Botox injections aren’t only used by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian to remove wrinkles and laugh lines; since the FDA’s approval of Botox (botulinum toxin) treatments for headache relief, many chronic migraine sufferers have been flocking to their nearest plastic surgery practitioner for their tri-monthly injections.
Botox essentially works by blocking nerves, paralyzing certain facial muscles, and thus eliminating even fine wrinkles caused by laughing, frowning, sleeping or weeping. Overuse of botox treatments often results in a “plastic” expression, as exhibited by celebrities such as Michael Jackson: a face devoid of emotion.
Study reveals unhealthy side effects of Botox injections
A new study reveals another surprising and disturbing side effect of Botox treatments: an inability to perceive emotions in others. The same drug which reduces one’s ability to express emotions like sadness, happiness, fear or anger might also impair that person’s ability to understand similar emotional signals from their peers.
- The study, published by Social Psychological and Personality Science, was conducted by researchers from USC and Duke University in an attempt to understand why similar dermal fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm have no such correlation with emotional aptitude.
- USC psychology professor David T. Neal believes it is Botox’s specific ability to freeze facial muscles which hampers one’s ability to perceive others’ facial expressions.
- People learn how to express, label and understand emotions through mimicry (monkey see, monkey do). We smile when we’re happy because we see other people smiling while in a good mood, and we understand the connection. But take away the ability to smile, to express similar feelings of gratitude or satisfaction, and that connection is lost.
- In this study, women who used Restylane to remove wrinkles demonstrated emotional aptitude of 77 percent accuracy.
- Women who opted for Botox treatments were presented with photographs exhibiting facial expressions; only 70 percent of participants who received Botox injections were accurate in perceiving emotions.
- This new research suggests that there is a flip side to the mind/body connection; that in some situations, it is the body which has a direct effect on the mind. Read more about “embodiment” at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
- Many neuroscientists attribute “mirroring” to a brain circuit which helps us understand feelings and motives of others, an essential tool which is deadened by frequent Botox injections.
- Other possible side effects of excessive Botox usage include speech impediments, bruising, redness, muscular weakness or hives.