Botox is one of the most popular treatments to smooth wrinkles and mitigate the effects of aging, particularly around the eyes and mouth. Many people prefer this procedure due to the non-invasive and quick nature. You don’t have to spend days recovering, there’s relatively little pain, and each injection tends to last from three to four months at the least.
However, the media loves to latch onto cases of “bad” Botox, creating sensationalist headlines where they aren’t necessary. With so much overblown and falsified information out there, it can be hard to know what risks are real. Does Botox cause droopy eyelids?
The answer is a little complicated. In short: Botox doesn’t always cause drooping eyelids, but it is very possible.
What Causes the Eyelid Drooping
Botulinum toxin, more commonly marketed under the name Botox, works by causing paralysis of certain facial muscles. Forehead wrinkles, frown lines, and eye wrinkles are all caused by subtle muscle contractions and movements in the face. When you undergo a Botox injection, the substance paralyzes these muscles to keep them from contracting. This reduces the appearance of age lines, causing your face to appear more smooth and youthful.
There are some cases in which the toxin travels to unintended places. When it paralyzes unintended muscles, you might experience a droopy eyelid. There are two specific areas that the toxin might target which can lead to droopy eyelids. Drooping eyelids are medically referred to as ptosis.
A Botox injection might lead to ptosis if it’s administered to the forehead or between the eyes.
Forehead and Between-Eye Results
Botox is injected into a person’s forehead to treat the appearance of forehead wrinkles. The injection prevents the contraction of the frontalis muscle, which raises your eyebrows. This keeps frown lines from forming or deepening on the forehead, leading to a smoother appearance. But when the injection causes the brow to descend, the upper eyelids become crowded. This gives them a droopy appearance.
Botox is also sometimes injected between the eyes to target the wrinkles that appear just over the nose. This smooths the skin between your eyebrows. However, the Botox might seep into the upper lid of the eye and paralyze a muscle responsible for holding up your upper eyelid. Since that muscle is no longer capable of contracting and lifting the eyelid, said eyelid will droop.
Important Basics of Botox to Know
In 2017, nearly 16 million minimal-invasion cosmetic procedures were undergone in the United States. More than seven million of them were injections of Botox.
When you have a Botox injection done, you won’t typically see results right away. It usually takes a few days to see the full effect. From the time of injection, the toxin needs around a week to develop a full bond with the nerve receptors. When the toxin paralyzes the nerves, their signals are blocked from reaching the muscles, causing ongoing muscle paralysis. The toxin will stay in your system for three to four months, and no new wrinkles will form during that time.
It can be difficult to perform Botox injections since it’s important to be certain that only the injected muscles are affected by the toxin. For this reason, it’s important to schedule a consultation with an experienced professional like Dr. Agarwal if you’re considering Botox injections in Naples.
Different people have a wide variety in how their facial muscles move. This means that there’s a certain amount of educated guessing that goes into the injection. An experienced doctor will use a physical examination and imaging tests to create a plan that’s as accurate as possible.
They’ll need to decide on the best place to inject the Botox for maximum efficacy, along with how deeply the substance should be injected to avoid having it migrate along the surface of the skin. If there’s a miscalculation that causes the injection to be done too shallowly, it can lead to eyelid drooping.
How to Manage Droopy Eyelids Caused by Botox
If your eyelids are drooping following a Botox procedure, you shouldn’t panic. This isn’t a permanent change in your facial appearance. Botox injections are temporary, lasting anywhere from three to seven months. The eyelid drooping will be alleviated at the latest when the toxin wears off. For most people, though, the drooping eyelids tend to improve in appearance within four to six weeks.
There are a few treatments that may help with the condition if it’s interfering with your vision, or if you don’t want to wait an entire month for the appearance to be fixed.
If the eyelids themselves are drooping, rather than the brows, eye drops like apraclonidine might be helpful. Apraclonidine drops are designed to reduce pressure in and around the eye. In most cases, they’re used as a short-term fix for glaucoma. However, they may also be prescribed for use when a person is recovering from an eye treatment or laser eye surgery.
On the other hand, if the problem is overly relaxed eyebrows, you might benefit from another Botox injection. As long as it’s administered correctly, the new injection may counteract the relaxed muscles in the eyebrows. You might go back to your original doctor to have this correction done. However, if the bad experience has made you nervous, you might also have a consultation with a new doctor regarding your options.
Botox injections should always be performed by an experienced doctor who is well-versed in the risks and benefits of the procedure. When you consult with your doctor, you should be upfront about any concerns you have. You might also ask to see before and after photos of previous patients.
If you have drooping eyelids following a Botox injection, they should be mostly back to normal within about six weeks. In a worst-case scenario, they’ll return to normal when the original Botox treatment wears off. You can return to the doctor to correct the issue if you can’t wait that long for the issue to be fixed.