Botox, anyone?

IMAGE Monching Jaramillo

Dra. Vicki Belo's "love affair" with Botox began in Arizona, where she attended a convention 22 years ago. "Aghast!" is how she reacted then.

To B or not to B?

Some have been blunt in saying, “Botox makes one look weird… so fake," while others swear, "It makes me look much younger."

But did you know that discovering its aesthetic use was “pure serendipity”?

It happened in 1987, according to Orange County Register, ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers “noticed that patients injected with the toxin were losing their frown lines.”

Three years later, in Arizona, Dra. Vicki Belo attended a convention hosted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, where Dr. Jean and her husband, dermatologist Dr. Alastair Carruthers, discussed what Botox can do.

Dra. Vicki related, “We were so aghast…! Are these people crazy? You’re going to paralyze muscle to get rid of wrinkles?”

Indeed, she had her reservations.

But after some research and runs, she gave her “matamis na oo” to Allergan, the company carrying the brand.

BENEFITS. Contrary to popular belief, Botox is not only for wrinkles.

Phoemela Baranda, for instance, has been using it to address the pain brought about by her TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint) problem.

Charice’s controversial Botox was to address Bruxism (or teeth-grinding) and “to narrow her naturally-round face,” which was partly caused by too much chewing gum.

Dra. Vicki said it is a therapeutic treatment for children with cerebral palsy, “as it relaxes the muscles.”

The website of Allergan cited that it also treats the following:

(1) Abnormal head position and neck pain that happens with cervical dystonia in adults

(2) Severe underarm sweating

(3) Increased stiffness in elbow, wrist, and finger muscles


(4) Migraine that lasts for 15 or more days per month

(5) Urinary incontinence due to spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.

A few TV personalities, however, get their dose of injections to improve their image.

One newscaster, according to the beauty doctor, resorted to Botox injections to adjust her eyebrows because “she looks mataray on TV.”

It can also remove the T line on a person's forehead, thus, making him look less serious and more approachable.

Lastly, it boosts self-confidence.

The mindset of some stars: “Kailangan sa trabaho, e, lalo na’t maraming bago at mas bata na pumapasok…”

One actor in his mid-50s once told (Philippine Entertainment Portal), “Botox makes me feel good…

“In fact, feeling ko mas guwapo ako ngayon kesa nung kabataan ko.

“When you look at yourself on TV, iba, e…”

WORD OF CAUTION. Botox abuse, however, is a different story.

In an article published on BBC’s website, Dr. Carter Singh said, “It has potentially addictive qualities…

“Botox changes the physical appearance of a person's skin or face, and that ultimately leads to improved body image.

"This enhances psychological well-being. It is easy to see how people could become addicted."

Market research group Mintel also shared the outcome of their study in U.K.: “Doctors found 40% of patients using Botox expressed a compulsive desire for further treatments.”

In addition, it masks a person’s real emotions.

So, Dra. Vicki avoids injecting on her “smile lines.”

Hollywood actress Julia Roberts tried it once but didn’t find it “cute.”


In a May 2012 interview, she said, "My feeling is, I have three children who should know what emotion I'm feeling at the exact moment I'm feeling it. Like, that is critical."

Now let's go back to the question: To B or not to B?

If the answer is yes, then let it erase worries and the effects of time— but never the traces of happiness on your face.





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