A Real Botox Risk

Joan Rivers by David Shankbone NYC 2010

We are remarkably adept at reading facial expressions; they add immeasurable meaning to what we say. Too much Botox® inhibits your ability to express yourself and there is more to beauty than just smooth skin.

Of all the risks of Botox, the most salient is the inability to make facial expressions. For instance, I saw a woman in my clinic this week for an unrelated skin problem. (No, not the woman pictured above, I’m not that famous).

“Aren’t you a little young to be my dermatologist?” she asked, staring at me blankly.

I wasn’t sure if she was serious or joking because her face was frozen from Botox.

“No, I’ve got my driver’s license now, so my mother doesn’t have to drop me off at work,” I replied dryly.

“That’s funny,” she said, staring blankly at me.

Now I was concerned. I thought it was funny. Was it funny? Maybe it wasn’t funny.

Her Botox was keeping us from understanding each other. We’ve all seen people like her at the mall, in the grocery store, and as the subject of countless TV sitcoms: they have frozen faces that are unnatural and often unattractive. To get a sense of how important facial expressions are, check out this cool computer simulation. You’ll be amazed at how much information is conveyed through a computer animated face just by raising or lowering the eyebrows.

Think about this the next time you go for your Botox treatment: A little Botox can be beautiful. A lot of Botox can be bad.

And it is just as important to be understood as to be seen.


You might also like:

I’m on Oprah. Er, well, in Oprah anyway.

Are You Over-Scrubbing Your Face?

5 Tips to Stay Safe When Having a Procedure Done

The Most Exclusive Facial Moisturizer You Could Ever Buy

Why Do Women Bruise More Easily than Men?

Like this blog? Grab The Derm Feed

Photo credit: FCC, david_shankbone

8 thoughts on “A Real Botox Risk”

  1. I try to tell patients this. Some don’t get it.

  2. What about the recent news items stating that Botox travels to the brain, at least in mice? Yikes.

  3. Not be too catty, but I’ve been watching Dancing with the Stars and wonder if this is why Priscilla Presley never has a reaction to the judges? meow…..

  4. Reminds me of the lady who looks like Barbie due to too many surgeries, on Oprah. The lady told Oprah that she put an end to her obsession with surgeries and Botox and stuff. Then, at some point, Oprah wondered why the lady’s forehead didn’t move at all during their talk, although she expressed different kinds of emotions. The lady then confessed that she had a tiny shot of Botox.

  5. I am cracking up, you are definitely funnier than Dr. Oz, and you are also 100% correct. I’m seriously afraid of quite a few of the people I see around me here in the OC. It’s like being surrounded by zombies or something.

  6. Very helpful information.

    Here are some tips you should read before taking botox injections:

    # Before you start using botox, you should consult with your doctor to make sure it is right for you.
    # Before you are going to have the procedure, make sure to get as much information as you can. Ask friends that made the procedure, read online to find out about risks and benefits, and use the botox treatments forums to ask as many questions as you can.
    # Go only to certified places that know what they are doing and have the right substance and materials.
    # Make sure the doctor that performs the procedure is qualified in cosmetic skin surgery of the face.
    # Cheap is expensive! Remember that when you have your botox treatment. You might pay cheap but then you might have to fix your face for more money. Just go to well known places with reputation and certifications.

  7. Intriguing document and a single which should certainly be far more widely recognized about in my view. Your degree of detail is excellent and also the clarity of writing is outstanding. I’ve bookmarked it to suit your needs so that other folks is going to be able to determine what you must say.

Comments are closed.