Questions and Answers about Popular Facial Botox Injectables

Can You Really Treat Depression with Botox?

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A new study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, authored by cosmetic dermatologist Eric Finzi and Georgetown Medical professor of psychiatry Norman Rosenthal, suggests a new method of treatment for depression: Botox injections.

Six weeks after treating 74 randomly chosen patients with major depression with either Botox or saline injections in key forehead muscles—muscles that, when frozen, make it impossible to frown—Finzi and Rosenthal found that 52 percent of the patients who had gotten Botox showed relief from depression. For comparison, only 15 percent of the patients who had gotten saline showed that kind of change.

(Interestingly enough, only about half of the subjects who were treated with Botox guessed correctly that they had in fact gotten the drug; the other half thought they had been given the placebo.)

This may seem crazy, but the truth is, Finzi and Rosenthal’s findings correspond to something that scientists have debated over for years—that our expressions may have just as much control over our emotions as our emotions do over our expressions. In other words, while it’s true that feeling happy makes us smile, it’s also very possible that smiling can make us happy. If this is true, it follows that when Botox is used to paralyze the facial muscles that allow us to frown—when we can’t make a “sad” face—we’re less likely to feel sad.

This isn’t the first study that’s found a correlation between Botox treatment and an improved mood. Does this mean that psychiatrists will eventually prescribe Botox for depression as often as they do the various oral antidepressants currently on the market? Only time will tell; but given the choice between taking a pill every day and getting a couple of tiny injections every few months, I would certainly choose the latter!

Until next time, Dr. Usha Rajagopal

Botox vs. Face Lift: Which is Better?

The final results from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2013 Plastic Surgery Trends survey are in—and while breast augmentation still reigns supreme in the surgical camp, Botox is the real king of the cosmetic procedure world: a whopping 6.3 million Botox injections were administered to patients in the US last year, a full 4.1 million more than the second runner-up (soft-tissue fillers, which include products like Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, and Sculptra).

Face lifts did make the top five in the surgical arena, but the 133,320 of those procedures that were performed last year look rather paltry in comparison to the more than 6 million Botox can boast. Both have strong patient satisfaction rates—so why, from a numbers standpoint, is Botox blowing face lifts out of the water?

Let’s be real: The single biggest factor in all this is probably cost. Botox injections may cost you a few hundred dollars for each round, but face lift surgery will cost you a few thousand. For some people, that’s enough to sway them toward the injections—even though costs do add up over time, since Botox isn’t a permanent solution.

For some, of course, the Botox vs. face lift dilemma has less to do with the money and more to do with time. A face lift is a surgery—and that means the procedure itself takes a lot longer than a Botox injection does, and so does the recovery. For busy professionals, parents—anyone, really—the idea of having to take a week or two off just to heal doesn’t sound very appealing. Faced with a decision between a few-week process and a quick trip to the doctor’s during lunch, most people are going to go with the latter.

So yes, Botox has a lot going for it. The truth, though, is that if Botox achieved the same results as face lifts do, face lifts would no longer be performed at all. At the end of the day, each procedure has its own pros and cons, and they each have unique applications. Because of that, comparing Botox and face lifts isn’t quite as useful as you might think; ultimately, you’re going to end up with the one that best addresses your needs!

Until next time, Dr. Usha Rajagopal

What should I do after Botox injections?

Patients should not lay down or bend over up to  four hours after the initial of Botox injections. Patients should not rub or massage areas that has been injected with Botox. Patient should not take any blood thinners. Patient should not participate in any vigorous exercise or movement for the first 12 hours.

Is Botox poisonous?

Cosmetic use of Botox is not poisonous, it is very safe and effective.

Can Botox be used as a preventative measure against aging?

Botox is used for wrinkles or prevention hyperhidrosis. Botox is not a preventative measure against aging.

Botox Injectables, or Botulinum Toxin, is traditionally used to  reduce facial lines or wrinkles such as frown or worry lines of the forehead, lines between the eyebrows, crows feet, laugh lines or other wrinkles.

The best candidates for the procedure are those between ages of 25 and 65. In many cases, wrinkles in people over 65 are not caused by muscle pull but rather sun damage; however, each person is different and must be evaluated.

San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center Info

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr Usha Rajagopal and her highly trained staff bring an integrated and comprehensive team approach, along with women’s insight and sensitivity, to the art of cosmetic surgery.

Located in beautiful Union Square, the practice-the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center-has been a Bay Area leader for 20 years for cosmetic plastic surgery of the face, breast and body.

Dr. Usha Rajagopal also provides the latest in cutting edge cosmetic dermatology procedures, specialized medical skin services and state-of-the-art laser treatments.

If you have any questions regarding Botox Injectables, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rajagopal, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center at 415-392-3333.