Facial injection helping people get a slimmer look

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It's a non-invasive route patients are pursuing to make their faces look thinner, without having to drop weight. (KFSN)

It's a non-invasive route patients are pursuing to make their faces look thinner, without having to drop weight.

Patient Deanna Kenedy said, "The idea of getting this kind of results with an injectable was really exciting to me."

Xeomin is a neurotoxin similar to Botox, doctors inject the medicine into muscles to help relieve stiffness and pain. One popular place they are injecting is the masseter muscle, a muscle responsible for closing our jaws that plays a major role in chewing.

The procedure is serving more than one purpose. Dr. Uma Rao said, "Our masseters are at the angle of our jaw they're called the muscles of mastication or chewing, and just like any other muscle in your body when you keep using it over and over its going to become what's called hypertrophy, meaning its going to get large."
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It's a non-invasive route patients are pursuing to make their faces look thinner, without having to drop weight.


Dr. Rao said injecting a neurotoxin into our masseter muscle will relax it, relieving jaw pain and stiffness and will simultaneously make it look softer and slimmer.

"Whats going to happen is it's going to relax those muscles so that it will not become hypertrophied or bigger it will actually atrophy, and then that whole angle of the jaw becomes softened and rounder."

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, our jaw muscles are some of the strongest in our body. That means there's not only a cosmetic benefit, but doctors say it can also help relieve stiffness in the jaw, clenching, and migraines.

"This is one way you can be relaxed, and a lot of patients started noticing 'I'm looking like I lost ten pounds'," said Dr. Rao. "Anytime a person can look like theyve lost weight, it's going to become popular."

Dr. Rao says it's important to go to a professional you trust for the injections, so it won't reach surrounding muscles that could affect your ability to smile.

Deanna Kenedy came in for the procedure; she says the pain wasn't bad and compared it to feeling just a little deeper than getting botox in your forehead.

Kenedy is hoping it will make her face look leaner, plus take time off contouring with makeup every morning. "I recently lost weight with hopes that maybe I'd get some more definition back in my face. I got some back, but I still always felt pretty much like I needed to compensate with makeup."

Dr. Rao says the injections take minutes; results show one to two weeks after and can last anywhere from four to seven months.

"There are some people who will do it purely only for a medical reason: for their neck pain, their headaches, their jaw pain," said Dr. Rao. "Then there are people who are just for cosmetic (reasons), for their face to look nice and feminine, and then there are people who do it for both."

Dr. Rao says because the masseter muscle is so big, it requires more of the medicine, so while someone might require twenty to fourty-five units in their forehead, they might need a number similar to that on each side, and it could cost anywhere from $400 to $800.

The price might sound expensive, but for patients who don't want anything permanent, it's a procedure cheaper than plastic surgery.
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