Is Botched Botox Fixable? Sort Of, But Do You Really Want To Take That Chance?

ARLINGTON, VA - JUNE 05: Recently laid off worker Lyn Talent receives a free Botox injection during an event called the 'The Botox Bailout' where the first 50 recently laid-off workers could exchange their resumes for free Botox injections June 5, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. The event, which took place in a Reveal store, also featured recruiters to help job seekers network, collect resumes and offer on-site interviews. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you picture "bad botox," aka botched botox jobs, you probably see a face that doesn't move, a fixed forehead, facial asymmetry, or the inability to express oneself due to stiff face muscles. Is a botched botox procedure fixable? And — more importantly — is it worth the headache of having to redo a procedure? The answer is... sort of.

Byrdie's thorough investigative report about reversing the effects of bungled botox is compelling, as it offers some hope if you are a victim of such. It also might turn you off to the procedure if you are perched on the fence about it.

Dermatologic surgeon Dendy Engelman of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery broke it down, explaining what bad botox looks like and how you can try to rectify it.

Undesired results are asymmetrical brows, drooping lids, and forehead immobility, as well as an unhappy patient who doesn't feel like he or she actually looks younger due to injections. A bad or botched job happens when either too much is injected, leading to a frozen face, or botox was injected somewhere where it shouldn't have been, causing asymmetry.

The good doc said, "The goal in neurotoxin administration is to give a more relaxed and youthful appearance, without appearing as though one has done anything." She did reveal that some patients actually request that "frozen" and expression-free look. I can't wrap my head around that, but to each his own.

Dr. Engelman also noted that Botox should be used from the cheekbones up, meaning in locations like between the brow, for forehead wrinkles, and crow's feet. Some derms may use it in non-FDA-approved regions and that's when problems can happen. 

Engelman explained, "We use filler from the cheeks to chin, and botox from the cheeks to hairline. So that said, the ways to tell when botox has been done incorrectly is if one eyebrow goes up higher than the other when eyebrows are raised, if one eyelid or eyebrow looks lower than the other or appears to be drooping, and if a patient's smile looks asymmetric or unnatural, this can be a result of misplacement of neurotoxin or too much injected into the crow's feet region."

Still with us? It's a lot to absorb. Now we know what botched botox can look like. But how do you correct it and make actually look good?

Well if too much botox was used and you are left expressionless, it's irreversible, but only temporarily so. You have to wait until it wears off, which can be up to 12 weeks. 

If it was injected incorrectly and in the wrong place, resulting in asymmetry, well, you might want to consider having more injected, but into the stronger, higher side. That seems counterintuitive, to do more of the same and to inject more into the higher side, as opposed to injecting in the "weaker" or lower side to balance it out.

Engelman noted, "This is a tough concept and a common misconception. Contrary to popular belief, botulinum toxin actually stops or limits muscle contraction, so it actually doesn't tighten muscles; it in fact does the exact opposite. So, if a muscle is still contracting after injection, leading to higher elevation of the brow on the stronger side, adding more into it will stop it from being so 'strong' and will allow for the brow to lower, leading to better symmetry."  

Ah, so adding more to the strong side actually weakens and lowers it.

I need a dry erase board to keep track of all this!

The most important thing to note here is that you need to make sure your doctor knows what they are doing and think it through before you botox. Too much or using it in unapproved injection sites leads to more expense, pain, and, of course, you won't look like you!

Head over to Byrdie for the full scoop!

Images: Getty (4)

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