Whoa whoa whoa. We already told you about how Botox might be blunting people’s emotions because our facial expressions are a big part of how we experience our feelings (which anyone who has ugly-baby-cried can tell you). But now we are learning that maybe it’s making you less of an empath too.
New research is showing that Botox can impair your ability to read other people’s feelings.
Yikes. From the L.A. Times:
Women who received Botox injections in their face were less accurate than those who had their facial lines plumped with an injectable cosmetic filler. The research contributes new evidence to a key theory about communication between humans: that we unconsciously use facial mimicry to help discern and interpret the emotions of others.
Makes sense. Part of how we read and then empathize with other people’s feelings is what’s known as mirroring—an unconscious thing we all do (well, those of use with souls, anyway) when someone shares something with us, or looks sad. Without the ability to mirror, you also lose some of the ability to accurately assess their feelings.
Kind of spooky, no? I asked a friend who’s had Botox if this rang true and she said she was horrified but she was sure her Botox wasn’t making her a bad friend.
Would you do Botox? Have you already done it? And if you have, please tell us if this rings true to you, based on your own experience!
Dentists are getting in on the Botox market. Why? Because they are experts of the “musculature and anatomy of the face” and, says one dentist, “no other doctor can give an injection better than a qualified and experienced dentist.”
Now, that very well may be true, and there’s no reason to suppose dentists are any less good than dermatologists at sticking needles in people’s faces. But how widespread is it? Not very—yet.
Dentists have been using Botox to treat dental problems … and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved its use for treatment of chronic migraines. Some dentists want to take it a step further and use it for aesthetic purposes, too. In Minnesota, dentists are permitted to do the work, as long as they adhere to the same standard of care that specialists are required to meet… However, some states, including California and Nevada, say the use of Botox to improve patients’ smiles or to reduce wrinkles is outside the scope of general dentistry.
Is teeth bleaching outside the scope, though? And those caps people put on top of their teeth to make them look perfect and symmetrical? I’m not sure the issue here is dentists doing Botox—many different kinds of medical professionals use their training to perform cosmetic procedures. But it seems to speak to something a little larger that concerns me. Specifically, the increasingly breezy attitude we (/people?) have about injecting stuff into their faces—especially if that stuff comes with a black box warning from the FDA.
What do you think?
Take note Lindsay! File this under things you can’t make up: MSNBC is reporting that a Canadian woman stopped by police for drunk driving was unable to take the breathalyzer test because her mouth was, well, immobile.
Apparently, recent Botox injections meant she couldn’t pucker up.
From the article:
Last week, a Vancouver judge tossed out the charge when Moore provided a letter from a doctor in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, who had performed the Botox shots.
The doctor wrote it’s not uncommon for Botox patients to be unable “to wrap their lips around a straw or wide circumference such as a breathalyzer blow apparatus” for up to six month
Six months! Whether or not the driver was telling the truth, apparently this is a total plausible side effect of Botox injections around the mouth. Which is charming, and makes me wonder: If you can’t purse your lips to blow out air, how do you eat, kiss, take a sip of water?
Is this story funny or completely disturbing? Or both?
File under “when Onion headlines become a reality,” a new study has come out showing that Botox injections might actually dampen people’s emotions. In the journal Emotions, Barnard researchers write that people with Botox “exhibited an overall significant decrease in the strength of emotional experience” after being shown videos that tugged at their heartstrings.
That facial expressions—furrowed brow, heavy-lidded eyes, scrunched-up nose—deepen our experience of our feelings is obvious to anyone who has ever had to try a little to get their cry on. Sometimes just making cryface is enough to bring on the tears, right? Right.
In the new study, participants who received Botox injections self-reported less emotional response … and as a result, did not feel their emotions quite as deeply as their counterparts who received treatment with a wrinkle filler called Restylane.
Now don’t go thinking this means Restylane gets a pass.
What’s your take?