Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Further thoughts on botox


It says here

This kind of procedure - which carries no benefit, and appeals to none but the very vain - is never going to attract the most rigorous medics. My half-sister was trained to give Botox injections, on a course that lasted a day, cost £120 and was full of half-qualified dentists whose medical training doesn't extend below the thorax. Most proper doctors (no offence) don't want to get their hands dirty administering poisons for cosmetic reasons. And when problems do occur, it is reasonable to expect that it would take a skilled physician to notice (one symptom is muscle paralysis: since that's the purpose of the injection in the first place, you can see why a dentist or layman might miss it).


I wouldn't say it only appeals to the very vain, lots of people I know have had it, and I won't say it hasn't crossed my own mind. But it's still a no. I also hear that it hurts.

12 comments:

Eviemuff said...

I had botox done once, because I was writing about it for a magazine (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). It was carried out at St John and Elizabeth hospital by Dr Alex Karides who has BOTOX 1 as a numberplate on his car!!!!

It was done only on my forehead, and as it was needle on bone, and no anasthetic was used, hurt. And afterwards I looked a little blotchy. A few days later it felt as though there was a thick elastic band on my forehead, but I actually looked as though someone had smoothed an iron over it.

But a few days later my husband and I were having a row and he suddenly started laughing, saying that I looked 'constipated'. I was trying to scrunch my forehead into a semblane of rage but it refused to move! That was a bit odd . . .

So my point is, yes, it works, for about three months. If you have it done, go to a proper qualified doctor who has carried out many many botox procedures (not one who does it occasionally). Some are brilliant, like Dr Nick Lowe of the Cranleigh Clinic; he's been rightly described as an artist with the needle, knowing exactly where to place it for the best effect. Others are to botox artistry like a dog with its tail dipped in a paintpot.

Anastasia said...

What is scaring me is the simple fact that there are so many people who don't look better or younger, but worse and some plastic kind of weird.
I assume most celebrities can afford a really good surgeon for botox and face lifts, yet they look worse.
We all get older, it's a normal and natural process. Aging is not a lack of personal hygiene - get over it.

katherine h said...

My favourite botox opinion...can't remember the exact words, but the essence was that the journalist writing the article couldn't get botox, because she needed her cross face for her children.

phyllis said...

Well you have both confirmed what I've always suspected - thank you! This procedure totally gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Eviemuff, I had been wondering Botox just appears more pronounced in photos. I don't think I've ever seen someone in person who has had it done, however from what you say the effects are obvious in a creepy way.

Linda Grant said...

I'd just like to point out that I am not myself evangelically opposed to botox. A friend of mine had it done on her crow's feet and it made a big difference, but it did wear off and it seems to be a full-time commitment keeping it up.

I saw Nick Lowe years ago, in his dermatologist incarnation, and he was very helpful indeed; cured my rosacea and told me to wear sun screen at all times. But interestingly, he did not suggest botox.

Eviemuff said...

Phyllis: In response to your comment, I don't think botox is more pronounced in photos per se but most celeb photos have been airbrushed to buggery anyway, so the face you see on the mag cover is nothing to do with the real face,botox or no botox.

You can tell a face that has had much much botox as the outer corner of the eyebrows shoot up - 'the demon eyebrow' effect. Next time you see a picture of Nicole Kidman, or Kylie, look long and hard at their polished foreheads and eyebrows . . .

As for the maintenance aspect; apparently with repeated use, the muscles underneath get lazy so the wrinkles soften considerably anyway. Although I've heard that young women have been having botox in order to PREVENT wrinkles.

I'm not against botox, although I think it's worrying that practically anyone can administer a needleful of what was originally botulism toxin before it was sterilised. Arrgh! Also one of the things Dr Lowe says is botox in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing can refresh and soften your face without giving it that 'frozen' look ie it's not applied everywhere, just very sparingly. So just because we see mad celebs with blank faces doesn't mean that a little bit judiciously applied, can't be life enhancing and doesn't mean you can't smile, laugh or pull an angry face!

Of course the wider and much more depressing issue is why wrinkles in women are seen as shameful. We'll have true equality when we see a woman with a face like a melted welly reading the news.

Sorry went off on one there. And I really only had it done once. For now, it's sunblock and a bit of Retin A . . . .

Toby Wollin said...

Why is it that looking at that photograph makes me think of that famous still from "Le Chien Andelouse" where someone's eye is being cut? Creeps me out completely.

Deja Pseu said...

I'm more of a sagger than a wrinkler, so I even if I were willing to undergo the pain and potential complications, I don't think that Botox would do much for me.

But a couple months ago I let a facialist give me a mild glycolic peel, and WOW, while my skin didn't quite look 18 again, it did look much more smooth and glowing for a few weeks. Definitely on my to-do list again.

Toby Wollin said...

Deja - I've got the same issue (everything going South) and have wondered if a peel would help. Thanks for your review - this is something I am definitely going to put on my "to do" list.

Shelly said...

FYI, Most 'proper' doctors don't know half the detailed anatomy of the head and neck region that a dentist does! So I do believe that a dentist would pick up a paralysed muscle........ who do you think has to treat something like that if it is in the head and neck region....... the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. aka a specilaity in dentistry!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Shelly. As a dentist I spent easily three times the amount of time studying the head and neck area as my fellow med students who I spent the first two years of dental school with studying the same things.

I spend my days analyzing facial esthetics since most of my treatment will greatly impact that. Orthodontics alone can completely change a face permanently let alone temporary botox.

Dentists with the training are completely qualified for botox procedures in the head and neck regions. Incidentally it can also be used to alleviate headaches which dentists deal with on a daily basis.

Abby said...

I too had the procedure earlier in the year and for all the comments I can't think of anything else that would achieve the same results. Of course expressions becomes compromised as the skin gets tighter but this is not permanent and usually quite apparent after the procedure. A few of my friends have also had Botox and they have similar thoughts to mine.