Thursday, December 6, 2007

To Botox or not to Botox? That is the question...

I recently visited the dermatologist for the first time in my life. Since turning 30 I have noticed changes in my body like little brown spots on my hand, small broken blood vessels in my face, and different small red growths on my body that my grandfather used to have. Especially since I live in Florida (have lived here for about four years now), and love to bask in the sun, I thought it was time to get checked out to make sure I didn't have any skin cancer. I also wanted to get the small brown growth on my hand removed.

The doctor's name was Dr. Strong, and he was very nice, patient and descriptive. He answered all of my questions and really listened to my concerns. Before doing a total examination of my body I also asked him about the brochures I noticed about hair removal, pulsed light photo facials (which help get rid of redness, veins, broken blood vessels or any kind of sun damage), and
Botox. I was looking at the brochures not only for myself but also for my mother. He explained each one of the procedures I had picked and said I was a good candidate for them. There were a few more brochures that were obviously for much older people than me. While he was explaining "Botox" to me he mentioned that he noticed the wrinkle (just one!) on my forehead (that I have been noticing as well), and how my eyes wrinkle when I smile. He encouraged me to get the Botox before it was too late...

In case you don't already know, Botox is like a po
ison, which they call "botulinum toxin" and it is injected into the muscle causing them to relax instead of contract. The deal with Botox is that it does not take away wrinkles, it only helps prevent them.

Dr. Strong also informed me that he would not recommend putting it too close to my eyebrows because then I would have no movement with my eyebrows and it would make my expression look fake. Instead he recommended Botox higher up on my forehead so I can still have eyebrow expression but prevent the wrinkle in the middle of my forehead. I told him I would think about it
and would not get it done that day since it costs about $300 a session and it is recommended to get it done about 4 times a year equaling the cost of about $1200 a year (not including the Botox that I could use at the creases of my eyes when I smile).

In the meantime he examined me and numbed the brown spot on my hand and cut it off with a razor blade. He did the same to a red spot on the edge of my bikini area and did the same again to a cute star shaped freckle on my left breast. It did not hurt, but boy was I starting to really feel old! He told me that the only spot he was worried about being potentially cancerous was the star like freckle on my breast, which was a spot I was never concerned about. I had more br
own and red spots I was worried about but he said that it was genetic and being in my 30's (basically old age spots) and many of which I would have to live with. Lastly, I had him zap a small dot on my face which is actually a broken blood vessel. In the last two weeks everything is healing nicely, except the breast is taking a little longer but is slowly looking less red where he cut. I also got the phone call yesterday about the results from when they sent the spots to the lab. Everything was normal except the spot on my breast came out abnormal, as he suspected. "Abnormal", means not cancerous, but could turn that way in time. Since he got it out completely, I have nothing to worry about on that spot but he suggested that I get checked yearly. I would recommend others to do the same as well.

Even before I left the officeI have to admit, that this Botox thing got me thinking, in fact I was hesitant to walk out of the office without sucking it up, putting the $300 on my credit card and getting the injection. On the one hand, I was thinking, why not prevent wrinkles and try to stay young (looking) if possible (especially since now it is possible!). It might be that, one day when ou
r kids generation gets to age 30, Botox could simply be routine like visiting the dentist. The celebrities do it (especially female celebrities because they feel like they have to, and since they have the money to do it), and because of that they look half their age!

On the other hand I thought to myself, "let's be realistic, you can't afford this!" and "how vain are you?" Knowing that I swell up from bee stings and red ant bites (which is also a poison), I thought that it was a possibility that by trying to look good, I may have a bad reaction and swell up on my forehead for four months or worse. I asked the doctor about the cases that were on the news about Botox where the people got very sick. He explained that it was due to an unethical doctor who got Botox that was not made for humans and was a much higher undiluted dose. He also said that he only uses it from the maker of Botox called "Allergan". This doctor seems trustworthy and was not pressuring me at all. He just wanted to make sure that I realized that it could prevent the wrinkles but not take them away.

I still haven't decided what to do. I asked my husband and he said, "only do it if it is free and if you want to". He feels that some people take advantage of other peoples insecurities (fears or weaknesses) to make a living (or get rich). Although he has a point, easy for him to say as a man. What does he have to be insecure about? Men can be old, fat, and bald as long as they have money... and many women think that men look better as they age (such as: George Clooney and Richard Gere). Would I even be thinking about Botox if it was not the way our society (including myself) view women?

I still ponder, and I ask you..."To Botox or Not to Botox? That is the question...

1 comment:

Dora said...

Ok first "Girl I know how much you love your tan, But please protect your skin from the sun" Is so much more important :) About the Botox I don't know i guess i have mix feelings about it but i think the 30's still a bit too younge for it I mean ones you see yourself with it you minght not want to see yourself without it. If i was you I will wait a couple of years to do it. Of course different people, different skin requiers diferrent treatments right. But me personally i don't think i would ever do it i don't know I just try to take care of my skin better this days hopefully that would give me a couple of extra years! lol