Botox, fillers help restore facial balance in Bell's palsy patients

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

botox, fillers, bell's palsyBell’s palsy, which affects about 40,000 Americans annually, is the most common cause of facial paralysis, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Washington, D.C.-based dermatologist Cheryl M. Burgess, M.D., says she sees many patients with permanent facial disfigurement from Bell’s palsy, and with neurotoxins and fillers Dr. Burgess helps to restore normal facial balance.
Bell’s palsy is an idiopathic facial paralysis that may be caused by a virus. Most cases resolve within six months; however, permanent facial nerve damage can occur, resulting in a permanent disfigurement of the face, Dr. Burgess says. Bell’s palsy affects men and women equally and can occur at any age, but it is less likely to occur before age 15 or after age 60. People who have it often have diabetes or upper respiratory issues, like a cold or the flu, according to NINDS.
The condition affects one side of the face, cosmetically. As a result, many patients request fillers for ipsilateral volume loss, not recognizing contralateral hyperkinetic facial muscle activity, according to Dr. Burgess.
“The impact over time causes asymmetry and disfigurement; therefore, both sides of the face are often treated to preserve facial balance,” she says.
Dr. Burgess, who spoke on the topic of cosmetic treatments for Bell’s palsy at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting,(Chicago, October 2015), explains that these patients usually present with asymmetrical faces and facial expressions and occasional speech impediment.
The condition affects people physically, emotionally and socially.
“Many complain of dry eye on the affected side and/or drooling. Reluctance to social interaction is common, especially when the people who knew them when their appearance was normal,” Dr. Burgess says.
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