Face Slimming overview
For a beautiful, feminine face shape, a V shape or a heart-shaped face is the ideal. There should be a curve from upper cheeks to the lower third of the face, rather than a square, round or boxy shape. Face slimming is a simple procedure, using a muscle relaxant to slim the masseter muscles, which reduces the width of the lower face below the cheekbones.
Sometimes masseteric hypertrophy is caused by Bruxism, which is the involuntary or habitual grinding of the teeth, typically during the night. This will cause the masseters to enlarge and if left untreated will cause TMJ dysfunction and orofacial pain. Bruxism is often associated with stress. Sometimes large masseters are genetic and will run in a family.
Antiwrinkle injections (due to Australian regulations, we are not allowed to name the drugs) can be used to treat the hypertrophy of the masseter. Small injections with a very fine needle are used to relax and shrink the masseters, causing a slimming of the lower face.
Choosing the dose
The Practitioner will assess the face and neck and decide on the best dose after taking a history and examining the patient. If the patient has a history of poor longevity, or is wanting maximal effect, then a higher dose may be suggested. If the patient is over 40 or has less elastic skin, then a treatment plan, with multiple treatments of smaller doses may be required. If the patient’s budget is limited or if they want a subtler result, then a smaller dose might be chosen.
Side effects and risks of a face slimming treatment
There is very little pain with injections for masseters. Ice is usually all that is required and will help to reduce the risk of bruising. A numbing cream may be applied to the area prior to the treatment (30 minutes prior is ideal). Most patients do not bother with numbing cream because it takes so long to work and because the treatment isn’t very painful anyway.
In general, treatment of the masseters is low risk. Headache occurs in around 10% of new users. Bruising and smile asymmetry are less common complications.
What to expect after a face slimming treatment
Immediately following treatment there is no visible change. Sometimes there can be redness or small lumps which resolve quite quickly. Most people could come during their lunch break during work and go back without their co-workers noticing anything. The effect of the injections will not start to occur for a few weeks. Patients may start to notice a slimmer face from about 4 weeks, but this will continue to increase until the 8-week point. At your 8-week review further treatment may be administered. A further review at 3-4 months is then suggested at which time the effect may have worn off.
If the patient is happy with the results at 8 weeks then a repeat treatment won’t be required until the effects gradually wear off (4 months approx). With regular treatments (over 2 years) many patients find they do not need treatments as regularly or with as high doses.
Most patients are able to resume normal activities immediately. We advise no exercise for 2 hours and no massage/lying down.
The treatment will last 4-6 months at which point a repeat treatment will be required.