Erase Your Frown AND Your Frown Lines With BOTOX® Cosmetic
Posted November 16, 2017 in BOTOX® Cosmetic
BOTOX® Cosmetic, an anti-wrinkle treatment sought by millions of people every year, can do more than eliminate wrinkles. Research suggests that this popular non-surgical injectable may be able to treat symptoms of depression. If you struggle with depression as well as brow and forehead wrinkles, BOTOX® Cosmetic may be able to lighten your mood while softening your facial lines.
How BOTOX® Cosmetic Works
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a derivative of botulinum toxin type A, which is a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. In small medical doses, this toxin can be used to eliminate wrinkles without adverse effects. Administered by injection, BOTOX® Cosmetic is sent into target muscles and causes a paralytic effect. As the muscles are put out of action, common wrinkles caused by repeated facial movements flatten themselves out, giving the individual a smoother facial appearance. BOTOX® Cosmetic is clinically used to treat and eliminate wrinkles such as the following:
- Frown lines between the brows (caused by repeated frowning and squinting)
- Crow’s feet wrinkles at the corners of the eyes (caused by repeated smiling)
- Bunny lines slanting down the sides of the upper nose (caused by frowning or by adopting a distasteful expression)
- Dimples on the chin (caused by excessive movement of the chin muscles)
- Marionette lines from the corners of the mouth down toward the jawline (caused by expressions such as pursing the lips)
Results from BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments are temporary, as the toxin will eventually dissipate. The effects last for several months up to one year, and receiving injections every four months may help to train the muscles for long-term results.
How Does BOTOX® Cosmetic Help Depression?
Understanding the role that BOTOX® Cosmetic may play in treating depression requires an understanding of how emotions and facial expressions work together. Facial expressions portray the emotions you feel. When facial muscles express a certain emotion, they transmit a signal to the brain to reinforce that feeling. If you’ve ever watched a young child begin to cry, sometimes the expression builds in slow motion as you watch the child begin to frown, then frown more intensely, then furrow his brow, and ultimately begin to sob. You can almost see the chain reaction: something happened that the child did not like, which caused him to frown, which reinforced his feelings of unhappiness, which further intensified his expression, which had the same effect in intensifying his emotion. This action of reinforcing emotions by making specific facial expressions is what allows some people to force themselves to cry when they’re not necessarily sad or to smile when they’re not necessarily happy.
Breaking the Cycle
The natural cycle described above shows that expressions and emotions reinforce each other. If this cycle could be interrupted by affecting either the emotion or the expression, the pattern could be broken. For example, because BOTOX® Cosmetic can stop a patient from displaying frown lines, a simple frown can have less of an effect in reinforcing negative emotions. Thus, the patient has a greater ability to disregard negative emotions.
What the Research Shows
Investigators in a German medical school discovered that patients who had received BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments to eliminate frown lines experienced positive effects on mood. To test their observations, they selected 30 patients with chronic, treatment-resistant depression to randomly receive either a single BOTOX® Cosmetic injection or a placebo saline injection. After six weeks, those patients who had received BOTOX® Cosmetic injections had an average of 47.1 percent reduction in symptoms of depression compared to 9.2 percent in the placebo patients. These effects were magnified by the end of the study, and similar findings have since been found in other studies.
Patients with chronic depression may be able to receive the treatment they need with BOTOX® Cosmetic injections. By preventing certain muscles from portraying certain emotions, BOTOX® Cosmetic breaks the cycle of emotion reinforcement. As a result, BOTOX® Cosmetic can reduce depression symptoms as well as provide a smoother, wrinkle-free appearance.