Monday, November 26, 2007
Medical Reports: Face of Addiction
More and more people are turning to Botox® Cosmetic injections to prevent wrinkles, but some women might be experiencing too much of a good thing. Seven's Lynn Martinez shows us the Face of Addiction in tonight's special assignment report.
Elana: "I don't think I could think about going without it."
Elana religiously gets Botox® Cosmetic injections every three months, and she loves the results.
Elana: "I just notice as soon as the wrinkles start to set back in."
And when she does notice, she immediately makes her next appointment.
Elana: "I've asked for higher doses, and she's had to limit me on that."
At one point, her dermatologist even had to say, "no more."
Elana: "I guess you could say it's an addiction. It's something I enjoy, and I continue to go back for."
Carol also considers herself a bit of a Botox® Cosmetic junkie. She's relied on the injections to erase her fine lines for the last nine years.
Carol: "I've never gone a year without having it done. I think the longest I've ever gone is about six months."
Dr. Manjula Jegasothy: "I think after the first time a person gets Botox® they're usually so delighted with the results that they tend to want more and more."
Lynn Martinez: "And that's the thing about Botox®, it's a temporary fix, so, after a few months, the wrinkles do come back, but for many it becomes an obsession to stop the signs of aging."
Dr. Eva Ritvo: "Botox is quite rewarding, you get a positive benefit very quickly, and we know that things that are rewarding can become addictive."
While there isn't a physical or chemical addiction to Botox® Cosmetic, you can become psychologically hooked. Doctors say getting touch-ups once or twice a year to keep wrinkles away is not a problem. It's when you start obsessing over fixing every line.
Dr. Jegasothy: "If you find yourself obsessing and thinking about, 'Oh, my God this has come back. I need more Botox® right away.' Those are the signs that I think you might be becoming addicted."
Another sign of an unhealthy addiction, if you feel like you don't look good without Botox® Cosmetic.
Dr. Eva Ritvo: "'The women that I would have a problem with would be the women who says, 'I can't go out because I don't have my Botox®."
Doctors also warn spending too much money is a sign of trouble.
Dr. Eva Ritvo, psychologist: "If people are spending more than they can afford to on cosmetic surgery or Botox® or fillers, then it's going to be taking away more from their life than it's enhancing."
And there's a reason doctors watch for these addictions. While Botox® Cosmetic is safe, you can get too much too soon. Your best bet, stick to fine-tuning and accept the aging process.
Elana and Carol admit they are hooked on Botox® Cosmetic, but neither think they're addicted. Just don't ask them to stop.
Carol: "No, I don't plan on stopping. I don't plan on stopping."
Elana: "No, I would not consider stopping Botox®, definitely not."
Lynn Martinez: "Again, Botox® has an excellent safety record, but, remember, there are no long-term studies of it's side effects."