin.
‘Injecting in the mentalis muscle can help to reduce its contraction, flattening the chin, reducing tension and improving the orange peel appearance and dimpling of a chin’.
the mentalis muscle is located in the chin and lower lip area
However, treating lower face with BTX-A is associated with markedly higher risk of complications warns Dr Zatonska, ‘Appropriate treatment requires deep knowledge of anatomy and function of those muscles.
‘If you consider this treatment I would suggest to book a consultation with an experienced practitioner as complications in this area are difficult to treat and if they happen, the usual advice is to wait for the effect to wear off, which may take a few months’.
#4 An elongated neckline
The trapezius muscle is a diamond shaped muscle that forms the base of the neck and upper back region. It attaches to the base of the skull, along the spine, on the shoulder blade and on the collar bone.
‘Botulinum toxin injections in this muscle can relax the tension, reducing the stress on the shoulders caused by bad posture and reduce shoulder/neck pain in this area,’ says Dr Zatonska.
Botulinum toxin injections in this muscle can relax the tension
‘Patients with overdeveloped trapezius muscle seek this treatment to achieve the appearance of an elongated neck, straighter shoulder line and well-defined collar bones.
‘This treatment may improve the appearance of the neck by debulking of the hyperthrophic upper border of trapezius muscle to create a smooth, 90-degree shoulder line’.
#5 De-bulk calves
If you’ve been longing to strut your stuff in a pair of on-trend, sixties-style knee-high boots, but your bulky footballers calves are in the way of your aspirations, this might be one for you.
‘Injections of botulinum toxin in the calf muscle are a popular in Asia,’ says Dr Zatonska.
‘This is performed for reduction of enlarged calf muscles and results in slimming and contouring of the lower leg.
Injections of botulinum toxin in the calf muscle are a popular in Asia
‘Medical assessment is required to determine if the bulkiness is in fact an effect of hyperactive muscle or whether it is excess fat that is causing the wider shape. This is determined by palpating the muscle on contraction, when patient is asked to stand on tip toes,’ explains Dr Zatonska.
In all of the above mentioned treatments, certain side effects of the toxin injection may be expected. Most common are bruising and discomfort, but it varies from patient to patient. Temporary muscle weakness and asymmetry can occur too.
If done correctly the side effects are relatively rare, and if occur – minimal and transient. Careful technique and precise dosages in hands of professional medically trained practitioners reduce the risk of any potential complications.
Dr Aggie Zatonska is founder of the Atelier Clinic in Egham, Surrey. An ENT surgeon with more than 15 years of experience in aesthetics, Dr Zatonska is a master injector, skilled at delivering the most subtle of tweaks that can lift the face without it ever looking ‘worked on’.
Dr Zatonska is highly respected for her expertise in injectable procedures, she has also been involved in training other physicians in the advanced use of Botox and fillers.