5 Signs Of A Bad Botox Treatment

Written by Jennifer Gordon, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on December 20, 2017 One Comment

bad botox

A good Botox treatment is an art form that requires an injector with a combination of experience, an understanding of anatomy, and a keen eye for aesthetics. While Botox is not a difficult treatment for a provider with these qualifications to administer, there can be poor outcomes if improperly injected.

The potential for “bad Botox” is real, unfortunately often for patients who hunt the lowest price. Sometimes cheap Botox means seeing an inexperienced or untrained provider who has a higher risk of administering the treatment improperly. There have even been instances where discount seekers are given counterfeit Botox, like this case where a Florida chiropractor injected his patients with a boot-leg product from China.

Here are 5 common signs that you may have been on the receiving end of a bad Botox treatment:

Restricted Natural Facial Movements – In The Wrong Place

The purpose of toxins are to reduce muscle movements in certain areas to reduce the appearance and formation of wrinkles. However, patients should retain natural movement in untreated areas. Incorrect dilutions and placement of toxins can lead to the wrong muscles being treated and, in turn, those muscles being incorrectly effected.

Unnatural Resting Face

A poorly administered Botox treatment can result in the appearance of abnormality when the face is at rest. The dreaded ‘Spock Brow’, where the tail of the brow is unnaturally high and appears spiked, is a common symptom of bad Botox. Similarly, “Caveman brow” can occur where the brow gets heavy and low. Botox can also be incorrectly injected in a way that lowers the natural elevation of the cheeks, leading to the appearance of ‘chipmunk cheeks’. Finally, the overuse of Botox around the mouth can result in temporary droopiness.

An Injection “Template” Was Used

Many inexperienced providers settle for using a “template” when injecting patients. Unfortunately, templated injections do not take into account each individual patient’s unique facial muscle features, resulting in frozen “mask-like” results or a lack of results.

Always be wary of Botox providers who do not take the time to look at the face and analyze the current characteristics of facial muscles during the pre-injection consultation. Providers should ask their patient questions regarding their desired results and have them move their facial muscles multiple times during the visit.

You See No Difference

The effects of Botox are not instantaneous.  It can take one to two weeks for the neurotoxin to penetrate and fully relax the facial muscles. However, if you do not see any changes after 14 days following your treatment there is something wrong. Either not enough Botox was used to subdue the muscle or it may not have been injected correctly.

Your Provider Refuses To See You In Follow-Up

Ultimately if you are not happy with your treatment, your provider should see you back and discuss options; and they should know that their treatment did not give you the desired results. It can take multiple visits to get to know a patient’s facial structure and correct units and placement of toxins, and your provider should work with you over time to discover this. If they don’t see you back or are not available, let their supervisor know you are unhappy.


Jennifer Gordon, MD

Dr. Gordon is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the American Academy of Dermatology, the Dermatology Foundation, the Texas Medical Association and the Travis County Medical Society. Currently, Dr. Gordon oversees our South Austin location.

One Response to “5 Signs Of A Bad Botox Treatment”

  1. Avatar Dr. Ho says:

    Nice share. There is a thin line between the good and bad Botox Cosmetic procedure, a little fail on the physician’s judgment can lead to horrible effects.

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