Don’t most ladies dream of having slim and slender legs like those fashion models strutting down the runway? I think we can all agree that it’s not easily achievable even with physical training and dieting. It might be even more challenging for Asian women who tend to be genetically shorter and have bulkier calves which could be perceived as masculine. However, there’s no need to despair.
What if I tell you that there is a way to reduce your calf size without training, dieting or any invasive surgery? It’s not too good to be true, and the answer lies in botulinum toxin! Most have heard of Botulinum toxin for wrinkles and jaw slimming, but not many know that Botulinum toxin is also an excellent and effective non-surgical procedure for calf slimming. Let me share with you below.
How is it done?
Botulinum toxin is injected into your calf muscles, thus weakening the muscles, and shrinking them. There are two muscles in your calf: the soleus and the gastrocnemius. Botulinum toxin is usually injected into the gastrocnemius muscle as it is more superficial. For Asian women, we usually inject more on the medial (inner) side of the gastrocnemius muscle as it is the side that tends to be bulkier. As the calf is a much bigger muscle than the jaw, a larger amount of Botulinum toxin would be required.
Anatomy of Calf Muscle | Pic source: Facebook @Anatomy Department
Are you the right candidate?
We will need to assess you through a physical examination. Calves should be examined in both the neutral and the tiptoed position to determine if the bulky calves are due to enlarged muscle. If it is, then Botulinum toxin will be a suitable treatment. If not, you may have to consider other options like surgical reduction.
How long will the result last?
The effect of Botulinum toxin can generally last 4 to 6 months. You can expect to see a reduction in calf size after 2 to 4 weeks, but a follow-up session may be required to achieve the optimum calf reduction. The result is not permanent but the effect will last longer with repeated treatments.
What are the side effects?
Side effects are generally rare and mild with cosmetic Botulinum toxin treatment. As with all injection-related procedures, there could be pain, redness and bruising. However, these are all temporary and the pain can be minimised through the application of numbing cream and cold compress before injection. There is also no recovery time associated with this procedure and you can expect to resume daily activities immediately after treatment.
- Oh WJ, Kwon TR, Oh CT, Kim YS, Kim BJ. Clinical Application of Botulinum Toxin A for Calf Hypertrophy Followed by 3-Dimensional Computed Tomography. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2018;6(2):e1071.
- Lee HJ, Lee DW, Park YH, et al. Botulinum toxin a for aesthetic contouring of enlarged medial gastrocnemius muscle. Dermatol Surg. 2004;30:867–871.
Written by Dr. Wu Jiwei,
MBBS, PG Dip (Clinical Derm) (UK)
8 Medical Aesthetic Clinic
Disclaimer: The material contained in this is for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for doctor’s advice, diagnosis, or treatment.