Botox or “noTOX”? - Weddington Wellness Center

Botox or “noTOX”?

The pressure a woman feels as she ages is a deep inner turmoil from herself, spouse, media, family, and friends. The lowered self-esteem that aging causes to many is astounding and frightening. The thought to smooth out wrinkled foreheads and crow’s feet, tuck tummies, lift faces/eyes and boobs, puff lips, suck, laser or freeze fat out, is a BIG decision!

Celebrities and hundreds of thousands of women have followed the trend, paying $200K or more for injections, surgeries, and numerous procedures. To some professionals, they advise that this “safe” procedure has great precautions, and feel the risks of having such treatments are damaging their health.

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Dr. Peter Misra, a leading neurophysiologist, warns that many of these injections (brand name, Botox), is a drug made a purified derivative of botulinum toxin A, a lethal poisonous bacterium known to man.

For cosmetic purposes, this drug injection, temporarily paralyzes the muscles that creates wrinkles.

Dr. Misra does state that side effects of treatment are rare but is concerned that it’s overuse can mean more patients are at potential risk. He feels the long-term effects on the brain, nervous system and muscles are unknown. The biggest concern is the botulinum toxin can affect nerve functions and may block the release of vital brain chemicals.

Once middle age sets in (sometimes earlier), stars such as Bruce Jenner, Meg Ryan, Lara Flynn Boyle, Renee Zellweger, Nicole Kidman, Liz Hurley, Lulu, Meg Ryan, Lindsay Lohan (at 27) and Leslie Ash are those who have had botulinum injections to get taut lips, tight foreheads, all for their “waxy looks” and their fans. Even, Sir Cliff Richard, had injections, but he said it made his eyelids droop.

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WebMD reports that facial-injected Botox has possible, immediate side effects such as, dizziness, mild difficulty swallowing, respiratory infections such as cold or flu, pain, nausea, headache, muscle weakness, double vision, drooping or swollen eyelid, eye irritation, dry eyes, tearing, reduced blinking and increased sensitivity to light.”

It is an injection, so if those side effects occur, prepare for these possible issues to occur, or see yourself in the mirror, until it wears off within 4-6 months.

The British Medical Journal claims, “Robust evidence for the action of botulinum toxin on sensory neurons is lacking.” Botox parties serving champagne can be a “fun” event for some, but what are the boundaries and parameters for this incentive? Even during Covid-19’s quarantine, a plastic surgeon in Florida offered drive-thru Botox!  Who is really winning in the end? Research has shown it can be effective in removing wrinkles for up to six months, so perhaps the parties can be a fashionable bi-annual event on a calendar. Clearly, over the last 10-15 years, its wrinkle removing promotional ads have greatly increased this industry and drug companies and physician’s revenue, too.


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Botox was not first provided for wrinkles. Though it may be a risk for some, it does have other medical benefits. It is used for children with cerebral palsy so they can relax their muscles to help them walk, and is also used for facial tics, and chronic muscle contractures. Even long-term hiccups have been relieved by this drug. Professor-David Sharpe, leading plastic surgeon also said long-term effects in facial have not had enough years of research, but he has treated squints and stiff necks with Botox for 25 years without causing side-effects.

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Do people who pay to get this procedure really need this?

It is an expensive commitment especially when it needs to be “topped off” in less than 4-6 months. Some studies found that a 25% of the patients seeking the treatment at a dermatology clinic had a mental instability called body dysmorphic disorder. This is an illness where people obsessively believe they are unattractive and perceive they are flawed. Those who suffer from this disorder not only seek cosmetic surgery but may also over exercise or have eating disorders.

Botox was approved by the FDA for freezing facial wrinkles in 2003. It had become the most requested cosmetic procedure in the United States. At the time, a well-qualified plastic surgeon was few and far between. Improper procedures from amateur physicians left multiple side effects until the toxin wore off. Even today, an inexperienced doctor can leave an eye to droop, allow the forehead skin to get thinner, and direct the needle into the wrong nerve or not variate the direction after multiple applications.

On expression, the forehead may even appear like hills and valleys,” If the choice is made to get this done, get a qualified reputable surgeon to do this.

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Cautions of overindulging with this injectable antiwrinkle treatment, are now emerging.

Gwyneth Paltrow, now 47, said in an interview, “I won’t do Botox again, because I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers!” And 61-year-old Emma Thompson, when she was on a tour for her movie, “Saving Mr. Banks”, made comments to UK talk show host, Graham Norton, “Look at me, I’m normal. I really wouldn’t do anything. It’s psychotic to have your body opened up and stuff put in and inject yourself with poisons.” Nicole Kidman, 53 years old, once known as the queen of Botox, now rejects the cosmetic procedure. “I did try Botox, unfortunately,” she told an Italian paper, “but I got out of it and now I can finally move my face again.” Today, she attributes her looks to healthy diet, and holistic beauty routine. Meryl Streep, age, 71, states she has never gotten any plastic surgery, for cosmetic surgery, “I really understand the chagrin that accompanies aging, especially for a woman, but I think people look funny when they freeze their faces.”

The Botox fad may finally be changing. Many books and online advocates, such as, “Beyond Botox”, “Botox or Bangs”, “11 Reasons I’ll Never Get Botox Again”, promotes natural instead of injections and report studies on the dangerous downside of using the toxin.

Machel Shull, once a former model, now a Yoga teacher, health enthusiast, columnist, and author of “Middle Age Beauty”, wants those who are contemplating to do Botox to think, “Before Botox, ask yourself  “What other methods can I use before filling my only face with a poison?… Remember there is only one you in this world. Embrace your natural beauty. Find other ways to keep wrinkles away that don’t require injecting a needle into your face.”

“There are some girls doing it who don’t even have wrinkles yet. And these companies are just trying to sell products!” “And they find that eventually the face muscles will atrophy. It freezes the muscles, and eventually, if you overdo it, the muscle will fall forward in the face. It will sag.”

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As we age, the acceptance of the aging process can be a healthier journey if our lifestyle habits are established while young. The 20-somethings should listen carefully to what others older than them are truly experiencing. What do you want to teach your children? Is peace of mind, health, and wisdom an external path or internal? Can it be a combination of hygiene, diet and lifestyle?

As my age approaches mid 60’s, I personally understand the “tapes” playing in my head that I, too, am aging. No one is perfect, I am mindful and plan my day with a schedule to eat well, move my body and rest well. Though it is not obsessive, I daily attend to my mindset and focus on what really matters. Living life can be consuming with wasteful things. There’s always room for improvement! Do not be so hard on yourself! Choose what you want to do to spend your day. Life is short. Surround yourself with others who feel gratified and motivated to care for their health as you are supportive of each other.

All in all, choosing Botox is not what really the point is. It has potential side effects. The real choice is what the limit is and if you have the facts and go forward, accept the decision. But LOVE yourself, see your beauty inside and out, and leave guilt, low esteem out of the picture. Grow and be the person you desire to be and share your gifts for the world to know about you!

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