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“Baby Botox” is trending now in non-surgical injectables for the aging face. (And no, it does not involve babies at all!).

“Baby Botox”, MicroBotox or Mesobotox, as it is also known, uses a smaller dose of Botox (onabotulinum toxin) than a usual injection. Traditionally, Botox is injected directly into the muscle causing paralysis of that muscle. Cosmetically used on muscles of the face, Botox treatments soften expressions and reduce facial lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, as the popularity of Botox injections rises, there have been injectors and patients who have created an overdone, unnatural appearance to the face. It is unnatural to not have any facial expression and most patients just want to look younger, not like they’ve had work done. Or, they want to prevent aging lines. Younger patients are very proactive in using Botox treatments. MesoBotox is a perfect technique to treat all patients by preventing signs of aging or turning back the clock for a natural, refreshed appearance.

More and more doctors are recognizing that the best way to achieve a natural look is to treat the face, neck and chest globally. If any of these areas are treated in isolation, it is a dead giveaway of cosmetic work. For example, if the upper face is treated without also treating the lower face, this creates an imbalance in the face. The same is true if the face is treated but not the neck or chest. To achieve this global change, doctors now look to “MesoBotox,” a term coined for the application of botulinum toxin by papule needle injection into the skin to treat specific areas that produce a more natural, youthful appearance.

Neurotoxins are commonly used to treat areas such as the forehead, glabella (the smooth part of the forehead above and between the eyebrows and the outer portion of the eyes (crows feet). Traditional Botox injections are best suited for the upper face while hyaluronic acid fillers are most commonly used in the mid/lower face. The MesoBotox technique now allows treatment with neurotoxin to full face, neck and chest. Results are enhanced with the combination of MesoBotox with traditional Botox injection hyaluronic acid fillers and good skincare.

MesoBotox is ideal for treating large areas of the dermis (the thick layer of tissue below the epidermis, which forms the actual skin). Neuromodulators like Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, or Xeomin are diluted and not injected into specific muscles, but into more extensive and higher areas of the skin which makes it very effective in treating crepey skin with fine lines and wrinkles. “My main objective is to avoid that stiff look or surprised look, which is what Meso Botox does,” says Dr. Williams “A frozen face does not say ‘youthful’, it says ‘I had ‘work.'”

“Instead of using 25 units, we might use ten units,” according to Dr. Edwin Williams, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Latham, NY. “This is ideal for many patients, especially those who want more frequent injections and want to be as natural-looking as possible. And for those trying Botox for the first time.”

Botox is diluted with saline and typically inject at about 2cc per side for the face and a bit more for the neck and chest, about 10 to 12 mL of diluted Botox.

MesoBotox is also about technique. The more precise the injection site, the lower the volume dose of Botox is needed. These targeted ‘micro’ injections provide the natural look patients want. Dr. Williams notes that, since the product needs to be properly diffused, many injections are necessary to achieve results. There may be as many as 50 to 100 tiny superficial injections over the face compared to 5 to 20 deeper injections for traditional Botox treatment. It may be uncomfortable, as it means more pinches to the skin. Numbing cream is commonly applied before the treatment to make it more comfortable for the patient.

Other uses for MesoBotox include decreasing the sebum production to improve acne and temporarily blocking the secretion of the chemical that is responsible for activating the sweat glands preventing excess sweating in an area such as under the arms.

This treatment goes by many names and can mean different things for different injectors. One practitioner might prefer subdermal injections at the surface level of the skin; another may choose to go deeper to paralyze the muscle for more significant fine-line reduction lightly. Like all non-surgical and surgical approaches, it’s a blend of science and art. For this reason, it’s essential to do some research to find the most reputable doctor and to ask questions.

Here are some FAQs to Consider

How often do I need to have MesoBotox injections?
Dr. Williams recommends repeating this procedure every six months. After that time, like with usual Botox injections, the patient will likely need it less often. For those with a more generous budget, MesoBotox can be injected every three months for a few times.

What Does MesoBotox cost compared to regular Botox injections?
It depends on where you live and the experience of your injector, but expect to pay around $500.

How will my face look after the injections?
The face may feel tight for 3 to 5 weeks when the patient smiles. But other people will likely not notice anything. After 4 to 5 weeks, this feeling has faded. Remember after treatment, minor swelling and redness and the possibility of slight bruising are expected, similar to regular Botox injections.

When will I see the results of my MesoBotox injections?
Results take a minimum of 4 to 5 weeks. After this time, patients will see fewer wrinkles on the entire face when they smile, but then, over time, their texture and pores improve. Also, Dr. Williams notes that after 3- 6 months, the facial shape appears to be much younger, especially for those with relatively narrow and volume-depleted faces. When it comes to the neck, it helps with the texture and pores and tone and maybe even discolorations and rosacea.

Can I mix MesoBotox with other injectables?
Layering Botox with hyaluronic acid dermal filler is more valuable than either one separately. There is a synergistic effect when you decrease muscle contraction and stretch the skin with fillers, and this may prompt the body to make more collagen, a hallmark of youthful skin that diminishes as we age.

Is MesoBotox safe?
Botox injections have a low-risk factor. Minor side effects, such as pain, swelling, headache, and flu-like symptoms, can occur. In rare cases, more severe side effects may occur, such as muscle weakness.

What is the downtime for these injections?
MesoBotox requires little to no downtime for recovery.

What should I look for in an injector?
Finding a skilled injector is very important as intradermal injecting is a more precise skill than the subdermal injections. Do your research. Look for favorable reviews or ask your health care providers to recommend a practice. As with any such procedures, there are risks. While rare, your injector should make you aware of the risks and do a thorough intake in the event the procedure is contraindicated for you.

Is it safe to use MesoBotox to stop sweating?
Yes. Less than 2% of sweat glands are found in the underarms. So, eliminating or temporarily blocking the underarm sweat glands, the body maintains the ability to cool through other sweat glands that are not treated.

Mesobotox is an effective way to improve the texture and tone of the skin producing a subtler, more comprehensive result than injecting botulinum toxin in the upper face alone. It is a great way for first-time patients to try out and botulinum toxins and dermal fillers.

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