When Beauty Backfires: Bat Brow

Injectables and fillers can easily correct the signs of aging, but these treatments, as well as surgical procedures, can also produce unwanted problems. “With all procedures, there are risks,” says Beverly Hills, CA, plastic surgeon Babak Azizzadeh, MD. “Those risks are greater in the hands of practitioners who do not understand the anatomy of the face and body or those who lack adequate training.” Avoid becoming a case study of surgery gone wrong—know the most common mishaps, why they happen and how to fix them.

Caused By: Poorly injected neurotoxins

What it Looks Like: Overly arched brows that lack a natural softness and curve to them.

Why it Happens: Bat brow can be due to poor injection techniques—too much Botox, Dysport or Xeomin is injected into the forehead muscles—only the muscles that pull the brows up and/or just the muscles that pull down the central part of the brow are treated. Plastic surgeon Victoria Suh, MD. Suh explains that the activeness of the brow muscle and whether a naturally high arch exists needs to be considered. “If so, the brows end up with a mountain peak because the muscles contradict each other. That’s why more than one area needs to be treated.”

How to Avoid It: Unless you are under the age of 35, both the muscles that pull the brows up and those that force the brows down need to be injected (a lower dose may be used). “If just the horizontal lines are addressed, you’ll have a forehead that’s as smooth as glass but brows that are heavy-looking,” says Los Angeles dermatologist Derek Jones, MD. “Treating the frown muscle between the eyebrows can lift 
the brows up and give a natural look. For this reason, this muscle should be treated to prevent heaviness of the brow.”

How to Reverse It: Unless your doctor feels that he or she can balance out an overprojected arch with a small amount of Botox or Dysport above the brow, neurotoxins need to wear away on their own, which takes about three months or so. “Unfortunately there is no way to undo the effects of neurotoxins,” says 
Dr. Jones. “You have to wait it out.”

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