Buccal fat refers to the fat between your jawbones and cheekbones that helps to add structure and make up the entire look and shape of your face. Every single one of us has buccal fat. However, some of us have a larger volume of it than others. In some cases, individuals may choose to undergo buccal fat removal surgery to remove the fat in this area of their face to provide a slimmer, more contoured look.
However, while buccal fat removal surgery does exist, there has been some discussion in the field about whether you can use anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox for buccal fat as a non-surgical alternative. So, we have put this blog together to explore the possibility of using Botox for buccal fat reduction. Here we will include the considerations, limitations, and also any potential risks and side effects. Read on to find out more.
Understanding Buccal Fat
Before you can fully answer when you can use Botox for buccal fat removal, it is important that you fully understand what buccal fat is and the role it plays in facial aesthetics. Buccal fat refers to the fat pads located in the cheeks and is sometimes known as ‘chipmunk cheeks’. This is because while all of us have fat in the buccal region, some of us have more than others.
Our buccal fat pads provide youthful fullness and contribute towards the overall shape of your face. But, if your patient is looking for a more contoured appearance then they may be keen to reduce the amount of buccal fat in their face.
Even with a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, buccal fat cannot be reduced naturally by weight loss alone. Equally, buccal fat does not shrink as we age and so, for buccal fat removal, patients must look towards other options when considering this procedure. While buccal fat removal surgery does exist for this, many are wondering whether Botox could also be used as an alternative to combat the need to go under the knife.
Botox and Buccal Fat Reduction
Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is a neuromodulator that relaxes muscles by blocking nerve signals temporarily. Botox has traditionally been used as a way to treat the appearance of facial wrinkles and lines and is a form of toxin It has been suggested that the use of Botox injections could be used on the buccal fat pads to help reduce their volume and help clients achieve a slimmer and more contoured face.
While there is limited scientific evidence to support that the use of Botox can reduce buccal fat volume, some practitioners are exploring the possibility. There have been some reported successes among practitioners that subtle reductions in buccal fat fullness can be achieved with the use of Botox injections.
Considerations and Limitations
Of course, when undergoing any new treatment or surgery, it is important that you, the practitioner, are aware of the considerations and limitations surrounding a particular surgery or procedure. In the case of using Botox for buccal fat, it is important to know that it is considered an off-label application as the use of Botox in this way is not FDA-approved. While Botox is a safe and approved treatment, it hasn’t been approved for this specific purpose.
Another thing you should consider before using Botox for buccal fat removal is patient selection. In some cases, Botox may be more suitable and effective for patients with minimal buccal fat fullness or for those clients who are seeking more subtle improvements. It is important that you get a clear understanding of what your client is trying to achieve in order to meet expectations. If a client is looking for a significant reduction in buccal fat then the use of Botox will likely not achieve what they are seeking
Similarly, the use of Botox for buccal fat will likely only achieve a slight and temporary reduction in buccal fat volume. Therefore, in order to sustain the desired effect of a more long-term reduction regular injections would be required.
Risks and Side Effects
When administered by a trained professional, Botox is generally considered safe. But just like any procedure, there are potential side effects and risks. These include:
- Allergic reactions: in some cases, individuals may experience an allergic reaction to Botox injections. This can result in symptoms such as a rash, itching, or difficulty breathing.
- Muscle weakness: due to the muscle-paralysing effect of Botox, it can lead to asymmetry or temporary weakness in the treated area.
- Bruising and swelling: the buccal region can be very sensitive so there is a chance that injection-related bruising and swelling may occur after use.
It is fair to say that Botox has revolutionised the field of cosmetic medicine. But in terms of buccal fat reduction the effectiveness of its use is still up for debate. While there currently is some limited scientific data to suggest Botox could be used for this specific purpose, surgical buccal fat removal seems to be the most reliable option that gives individuals the results they’re looking for when reducing the volume of their buccal fat pads.
If you have any questions about our toxins, or any other products we have available at Fox Pharma, please get in touch.