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Are women developing a 'crack-like addiction' to Botox?





  • Botulinum toxin temporarily relaxes facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles
  • There's a 41 per cent increase in ladies between the ages of 19 and 34 having it
  • Author  Dana Berkowitz has penned book on women's addiction to treatment

By Bianca London for MailOnline

Published: 05:52 EST, 8 January 2017 | Updated: 16:11 EST, 8 January 2017

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For some, it can be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to turn back the clock and restore their former good looks.

For others, it seems, cosmetic surgery - particularly Botox - can turn into a lifetime obsession. 

Indeed, according to a new study, women in America are suffering from a 'crack-like' addiction to the cosmetic treatment.

Botulinum toxin temporarily relaxes facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles and new research shows a 41 per cent increase in use  Botulinum toxin temporarily relaxes facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles and new research shows a 41 per cent increase in use 

Botulinum toxin temporarily relaxes facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles and new research shows a 41 per cent increase in use 

The research by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that there's been a 41 per cent increase in ladies between the ages of 19 and 34 having Botox since 2011.

But it isn't just women who are boosting numbers; men have increasingly been turning to the treatment.

Men account for 10 per cent of all Botox users - and the term 'Brotox' has even been coined. Simon Cowell and TV presenter Rylan Clark have been open about their use of Botox.

Botulinum toxin is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles.

It is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of frown lines and crow's feet as well as to soften lines caused by facial expressions. 

Originally used to treat debilitating neurological diseases such as post-stroke spasticity, blepharospasm and foot spasticity associated with cerebral palsy, Botox is classed as a prescription drug.

WHAT IS BOTOX? 

Botulinum toxin is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles.

It is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of frown lines and crow's feet as well as to soften lines caused by facial expressions. 

When used for cosmetic purposes, it's in far smaller quantities and millions of men and women have been prepared to pay upwards of £150 a time for injections every three to six months since it was approved in 2002.

However, one gender studies professor believes that the claim that Botox will stop wrinkles forming is based on a flawed idea. 

Botox user Dana Berkowitz, from the Louisiana State University, has penned a new book called Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America, in which she explores whether or not Botox can be used as a preventative for wrinkles.

She spoke to several women who had undergone the treatment and explored their motives behind it. 

Speaking to The Observer, she said: 'It is and it isn’t preventative: it’s complicated. You’re injecting this neurotoxin into your facial muscles to prevent them from being able to move. If you can’t express an emotion for long periods of time, you don’t get certain lines.

'However, the problem is that Botox only lasts for between four and six months, so once you start seeing those lines form again you go back. Women I interviewed talked about it in terms of it being addictive. One said she was ‘crack-like’ about it.'

Dana adds that by luring younger women for treatments, doctors are creating a lifetime customer. 

Botulinum toxin is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles but one author says women are developing an addiction Botulinum toxin is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles but one author says women are developing an addiction

Botulinum toxin is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles but one author says women are developing an addiction

In the run-up to Christmas, research showed that women were even getting Botox injected into their feet to ease the pain caused by stilettos. 

Australian Society of Plastic Surgery spokesman Dr Jeremy Hunt told Daily Mail Australia while Botox in the feet is not a new procedure, it is popular at this time of year.

'The use of Botox in the feet to ease swelling and pain caused by high heels is not a new technique, and gained a lot of attention a few years back when "skyscraper heels" were in fashion,' he said.

'The procedure involves a number of small injections in and around the sole area of the feet that aids with pain relief and reduces the swelling that can sometimes occur with wearing high heels for long periods of time. 

Discussing the boom in treatments, Dr. Tatiana Lapa, medical director of The Studio Clinic Harley Street, told MailOnline: 'Botox is one of the safest cosmetic procedures that we do, it has few and time-limited complications. However, it’s important to recognise the impact of the so-called Botox addiction.

'Botox is effective at reducing dynamic lines that form as a result of muscle movement. Botox does not stop people ageing. This is an important distinction and it is unscrupulous for clinics to claim otherwise. Ageing is a complex process involving the skin, muscles and bones. Botox alone cannot address all of the changes associated with ageing and this should be made clear to clients when they are considering using Botox for the first time.

'I am concerned by the pressures that men and women face to look "perfect". The easy access to plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures can make people feel that it is almost inexcusable to have wrinkles and age naturally. I have had clients call the clinic saying that they needed Botox "urgently" and others that have described Botox as a necessity that they can’t live without.

'I encourage my clients to understand that a little crease near the eye or a furrow of the brow is not a "disaster" - it can actually be quite attractive. It’s important to realise that an overly frozen face can actually look older than a face with softened lines and natural movement.

'I don’t believe that the work of an aesthetic specialist is to sell treatments to clients. I am a clinician first and foremost and believe that I have the privileged position of being able to offer solutions to cosmetic problems but also to advise when treatment is not necessary or not advisable. I do sometimes treat clients in their 20s with Botox and usually this is for problems like masseter hypertrophy (bulky jaw muscles that result from teeth grinding), excessive sweating or for facial enhancements such as brow-lift, rather than as a "pre-emptive strike" on ageing.'

MailOnline has contacted Allergan, the company that owns the Botox brand name, for comment and is awaiting response.

 

  

 

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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