When dermatologist Dr. Frederick Brandt first heard of the potential benefits of the cosmetic uses of Botox in the late 1990’s, his first impression was one of intrigue; while the idea of injecting a paralyzing substance into one’s face to alleviate wrinkles seemed a little bit crazy, the more he learned the more he was convinced it was a good, safe and effective way to reduce the lines that otherwise would have required a patient to go under the knife.
Since 2002, when the FDA approved of Botox in injectible form to treat wrinkles, its use has exploded, with more than 11 million treatments being administered in the past decade. As Dr. Brandt says, “It’s become the cosmetic aspirin.”
Botox is the purified protein of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and it works by restricting or “paralyzing” overactive glands and muscles. Along with treating facial wrinkles, Botox has also been considered a godsend for those who sweat excessively and those who suffer from twitching muscles. As many in the medical field will say, Botox has allowed those who suffered from the above symptoms to confidently enter society and lead happier lives.
Dr. Amy Wechsler of New York City is another doctor who advocates the use of Botox as she has found that her patients who receive Botox also tend to feel physically better. A believer in the mind-body connection, she has found that men and women who get Botox injected into their faces, foreheads, scalps and necks get less headaches and migraines as these muscles are the ones responsible for the pain. She also claims that patients feel better and much more relaxed when they see a relaxed, refreshed-looking face in the mirror; seeing a furrowed, wrinkled brow was enough to make some patients suffer headaches.
With each passing year, Botox treatments for cosmetic purposes are becoming more and more socially acceptable and many are thrilled that an invasive, costly face-lift is no longer needed in the quest to have a smooth-skinned face for as long as possible.