There have been numerous studies in recent years suggesting that people who undergo cosmetic enhancements – either through surgery or less invasive procedures – not only experience an improved self-esteem but also an more positive outlook. For example, a significant number of patients stopped taking medication used for depression and anxiety after undergoing plastic surgery, according to a study presented last year at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) conference in San Francisco. In the study, 362 patients had cosmetic plastic surgery, and 17% (or 61 patients) were taking antidepressants. Six months after surgery, this number decreased significantly to 31%, to 42 patients. In addition, 98% of patients said cosmetic plastic surgery had noticeably improved their self-esteem.

On another front, a recent preliminary study examined the relationship between Botox injections and depression. The study involved 10 patients who were diagnosed with depression who were then given a  treatment of Botox injections in a standard course of medical treatment to eliminate frown lines. A stunning 90% of the patients reported that their depression lifted after the treatments.

Dr. Jochen is quoted saying, “Medical professionals are drawing several conclusions from this study, one is that it appears that facial expressions may have a direct correlation to mood. In other words, when you look happier, you feel happier.” Similar to the theory that if you put a pencil between your teeth when your upset at work, you will start to feel better because a forced smile will bring on a real one.

So the question is: Should you get Botox injections or undergo cosmetic surgery if you’re depressed? Dr. Jochen believes that the Botox study was to small to draw any solid conclusions. However since there is little risk with Botox injections, it can’t hurt to try it! Unfortunately to really prove this theory more research is necessary. “The previous study affirms what cosmetic and plastic surgeons have known all along,” Dr. Jochen adds. “Which is that patients who undergo good, appropriate cosmetic surgery feel good about themselves.”

That is exactly why the vision statement of Contour Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center is to cure the world of skin disease and help our patient look and feel more beautiful.

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