American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

What to do if your Botox gets "botched"

what to do if your botox gets botched

When you decide to get Botox, or any cosmetic treatment for that matter, you expect to come out of your appointment looking like a better or younger version of yourself. When your results are not everything you'd hoped for, however, it is understandable that you would seek a solution to improve your appearance and maybe even undo your treatment.

So what can you do to fix a botched injectable treatment, and is there any way to prevent being unhappy with your results in the first place?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

It is far easier to minimize your risk of poor results in the first place than it is to fix botched Botox once it happens. So if you haven't yet chosen a Botox provider or if you're seeking a second opinion, do some digging now into his or her credentials to save yourself heartache later.

Your Botox provider should be a plastic surgeon or work directly under a plastic surgeon and have extensive training and experience performing these injections. Stay away from "Botox parties," where someone who is often unqualified comes to a social gathering to inject a group of people with Botox. Even though it is a nonsurgical procedure, Botox needs to be performed by a trained professional in a sterile environment.

It's also prudent to schedule a consultation before committing to working with a provider you've never met before. This not only gives you a chance to discuss your goals and the details of your treatment, but it also gives you an opportunity to assess the facility and note any red flags ahead of time. Some red flags to look for in a questionable Botox injector include:

  • The injector is willing to do a "house call." As mentioned above, injectable treatments should always be performed in a clean, controlled environment. A reputable provider should not agree to come to your home or office to administer Botox.
  • The provider specializes in something else. Some dentists or other medical professionals have begun offering Botox injections. However, Botox requires technical skill and an aesthetic eye, both of which come from years of training and experience as a plastic surgeon.
  • The price seems too good to be true. Don't bargain shop for Botox. Some unscrupulous providers may advertise an amazing deal just to get you in the door. These "deals" can lead to dissatisfaction at best, and could leave you with serious complications at worst.

What causes botched Botox?

When administered by a highly trained and skilled professional, Botox most often results in a smooth, natural appearance. However, when it is not performed properly, Botox can result in a "frozen" or fake look. The most common causes of botched Botox are:

  • Improper injection techniques. Many unskilled injectors make the mistake of injecting Botox too deeply or too superficially into the skin.
  • Improper placement. A skilled provider has excellent knowledge of intricate facial anatomy and therefore understands precisely where to place each unit of Botox to achieve the desired result. An unskilled injector may place the product into the wrong muscle or area of the face altogether. Botox is mostly used from the cheekbones to the upper portions of the face for best results.
  • Lack of clear communication. In some cases, poor communication between the provider and client can lead to dissatisfaction with the final result. Be sure your Botox provider takes the time to listen to your goals and develop a customized treatment plan prior to beginning any injections.

Can bad Botox be reversed?

It depends. While the Botox that was already injected cannot be "uninjected" after the fact, a skilled plastic surgeon may be able to strategically add more Botox or dermal fillers to other areas of your face to create a more symmetrical and balanced appearance.

However, if the problem is that too much Botox was used in the first place and you are left with a "frozen" or unnatural appearance as a result, you will, unfortunately, need to wait until the product wears away on its own. It can take 3 to 6 months for Botox results to fade away completely.

Hyaluronic acid fillers, on the other hand, can be dissolved before breaking down themselves, so these could be a good option if you've never had anti-aging injections before and aren't sure if you're going to love the results.

If you are experiencing serious side effects following any injectable treatment, such as dizziness, shortness of breath or double vision, contact your medical provider right away.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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