With two decades of neurotoxin use under our belts, we’re all pretty clear on what constitutes “bad Botox:” completely frozen foreheads, eyebrows that “spock“, and drooping eyelids are the main things that come to mind. These are also the top concerns most nervous newbies have before undergoing their first botox treatment. While Botox technique has come a really long way in the last ten years, and injectors know a lot more about how to avoid adverse outcomes, these are still real risks that can happen even at the hands of the best injectors.

The good news is, just because it’s happened once, doesn’t mean it will happen again. And of course, receiving your treatment at a reputable clinic, understanding your injector’s qualifications, and ensuring your injector is aligned with your own personal goals will go a long way in achieving a great result.

What happens if you are one of the unlucky few who have had a bad result with Botox? Perhaps you’ve sworn it off completely only to find yourself reading this article hoping to try it again. Or maybe you’re just really, really nervous about getting “bad Botox” in the first place. We get it. That’s why we put together this little guide for navigating some of the treatment’s potential adverse outcomes and how to deal with them if they happen.

I’m frozen and I hate it.

While most good injectors (and all the injectors at MD Beauty Clinic) are very conservative with their dosing, it’s still possible to end up with an overly stiff look. There are so many reasons for this. It’s important to keep in mind that Botox is a prescription drug, and like any prescription drug it may take some time to get the dosage that’s right for you. And because Botox is as much an art as it is a science, placement matters (i.e. where and which muscles are injected).

You and your injector may need to experiment a little bit to get the exact dosage and placement that’s right for you. There’s no reason to swear it off completely. At a reputable clinic like ours, you’ll be booked for a two week follow up. Don’t be afraid to share your concerns – all of your concerns – with your injector. This will ensure that you get the dosing and placement that’s right for you during your next treatment.

If you feel more heavy than you’re comfortable with, you just need to ride it out until it wears off. Nurse Injector Deborah says, “I find when patients feel really frozen at the two week follow up, they often notice a real softening at the one month mark and are much more comfortable.”

If at one month you felt it was still strong, take note of it and mention it to your injector when you are back for your next treatment.

Oh no, I’ve “spocked.” What do I do?

Usually spocking is the result of too little product being used. Good injectors will often underdose initially to avoid “the frozen look.” We underdose because you can always add more at the two week mark, but we can’t take away. Think of it like getting your hair cut: you can always cut your hair shorter, but you can’t add length after you’ve cut it. You just need to let it grow out.

In some cases, spocking doesn’t resolve after more units are added. Again, this isn’t permanent, and will get better as the toxin slowly wears off in about 8-16 weeks. If this does happen to you, be sure to share your concerns with your injector. Everyone’s muscle patterns, strength and response to the toxin are different. A little tweak to where the botox was injected and dosage strength can ensure you have a perfect result the next time.

My eyelid has drooped.

In rare cases a ptosis, or drooping of the upper eyelid over the eye, can happen. This is a real risk associated with botox and should never be downplayed by your injector. In some cases, the ptosis can be corrected immediately. In other cases, you may need to wait until the toxin wears off. If a ptosis happens to you, we will coordinate a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons to ensure the best treatment plan moving forward.

We are always here for you in the event of any complication and will do everything possible to ensure your comfort, health and safety. At MD Beauty Clinic all adverse outcomes are recorded and discussed with our plastic surgeons.

I look lopsided.

Similar to spocking, a lopsided result can usually be corrected at the two week follow up. But keep in mind that we all have asymmetries. In some patients, existing asymmetries may feel more pronounced after your treatment. If you feel like your look is lopsided, share your feelings with your injector. We may be able to alter your dosage at your two week follow up.

Botox is also incredible in that it can actually even out natural asymmetries. If your natural asymmetries bother you, let us know and we can make a plan for moving forward.

For ongoing Botox education and before and after photos, follow us on our instagram account @themdbeautyclinic

If you’re looking for a consultation to discuss Botox treatment, click the “Book Now” button at the top of this page and we’ll get started!