I read with interest the letter to the editor which suggests
that botox may cause negative psychological benefits
that result in “a preoccupation to become eternally
youthful” and in developing a “Dorian Gray syndrome”.
Firstly, one could argue the point that every cosmetic
procedure may have these negative consequences, result-
ing in an obsession to stave off the ageing process.
Botox has emerged over the past decade as one of the
most popular methods of fighting the signs of ageing, for
practical reasons: results occur within several days of re-
ceiving the injections, the procedure is short and rela-
tively uncomplicated, and the side effects are minimal.
The fact that botox does exactly what it is supposed to
do—make one look better, not necessarily younger, but
better—is the reason that it has been embraced by thou-
sands of persons. It appears that rather than causing anx-
iety, it decreases anxiety.
Secondly, it affords most persons the opportunity to
feel good about themselves because they can stave off
the inevitable: ageing in a society obsessed with looking
good. Looking better makes a person feel better, it is as
simple as that. The longer that a person uses botox, the
better and longer the effect seems to be, due to a phe-
nomenon termed “muscle memory”. The public under-
stands that it is not a cure-all, but welcomes its benefits.
Let us not concentrate on the negative, but embrace the
This invited commentary refers to the letter available at:
B. Beal (
Eur J Plast Surg (2003) 26:275
Commentary on “Botox: an ‘elixir of youth’?”
Published online: 13 June 2003
© Springer-Verlag 2003