Cosmetic Surgery Today

Plastic Surgery News, Costs of Cosmetic Surgery and Elective Procedures Blog

Botox May Inhibit Ability to Express Emotions

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on June 30, 2010

Botox injections continue to be among the most coveted minimally-invasive procedures for men and women who want a more youthful appearance, and were the number one nonsurgical cosmetic procedure performed at medical spas and cosmetic surgery centers in 2009, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Botox works to freeze the muscles  that cause wrinkles, and also smooths out existing wrinkles to achieve a more youthful look.

Recent research from the Department of Psychology at Barnard College in New York City shows that Botox injections may also inhibit the individual’s ability to express emotions. According to researcher Joshua Ian Davis, PhD, a term assistant professor in the department of psychology, “For at least some emotions, if you take away some part of the facial expression, you take away some of the emotional experience…whether this is a benefit or a detriment depends on your goals.”

Researchers tested this hypothesis by reviewing video clips of patients after their injection with clips of videos of the patients before they received their injections. More research is still needed to validate the hypothesis, but researchers believe that there s significant evidence that suggests that certain muscle groups are closely linked to an emotional response, and that paralyzing these muscles can reduce the person’s ability to express their emotions properly.

Muscles that cause frown lines, smile lines and crow’s feet may be completely paralyzed with Botox injections, but can make it very difficult for the individual to convey happiness, sadness or anger at any given time.

People who do get Botox injections may be able to achieve a more youthful appearance, only because they can raise the brows and appear friendlier, kinder and happier. However, this is no indication that the person actually feels the same way on the inside.

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