• Can Botox Change Your Facial Expressions?

    A recent study by a graduate student in psychology suggests that Botox can change the way your facial muscles read emotional sentences, and perhaps can alter the way that the mind and brain feels emotions. The study has several flaws, including a small sample size and not a long response, but it does bring up the very philosophical question-

    How much facial expression should you have after Botox injection?

    As you probably know, Botox is given as an injection in liquid form. This injection makes the injected muscle temporarily paralyzed. If you can make the muscle weaker that’s causing a wrinkle, then that wrinkle will be hard to create, and eventually dissipate.

    Botox is FDA approved for the muscles between your eyebrows, or the glabella lines. It is injected in other areas of the face as well, including the forehead lines, the crow’s feet areas, the neck muscles, and basically anywhere that a muscle can form a deep facial wrinkle.

    Although there are guidelines as to how much Botox is enough, based on the muscle location and gender of the patients, a lot of it is previous known history of Botox use, and the aesthetic judgment of the injector. Some of you may wish to have a little facial expression, even after a Botox injection. Other patients want to have little to no muscle movement after Botox injection. This is where too much Botox, or too many units in a certain area, may play in role in deadening facial expression, or make it difficult for other people to read your true emotions and feelings.

    If you look at a child or young adult, you can usually tell if they’re happy or sad, based on their facial expression. Even at a very young age, some muscle motion in the forehead, glabella, and crow’s feet areas is normal. The difference is that when the child or young adult has a blank facial expression, there is no wrinkle. It’s in an older adult that these wrinkles start to form. Although Botox is a great injectable, if too many units are given in an isolated area, then you may end up with no facial expression at all. This may result in others realizing that you have had a Botox injection.

    For a more natural result, some facial muscle movement is to be expected, even after a Botox injection. The number of units given can be modulated with time, but an expert injector should be able to accommodate you and give you the best results possible for your face.

    If you’d like more information about Botox in San Francisco at my office, please view my web page at http://www.drkim.com/plasticsurgery/botox.html.

    If you’d like make a consultation, please contact Caroline at info@drkim.com, or call us at 415 362 1846.

    To look at the original article about Botox and facial expression, the link is – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20548056

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