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Botox & Depression?

Botox Makes You Feel Better: Is The Difference Only Skin Deep?

When we tell our clients, “When you look good, you feel good!” we mean it. Every day, we see people becoming happier and more confident as a result of having their youthful appearance restored. Banishing wrinkles and fine lines from the face provides a definite boost to the self-esteem. But it turns out that aesthetic treatments, particularly with popular injectable neuromodulators Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, may do even more to lift your mood.

Smooth The Brow, Brighten The Eye

Researchers have long suspected that there’s a link between facial expression and emotional state. Simply put: people who spend a lot of time smiling tend to be happier than people who spend a lot of time frowning. According to Eric Finzi and Norman Rosenthal, the two Georgetown scientists who have published a study on the relationship between Botox treatment and happiness, the muscles in the face send feedback to the brain via the cranial nerves, impacting our emotional state. The physical act of frowning tells your brain you should feel sad, even if you don’t have any reason to be depressed.

During a controlled clinical study, 74 people who had been diagnosed with major depression received injections in the ‘frown’ muscles in the forehead – that area just above and between the eyebrows that gets wrinkled when you’re angry or mad. Half of the people got saline; the other half received Botox. Six weeks later, 52% of patients who’d been injected with Botox felt significantly better, compared with just 15% of patients who were injected with the placebo.

It’s important to note that the dictates of responsible medical treatment require that more testing be done before a neuromodulator is approved specifically for the treatment of depression. Every person is unique, and finding the best treatment for mental health concerns is best done by working closely with their healthcare team. However, these study results do closely mirror what we’ve seen here at SkinCenter: our Westchester clients who have aesthetic Botox, Dysport or Xeomin treatments to address facial fine lines and wrinkles consistently report an improved mood. Whether this is due to boosted confidence and pleasure with a newly youthful appearance or the inherent nature of Botox treatment, we cannot definitively say, but rest assured we will be following this research closely and will keep you apprised of new developments as they are reported.

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