Are frown lines bringing you down? Are you cursed with the RBF? You’re not alone. Changes in the lower face are often the first place the signs of aging show up. But Botox injections can help turn your frown, upside down! Botox treatment has become a popular choice for both men and women seeking to combat the signs of aging. Botox injections are a fast and easy non-surgical option that requires minimal downtime. It works by relaxing the muscles, preventing them from contracting and forming wrinkles. Botox is most commonly used on the upper face, but also have some astounding effects on the lower face: addressing lip lines, a gummy smile, pebbly chin, and downturned corners of the mouth. It’s a quick and virtually painless procedure that delivers visible results within days. And, since the effects of Botox are not permanent, its an excellent option for those who prefer non-permanent treatments.

Understanding the muscles in the lower face

The lower face is comprised of a complex network of muscles that are responsible for various movements and expressions. These muscles include the Mentalis (the chin muscle), Depressor Anguli Oris (the frown muscle), Depressor Labii Inferioris (smile muscles), Orbicularis Oris (your kissy-face muscle), and the LLSAN (one of the smile muscles). When these muscles contract, they cause the formation of dynamic wrinkles such as lip lines, marionette lines, pebbly chin, and a gummy smile. By selectively targeting these muscles, Botox injections can manipulate which muscles are ON, and which are OFF. Inhibiting specific muscles can achieve a more aesthetically desirable outcome.

Anatomy chart of muscles of the lower face that can be treated with Botox injections for an aesthetically desirable effect.

Common concerns addressed by Botox in the lower face

One of the most common concerns that Botox injections in the lower face can address is the formation of lip lines, also known as “smoker’s lines” or “barcode lines.” These vertical lines around the mouth are caused by a combination of factors, including repetitive muscle movements, sun damage, and a loss of collagen and elastin in the skin. Botox injections relax the muscles around the mouth, reducing the appearance of lip lines.

Another concern that can be effectively addressed with Botox in the lower face is a gummy smile. A gummy smile occurs when the upper lip lifts too high, revealing an excessive amount of gum tissue when smiling. Botox can be strategically injected into the muscles responsible for elevating the upper lip, reducing the amount of gum tissue that is exposed and creating a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Pebble chin, or “orange peel chin,” is another common concern that can be improved with Botox injections. This condition is characterized by the appearance of small dimples or irregularities in the chin area. Botox relaxes the muscles in the chin, reducing the appearance of these dimples and creating a smoother and more even chin contour.

Lastly, Botox can also be used to address downturned corners of the mouth, also known as “marionette lines.” These lines give the appearance of a permanent frown or sadness, even when a person is not expressing any negative emotions. By injecting Botox into the muscles that pull the corners of the mouth downward, the muscles are relaxed, and the corners of the mouth are lifted, creating a more uplifted and youthful appearance.

How does Botox work in the lower face?

Botox, short for botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxin that works by temporarily blocking the nerve signals that cause muscle contractions. When injected into targeted muscles in the lower face, Botox prevents the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that signals the muscles to contract. This results in temporary muscle paralysis, which relaxes the muscles thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

The process of administering Botox in the lower face begins with a thorough consultation. During the consultation, the provider will assess your concerns, examine your facial anatomy, and discuss your desired goals. Based on this information, they will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific goals.

On the day of the procedure, the provider will map out the target muscles and assess their strength. Then, using a very fine needle, they will inject small amounts of Botox into the targeted muscles. The number of injections and the amount of Botox used will vary depending on the individual and the specific concerns being addressed.

The injections themselves are very quick and easy, taking only a few minutes, and most patients experience minimal discomfort. Some may feel a slight pinch or pressure at the injection sites, but this sensation is temporary and subsides quickly. After the injections, you can resume your normal activities with no downtime required.

Recovery and aftercare for Botox in the lower face

One of the advantages of Botox injections in the lower face is that there is virtually no downtime associated with the procedure. You can resume almost* all of your regular activities immediately after leaving the clinic. However, there are a few precautions and aftercare recommendations to ensure optimal results and minimize the risk of complications.

For the first 4-5 hours after treatment it is important to avoid touching or rubbing the treated area, and to avoid strenuous exercise, excessive heat, and remain in an upright position (don’t lie down afterwards). This helps prevent Botox from spreading to unintended muscles and ensures that it remains localized to the targeted muscles.

As with any needle procedure there is always a risk of redness, swelling, or minor bruising at the injection sites. These side effects are usually temporary and will resolve within a few hours to a few days.

Results and duration of Botox in the lower face

Results from Botox injections in the lower face typically become visible within a few days, with full results appearing within one to two weeks. The duration of the results can vary from person to person but generally lasts between two to four months. To maintain the desired results, it is necessary to schedule follow-up treatments as recommended by your provider.

Potential risks and side effects of Botox in the lower face

While Botox injections in the lower face are generally safe and well-tolerated, there are potential risks and side effects that should be considered. The most common side effects include temporary redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection sites, as mentioned above. This is usually mild and resolves on its own within a few days. In rare cases, more severe side effects may occur, such as an allergic reaction or infection. It is important to choose a qualified and experienced medical professional who follows proper injection techniques and adheres to strict safety protocols to minimize the risk of complications.

Other potential side effects when treating the lower face include affecting the smile. Many of the target muscles of the lower face: the Mentalis, the Depressor Anguli Oris, the Orbicularis Oris, and the LLSAN, are adjacent to smile muscles. If Botox inadvertently spreads to adjacent muscles, it could also weaken these smile muscles, affecting the shape and symmetry of the smile.

A crooked smile caused by improperly placed botox injections affecting smile muscles in the lower face.

A crooked smile caused by improperly placed botox injections

During your consultation, your provider will discuss these potential risks and side effects with you and address any concerns or questions you may have. The incidence of these side effects can be reduced by following the aftercare instructions closely and seeking treatment from a reputable and experienced provider.

Interested in Botox for the lower face in Portland, OR?

Botox treatments are generally safe and suitable for most people, but there are certain considerations to be aware of. It’s important to consult with a qualified health professional to determine if Botox injections are right for you. Dr. Christina Baghdanov at Ageless Aesthetics in Portland, OR, is a naturopathic physician with a keen interest in Aesthetic medicine and skin care, and can administer cosmetic Botox injections in the forehead, crow’s feet, frown lines, and lines around the mouth. If you would like to learn more about botox injections schedule a free consultation and we’ll discuss your goals and concerns, and explore all available treatment options!