Did you know that you can get Botox in your chin? Keep reading to learn more.
What is Botox?
Botox is a purified protein that’s most commonly used to treat wrinkles caused by facial expressions. These include the vertical frown lines between your eyebrows you see when you frown, the horizontal wrinkles you see on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows, and the crow’s feet you see around your eyes when you smile or squint. Botox works by relaxing muscles to smoothen out the wrinkles. Sometimes muscle contraction leads to wrinkles, and sometimes it leads to other things.
Botox for Your Chin
You have many muscles in your face that you use to make expressions like moving your eyebrows and opening and closing your eyes. There are many muscles around your mouth that you use to do things like speak, eat, and smile. You have a muscle on your chin called the mentalis muscle. It’s called mentalis because sometimes people put their hand on their chin when they think. The mentalis muscle connects the skin on the upper part of your chin to the skin on the lower part of your chin. Sometimes you contract this muscle when you purse your lips like when giving a kiss. The mentalis muscle is very small and is just under the skin. When it contracts, it doesn’t lead to straight wrinkles such as the frown lines. Instead, what you see is a dimpled appearance. It looks like tiny hills and valleys on your chin. Sometimes this is called peau d’orange, which means orange peel in French because it looks like the outer surface of an orange. Over time you may see this appearance even when you don’t move your lips. Treating your mentalis muscle can complement fillers placed in the chin for a weak chin.
Botox can be used to relax your mentalis muscle. This is a small muscle and only requires a small dose such as 2-8 units. Treating the mentalis is considered off-label which means there have not been studies testing Botox in the area. One reason there have not been such studies is because it’s a small muscle and only requires a small dose. Doing studies is very expensive, and doing one for an area where the dose is so small is not practical or profitable for manufacturers. Therefore, it will likely remain off-label for the foreseeable future. Treatment of the mentalis with Botox is not routinely taught in courses and it is an advanced area. It’s important that the Botox is placed close to the surface of the skin because that’s where the mentalis muscle is. It’s also important that the Botox is placed close to the midline to avoid side effects.
Side Effect of Botox in the Chin
With any injection there are risks such as pain, bleeding, bruising, swelling, redness, tenderness, and infection. With Botox in particular other side effects occur when not enough Botox is used, too much Botox is used, or if the Botox spreads to other nearby muscles and relaxes them. In the case of the mentalis muscle in the chin, if not enough Botox is used, you may see a bump or lump on the area. This is the part of your mentalis muscle that’s still active, and it can look like a bulge. It’s easy to identify this and treatment is just adding a little more Botox in the belly of the muscle that’s still active. If too much Botox is used or if it spreads, the Botox can relax other muscles. The mentalis is a muscle in the midline. There are many other muscles in your lower face. But directly adjacent to the mentalis muscle on either side is another small muscle call the DLI. This stands for depressor labii inferioris. As its name implies, the DLI muscle pulls your lower lip down. You use it when you smile, eat, speak, etc. If the Botox spreads from your mentalis muscle to your DLI muscle (on either side), it will relax your DLI muscle, making it harder (or impossible) to pull down your lower lip. You can really see this when you smile. Some people say it looks like you’ve had a stroke. The side that doesn’t go down when you smile is the side that’s been affected. Since only a small amount of Botox is used and an even smaller amount spread to the DLI, the side effect of an asymmetric smile usually goes away on its own within a couple of weeks. Stimulating the muscle with infrared light (used in laser skin tightening) or radiofrequency does make the side effect go away faster. You may need more than one treatment and you can have one every week or even more often).
Getting a Botox treatment in your chin is very rewarding since you can see a noticeable improvement with just a small dose. But because the chin is an advanced area you have to be sure you visit an experienced injector such as Dr. Alex to minimize your risk of side effects.