You can do what with Botox®?
A conversational blog with Sarah Burchett, PA-C
My regular patients are all familiar with the great benefits of regular Botox® or Dysport® treatments in the forehead and crow’s feet to help maintain a pleasant expression and smooth skin. But you may not have heard of some of these less familiar areas where neurotoxins can be used cosmetically. I want to share some of my favorite “off-label” tricks that some of my patients have fallen in love with, and you may find them perfect for your face, too!
The DAO (Depressor Anguli Oris)
The DAO muscle runs from each corner of your mouth at an angle down to the jawline, and it is the muscle that allows our mouth to frown. Some people tend to carry a lot of tension around their mouths and they get into the habit of frowning. Relaxing the DAO with Botox® allows other muscles to elevate the corners of your mouth and reduce the frowning expression. It is possible to miss this muscle and end up with asymmetry when you smile, so I always warn patients that if this happens, come back to see me and I will reinject the muscle free of charge. This is a great trick to combine with filler in the Marionette lines to improve wrinkling at the corners of the mouth. My typical dose is 6 units, or 3 per side.
The upper lip (orbicularis oris)
If you have a thin upper lip that appears even thinner when you smile, a few units of Botox to the upper lip line may give you more pink lip show and outward eversion, creating a poutier upper lip. This is a great tool in combination with lip filler to maximize your upper lip shape, or by itself if your upper lip disappears when you smile. My typical dose is 4 units.
The mentalis (chin dimpling)
I often see a dimpled texture in the chin in my patients in their 50s. Sometimes, this is a result of making tense expressions with the mouth. Any line or defect that is created by muscle tension can be softened with the use of neurotoxins, so I will often suggest a trial of 6 to 10 units of Botox® to smooth the chin.
The masseter (jaw clenching)
For patients who clench or grind their teeth at night, or during the day when they are stressed, neurotoxin in the masseter can decrease headaches and dental damage. Some female patients also use this technique to cause their masseter to shrink, giving them a narrower and more feminine jawline. Because this is a strong muscle, I typically inject 25 units of Botox® per side. You will notice that you can’t bite down as strongly and may feel like it’s harder to chew tough foods like steak.