Botox for a Happiness Boost? New Study Says Yes

Beautiful, happy woman in black hat on beachExpertly administered Botox injections have proven to provide a myriad of benefits, most notably a smoother, tighter, younger look but also alleviation of headaches and excessive perspiration. Now, research shows that this immensely popular cosmetic treatment may also offer a happiness boost.

Authored by prominent psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, and Maryland dermatologic surgeon Eric Finzi, MD, PhD, the study shows Botox injections may help alleviate symptoms of depression. The notion is a particularly promising one Botox lacks many of the side effects commonly associated with conventional antidepressant medications, such as weight gain, insomnia and loss of libido.

The concept is dubbed “emotional proprioception” and is based on Botox’s classification as a neuromodulator. In neuromodulation, “the muscles of facial expression play a central role in encoding and transmitting information to the brain’s emotional circuitry, and describe its underlying neuroanatomy,” Rosenthal and Finzi write.

When Botox is injected into the frown lines (those that form an “11″ between the eyebrows), it blocks the brain’s trigeminal nerve. It’s that particular nerve that gives us the ability to frown and tells the brain that we’re sad. Essentially, it tricks the brain into a positive mood boost by assuring that the message of sadness never gets delivered.

“We suggest that Botulinum toxin type A may be considered a potential Rx for depression,” Rosenthal and Finzi write. “As more data accumulate, we will learn when and how best to deploy this new tool.”

Though use of Botox for alleviation of depression is in early investigative stages and currently off-label, researchers say results of the study show significant improvement in depressive symptoms. That said, we here at Jacksonville’s Parkway Plastic Surgery frequently see anecdotal signs of Botox-induced mood boosts in our patients – and with good reason. Botox’s ability to diminish the look of wrinkles and fine lines, affording patients a smoother, healthier and more youthful look, is a proven confidence builder. And when you’re confident that you look better, you inevitably feel better, too.

Learn more about how Botox can benefit you by calling 904-396-1186 to schedule a consultation.

Three Telltale Signs of Aging Hands – And How to Fix Them

Beautiful woman's hands

Beauty routines developed to promote a younger look typically focus on the face and neck. But there’s another feature that can quickly belie your true age – your hands. Here are three top telltale signs of aging hands:

  • Age spots: The kicker about age spots is that they’re brought on not necessarily by age, but by frequent or prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. While they most commonly show up on the faces, shoulders, chests and hands of those in their 50s or older, age spots can appear on sun worshippers far younger. Cover all your exposed skin – especially your hands – with a high-SPF moisturizing sunscreen daily and consider a skin resurfacing treatment such as a chemical peel to help even out pigmentation and smooth the skin.
  • Crepey, scaly or dry skin: Exposure to the weather; frequent contact with cleaning products and other drying agents, along with sheer time all can do a real number on the health and youthful quality of your hands. Keep them in prime condition by including them in your regular skincare routine and taking top-quality vitamins, like our VitaMedica Age Management.
  • Volume loss: As we age, our bodies’ production of collagen and other natural skin-plumping agents slows down. Restore the lost suppleness in your hands with Radiesse, the FDA-approved dermal filler comprised of calcium-based microspheres in a natural gel used for volume restoration and skin rejuvenation. It works instantly to fill hollows and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and folds, while stimulating your body’s collagen production for long-lasting results.

The best news for your hands? Jacksonville’s Parkway Plastic Surgery is offering a special savings of $50 per syringe of Radiesse, plus additional deals on Botox, Latisse, microdermabrasion and select Obagi treatments throughout March. Call 904-396-1186 to schedule your appointment.

Five Top Causes of Lip Lines

Beautiful, healthy lips

Multiple studies have proven that a great smile is key to making a lasting, positive first impression. So, when those telltale lip lines begin to emerge, it’s time to do something about them.

The first step in keeping your lips healthy, plump and youthful is to understand just what causes lip lines to form in the first place. Topping the list of culprits are:

  1. Sipping through a straw: If you drink with a straw daily, know that the repetitive pursing motion of the lips can result in permanent creases and lines around the mouth. Ditch the straw and drink from a wide-mouthed cup or glass instead.
  2. Smoking: As with drinking from a straw, puffing on a cigarette also requires those line-inducing repetitive pursing motions. But smoking packs a double whammy to the look and health of your smile. That’s because smoking has a drying effect on the skin that accelerates the formation of wrinkles and loss of skin tone, not to mention a yellowing of teeth. Smile lines are just one of many reasons to break the habit.
  3. Sun exposure: Spending too much time in the sun exposes your skin to UV radiation – another factor that damages collagen and elastin in the skin. Limit your time outside and always wear a high-SPF sunscreen, even on cool days.
  4. Chronic dehydration: Failing to drink plenty of water or juice each day can cause our lips to dry out and form lines. But your cosmetics may also be to blame. Lip products that contain waxes, wax derivatives, petroleum or other barrier ingredients help to seal moisture into the lips, at least initially. But after prolonged periods and buildup, they also can work against you, instead barring moisture from entering the lips.
  5. Age: As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin, two major components of youthful skin that give it a smooth, plump appearance. Drinking plenty of water and eating collagen-boosting foods like lean proteins, dark-hued vegetables and citrus fruits will help ward off lip lines and other age-induced wrinkles.

If you’re already seeing unsightly lip lines form, there’s good news. Jacksonville’s Parkway Plastic Surgery can help reverse the signs of aging and damage, restoring a smooth, plump, youthful smile with customized Juvederm or Restylane treatments. Call 904-396-1186 to schedule your consultation.