Botox has been described as a wonder treatment for its ability to erase fine lines and facial creases with simple injections. What many people don’t know is that long before Botox became the go-to wrinkle relaxer, the formulation was used for a variety of medical purposes. Now, scientists are finding that the same treatment sought for cosmetic reasons might also alleviate the symptoms of depression. Treat wrinkles and depression at the same time? That may be a win-win for patients if studies continue to offer the same promising results.
Botox Relieves Depression Symptoms
Researchers from Hanover Medical School in Germany and the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel in Switzerland found that a single injection of Botox between the eyebrows alleviated depression symptoms in the majority of patients. The 2014 study, which was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, found patients that were able to smooth away “frown” lines with Botox could also lift their moods with the same injection.
Axel Wollmera and Tillmann Krugerb studied 30 patients that had been diagnosed with long-standing clinical depression. Half of the subjects were given Botox injections in the glabellar region where they would smooth out vertical lines between the eyebrows known as “frown” lines. The other half received injections of a placebo.
The scientists discovered that after just one injection, the group that received Botox injections saw a 47.1 percent reduction in their depression symptoms. The placebo group saw a reduction of just 9.2 percent. The findings were documented approximately six weeks after the injections were administered. Researchers theorized that by removing signs of worry or anger from the face using Botox treatments, patients found their moods lifted as well.
Analysis Shows Similar Results
A meta-analysis of studies in 2015 by Ajay Parsaik, MD, and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston found similar results linking Botox to depression relief. In the trials included in this analysis, researchers found patients with major depressive disorder also saw improvement in depression symptoms after Botox injections.
While these findings are particularly compelling in light of previous research, scientists caution that they are still preliminary and much more research is required to form a definitive link between Botox and depression. However, some of the researchers did suggest that for patients that are not responding to other forms of depression treatment, Botox injections might be an alternative worth trying.
Benefits of Botox
While the jury may still be out on whether Botox injections make an effective treatment for clinical depression, there is little doubt the injectable treatment can have a positive effect on those dreaded telltale signs of aging. Botox works by relaxing the facial muscles that lead to the formation of wrinkles and is particularly successful in treating horizontal forehead lines, “frown” lines and crow’s feet in the outer corners of the eyes.
In addition to smoothing away wrinkles, Botox has been shown to improve self-confidence in every area of a person’s life. When you like what you see in the mirror every morning, you are more likely to make the most out of every day. Botox injections are a temporary wrinkle treatment that lasts 3-4 months before a touch-up is needed.
If you are ready to say goodbye to signs of aging, contact Newman Plastic Surgery & Laser Center to find out if Botox is the right treatment for you: Manhattan: (212) 472-6100, Westchester: (914) 423-9000, Greenwich: (203) 263-9000 or Long Island: (516) 882-1020.