Botox is a popular cosmetic drug, used as a dream wrinkle cure by millions of women (and men) around the world. Botox treats wrinkles by causing slight paralysis of facial muscles. Itís administered to the area to be treated via injection, and its effects last several months. Many celebrities are rumoured to have tried Botox, including Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Liz Hurley.
But hereís the rub: Botox is made from the deadly botulism toxin. While Botox manufacturers claim its safety, many physicians caution that Botoxís long-term effects have not been adequately studied. Many doctors, like Dr Peter Misra, of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, are quick to remind patients that Botulism is a potent neurotoxin.
Botulism is a rare but serious illness, caused when a person becomes infected by the Botulism Toxin. The result is paralysis, which spreads from the face to the limbs. It can be fatal if respiratory function is compromised. Says Dr Misra, the long-term effects of Botox has not been adequately studied.
Reported Botox side-effects include drooping eyelids, lazy eyes, loss of facial expression, headaches and nausea.
Botox abuse can lead, not only to physical side-effects, but emotional and psychological effects, too. A study conducted by Prof. David R. Neal of the University of Southern California concluded that excessive use of Botox leads to a decreased ability in Botox users to read the facial expressions of others. Not having a full range of facial movement means Botox users are unable to mimic facial expressions of others; itís this mimicry which is key to humansí reading and interpretation of such non-verbal cues.
So, whatís the answer? To Botox or not to Botox? Used in moderation, and under consultation of a qualified and reputable physician, Botox could help you look and feel younger, with all the benefits of increased self-esteem that that brings. However, cautions Prof. Neal, patients should weigh up the aesthetic benefits against the possible psychological Ė and physical Ė effects of using Botox excessively.
Make an informed choice. For more information and guidance on Botox use, please consult a registered Medical Doctor.
To keep those wrinkles at bay, call in at your nearest spa and try a spa wrinkle treatment, like a mineral mud mask or a Vitamin C facial.