Botox has become immensely popular worldwide and it seems that its popularity might be going too far. The U.K.’s largest cosmetic surgery provider is the Harley Medical Group with 23 clinics scattered throughout the U.K. and Ireland. Recently they have announced that their cosmetic surgeons are trying to reduce Botox use by recommending smaller doses and in some cases turning patients away who do not need any Botox Treatments.

The new word for people going overboard on Botox is Wrinklerexia. It is presumably based on the term Anorexia for a person’s compulsion to avoid food in the interests of becoming slim, but actually eating so little that they become gaunt and weak, and sometimes have to be hospitalized to restore their health.

There have been similar reports in the U.S., of women having so much Botox injected into their faces that they get a frozen look — what is being called a “freeze-frame” face. Perhaps this is similar to the early facelifts which created a “windswept” look because the cosmetic surgeons in those years were overcorrecting the signs of aging. Now perhaps some patients are demanding “overcorrection”.

How Botox Works

Botox is not an injectable filler like the popular Restylane, Radiesse, and Sculptra (all of which we offer). It temporarily paralyzes the muscle into which it is injected — most often muscles in the forehead to smooth out frown lines and horizontal wrinkles. It can also be used to treat wrinkles around the mouth and in the neck.

It blocks the nerve messages coming from the brain telling those muscles to contract — messages like “Frown!” and “Squint!” The muscles therefore remain relaxed and the skin looks smoother. Repeat treatments have a progressive effect whereby the existing wrinkles diminish through not being reinforced by regular frowning or scowling.

Baby Botox

In response to the excessive patient demand for Botox, the Harley Medical Group cosmetic surgeons have responded with use of smaller doses — Baby Botox. They are trying to maintain a natural look and these lower doses make a more subtle difference. The philosophy is that a Botox treatment should not be obvious.

A still photograph might not show any frozen look but the face is always in motion. We are continually moving our facial muscles in eating, conversations, joking, responding to events around us, lighting conditions, what other people say etc. When certain muscles are not contributing to the overall facial expressions the face could certainly have a frozen look and might raise a question as to the person’s mental or emotional status.

If you would like to know more about how best to reduce the signs of aging on your face, please call or email the Cosmetic Surgical Center for a free consultation. We will be happy to answer your questions and make some recommendations.