In the past half decade, the popularity of Botox in the U.S. has skyrocketed, with a 40.6 percent increase in procedures according to the latest figures from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and a 5.1 percent rise since 2017. Last year, over 1.5 million Botox injections were carried out.
Researchers at Northwestern University wanted to investigate why so many of patient undergo the treatment. The team recruited 511 patients seeking medical cosmetic surgical procedures. Of the participants, over 86 percent were women, and 56 percent were at least 45. Three quarters were white and almost all respondents were college-educated.
Other than the desire to appear more attractive, almost 70% of the respondents said they wanted to improve their psychological well-being, motivated by a yearning for happiness or to feel more confident.
Around 61 percent wanted to treat themselves or celebrate an occasion, be it an upcoming wedding or birthday party.
Almost 59 percent wanted to look good in a professional setting to gain advantage in the job market.
A further 53 percent underwent Botox to protect their physical health, for instance preventing symptoms of physical conditions. The jabs can be used to treat conditions such as cervical dystonia, where the neck and muscles contract, as well as lazy eye, chronic migraines, bladder dysfunction and eye twitching.
Botox injections contain the botulinum toxin, which temporarily paralyzes the muscles. Despite its prevalence, the procedure is not risk-free and clients can experience side effects including flu-like symptoms, droopy eyelids or cockeyed eyebrows, a crooked smile and drooling, and dry or tearing eyes.
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