Botox for beauty? Not so fast: Doctors say you should undergo a mental health screening first

Cosmetic injectables, which are relatively inexpensive, can cause more psychological damage to people who already suffer from body image problems, experts say.

  • The demand for cosmetic treatments has increased rapidly in recent years.
  • In many countries, a record number of young people are opting for Botox treatments for aesthetic reasons.
  • Doctors are calling for mandatory mental health screenings to prevent vulnerable people from worsening any pre-existing psychological conditions.

The Botox business is booming: demand for these low-cost cosmetic injections has increased dramatically in recent years. The market is expected to grow further between 2022 and 2030.

Not long ago, a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that Botox injections became the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in 2020, a phenomenon the authors called “post-pandemic.” [Botox] boom”.

The cosmetic treatment is made from a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin type A. In tiny, refined doses, the toxin can be injected into desirable areas of the body to block the action of certain nerves and combat fine lines and wrinkles angry, for example.

READ MORE | We embrace aging, but is there such a thing as the “right age” to get your first Botox injection?

The solution to line-free faces has become so popular that they’ve become part of social events: think Christine Quinn of Selling Sunset’s “burgers and Botox” parties. But it’s not just celebrities and the elite who are willing to pay to look their best.

Nicci Levy, owner of Alchemy 43, a beauty bar specializing in cosmetic micro-treatments in Beverly Hills, noticed the rise of these low-cost cosmetic treatments and jumped on the idea. He told Entrepreneur magazine in 2019: “People were spending thousands of dollars on these shots, but the experience was like going to the doctor to get a flu shot.”

Now experts are calling for people seeking cosmetic injections, such as Botox, to undergo mandatory mental health screening, according to The Guardian. They reason that they want to prevent vulnerable people from worsening any pre-existing psychological conditions, such as body image issues.

Given the growing demand for these injections, they specifically want doctors to be trained to conduct these psychological assessments.

Dr. Toni Pikoos, a clinical psychologist specializing in body image and cosmetic procedures, told the publication that the relatively low cost of injectables “may make them an even more dangerous space than surgery.”

Depending on which part of the body you want to target, the price can range from 1500 to 7000 rupees, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Deon Weyers told True Love magazine in August.

Pikoos said the treatments are considered “quick and easy, low-risk” but that research indicates body dysmorphia (BDD) and other mental health issues are more prevalent in people seeking non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

READ MORE | Jennifer Garner warns teenage daughters to be cautious when it comes to cosmetic procedures

He also told ABC News: “There is a smaller group of people who may have significant mental health issues or body dysmorphic disorder, where they don’t actually benefit from cosmetic treatment.

“It can feed into a cycle that tends to make them worse and more fixated on their appearance.”

Pikoos believes the move to train doctors to do mental health screenings was a good idea.

Pre-treatment counseling rather than psychological assessment

For someone seeking cosmetic treatment, which has the potential to alter their body image, pre-treatment counseling is crucial, says counselor and registered psychotherapist Nsamu Moonga.

Moonga tells News24: “The difficulty with using a term like ‘psychological assessment’ is that it has particular meanings… [but] Pre-treatment counseling, on the other hand, is slow [and effective] sufficient to allow both the physician, the treatment administrator, and the treatment recipient to be clear about what they want and why they want that particular treatment.”

Pretreatment counseling would include things like giving the patient enough information about what the treatment involves, what risks there are, if any, and whether there are potential side effects so that the person is in a position to make a fully informed decision . .

Once all of this information has been made available and all of the risk factors have been considered by the patient, there is enough room for the patient to decide whether to continue with treatment, Moonga says.

“And when they have looked at the material [and agree to continue with the treatment]they alone will be responsible for the possible consequences of their choice.”

READ MORE | Sharon Stone was dumped by her younger ex-boyfriend after refusing to take Botox

Although you cannot become physically addicted to Botox, it is possible to become psychologically addicted to it. A 2017 study of Botox use in the United States noted that some women became “crack-like” addicted to the process while trying to complete previous treatments.

An older study, based on a survey of customers at 81 clinics, found that more than 40 percent of patients who regularly used Botox “expressed a compulsive reason” for doing so, according to the Independent. In addition, study participants who received five or more injections showed more “addictive traits” than those who had not.

Dr Carter Singh, who worked on the study, said: ‘Botox has a good safety profile, but it also has potentially addictive qualities.

Celebrities who gave up Botox

Some celebrities have been refreshingly candid about their regrets for having had multiple cosmetic procedures in the past. Friends star Courtney Cox has spoken publicly about regretting her decision to undergo plastic surgery and Botox injections to try to prolong her youthful appearance, YOU magazine reported.

“You walk away, you don’t look so bad, and you think no one noticed, which is good. Then someone tells you about another doctor … The next thing you know, you’re in layers and layers and layers,” he said.

And after suffering a massive stroke, actor Sharon Stone said she had a different take on cosmetic procedures, according to News24.

“There were periods of super-fame when I got Botox and filler and all that, and then I had this massive stroke and a nine-day brain bleed and had to have over 300 Botox and filler injections to get one side of my side. the face reappears,” he said.

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