The Botox behind the smile

August 19, 2013 by
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Did you know that Botox can improve your smile – inside and out?

It’s no secret that wrinkle-relaxer Botox has become the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure today. But did you know that there is scientific evidence suggesting that a Botox injection not only smooths those worry lines and wrinkles but actually can help you feel better about yourself?

Researchers from the Brazilian Center for Studies in Dermatology in Porto Alegre, Brazil, conducted a study that aimed for the first time to compare the major depressive symptoms of patients before and after Botox injections in the area between the eyebrows and above the nose.The Botox behind the smile

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery member Doris Hexsel, MD, and fellow researchers found that the Botox treatments effectively smoothed the wrinkles in both groups, but effects on self-esteem and depression symptoms were a bit different.

Patients with Major Depressive Disorder (also known as Clinical Depression) had significant improvement in their symptoms after their Botox injections with the maximum effect occurring in the first two months after treatment, the study showed.

Self-esteem scores improved from the first visit to the third visit in patients with depression symptoms yet remained stable during the entire study for those without, suggesting that the Botox procedures did not influence self-esteem for the group without depression. Overall, however, self-esteem scores were significantly higher for the patients without depression.

Considering these results, the researchers surmised that it’s possible that the improvement in depression symptoms after the Botox injections could be linked to more than the self-esteem boost usually expected after a cosmetic procedure.

“Self-esteem scores alone cannot explain the improvement on depression symptoms,” say the researchers. This presents new data and “perhaps perspectives concerning the use of (Botox) as a potential treatment to improve depression symptoms in patients with (Major Depressive Disorder), because subjects with depression showed significant improvement in depression after treatment” with Botox.

The researchers suggested that larger, long-term, randomized, well-controlled trials should be performed to better evaluate the effect of Botox on depression, specifically to determine whether the effects hold over time.

The study, “Evaluation of Self-Esteem and Depression Symptoms in Depressed and Nondepressed Subjects Treated with OnabotulinumtoxinA for Glabella Lines,” was published in the July issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

For more information about Botox treatments, search for an ASDS member dermatologic surgeon in your area.


ASDS is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of the skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons are also experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Visit ASDS at:

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