Can botox treatments help depression? Interview with a dermatologist

Dermatology, Plastic Surgery

Do you think a botox facial treatment might decrease depression temporarily? Several studies over the last few years have suggested that botox can help significantly.

We will hear the opinion of Dr. Claudio Nogueira, a Florianópolis dermatologist—who has a verified profile on ProcuraMed, and appears on the list of doctors recommended by site visitors—who has performed thousands of botox injections, but first let’s look briefly at the research.

The first study, carried out by German-Swiss researchers, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, involved 30 people, half of whom received botox injections in the “glabellar” region (the frown area between the eyes), and half of whom received placebo (saline) injections in the same region.

Over the next 4 months, all patients answered a self-rated test of depression (the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale), and the researchers compared the scores between the two groups.

They found that six weeks after treatment, the individuals who received the botox injections had a 47% reduction in their self-rated depression scores, while those who received the saline injections had a reduction of 9% in their scores. They found that the lessening of depression lasted throughout the entire four-month study.

A second study, by American researchers, basically confirmed the results of the German-Swiss study. This study found that 52% of depressed patients who received botox injections had a significant lessening of their depression, while only 15% of the subjects who received the placebo saline injections improved.

Questions and answers from Dr. Nogueira, who has been performing botox injections for the past 15 years:

What is your opinion about this research?

The conclusion about helping people with depression makes total sense and agrees with what I have seen in my practice over the years.

Why do you think botox helps some people feel less depressed?

Botox tends to make people less depressed as it improves their self-esteem. In improving their self-image, people tend to feel more secure with themselves. Many people just seem to deal better with their day-to-day life.

In the American research study, more than 90% of the subjects tested were women. Do you think these results are valid for men treated with botox as well?

Perhaps not, because women are generally more atuned to these issues of personal beauty. It’s hard for me to say for sure because most of my patients who get botox are women.

Do botox treatments have potential side effects?

Side effects are very rare, and usually if there is a problem it is due to imperfect application of the botox by the doctor.

How long do the results last?

Typically at 4 months the results are starting to disappear, and after 6 months the effects of the treatment are gone.

In your experience, what percentage of people getting botox treatments are happy with the results?


What percentage of your patients come back for repeat treatments?

About the same, 95%.

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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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