Can You Fix Bad Botox?

For years, Botox (botulinum toxin) has been a go-to instrument for turning back the clock on aging — at least on the outside. Like dermal fillers and laser skin resurfacing, Botox injections have been used to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore a smooth, youthful complexion. According to MedlinePlus, Botox injections work by blocking the chemical signals that cause muscles to tense up, thereby paralyzing the facial muscles that cause wrinkles for the nonce. Botox is proven to be highly effective in treating dynamic wrinkles, which are caused by repetitive muscle movements, such as squinting, smiling, and frowning. Forehead creases, deep furrows between the eyebrows, crow's feet, smile crinkles; you name it, Botox slays it.

A non-invasive cosmetic technique that takes only a few minutes to complete, it's no wonder why Botox has been growing in cult-like popularity for decades. Data collected by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests that approximately five million people receive Botox injections per annum, a sharp rise from the fewer than 800,000 Botox procedures performed in 2000. Accidents do occur, though, and botched Botox cases are not unheard of, just as with other cosmetic procedures. It can be due to the injector's lack of techniques, fake injectables, or an excessive administration of Botox — so what can you do if you walk out of your doctor's office, enraged with your expressionless face? Here is some expert advice on how to handle your unsatisfying Botox results.

Botox cannot be reversed

The first thing to know before signing yourself up for a Botox injection is that there's no "reversal agent" for Botox at the moment, as anesthesiologist Dr. Shanthala Shivananjappa noted via RealSelf. For example, if you have a botched Botox brow lift that gives you a drooping eyebrow, you might have to seek help from a surgeon who can conduct non-invasive eyebrow lifting procedures, such as Ultherapy, Endymed, or PDO thread lifts. If you have a drooping eyelid, your surgeon will prescribe you a special eyedrop to help keep your eye open.

Alternatively, you should wait up to 14 days for the treatment to take full effect — unsatisfying effects might just be "a result of different muscles reacting to the product at different times," explains dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu to Byrdie. If the Botox used in the first place gives you an asymmetrical, unnatural look, it can be improved upon by having a surgeon add more Botox to the least-affected areas to balance out your appearance. However, if you received too much Botox that left you with a "frozen look," you must wait until the product wears out completely, which can take up to six months. If the irreversible nature of Botox scares you, check out other reversible anti-aging alternatives. For instance, hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane can be reversed with injections of hyaluronidase.

Avoid zinc and get more copper

If your surgeon can't do anything to remedy your bad Botox and you have to wait it out, there are things you can do to make your Botox wear off faster. One approach is to stay away from zinc, a mineral that plays a critical role in creating DNA, building proteins, and facilitating a healthy immune system. Consumption of zinc supplements boosts the effectiveness and longevity of Botox injections, according to findings in a 2012 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Since zinc makes Botox last longer, steer clear of zinc supplements or foods that are high in zinc, such as rock oysters, pumpkin seeds, beefsteaks, crabs, lamb shank, and cheese.

At the same time, you can try treatments or diets containing copper to reverse the effects of Botox. According to 2017 findings published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, copper complexes might counteract botulinum toxin and inhibit the effects of Botox. Therefore, consider exploring copper-containing topical skincare products, copper supplements, or a copper-rich diet to quicken the dissipation of your Botox. Shellfish, almonds, shiitake mushrooms, whole grains, and chocolate are among foods that contain high amounts of copper. Just remember to run these changes in your diet by your doctor to ensure you don't compromise your health.

Before going under the needle, research the pros and cons of Botox and consult different surgeons until you're sure about your decision. Also, don't forget to research alternatives to Botox.