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What's Up With Botox Lately? We Talk to a Dermatologist About all the Recent Crazy News

Botox, despite its years of use and now-mainstream status, is still a great source of fascination and debate in beauty and medical circles. The more experience dermatologists have with the drug, the more creative ways they are finding to use it. And as a result, a lot of ethical and social questions arise. Botox Mom stole the headlines with her fake story, but we all believed that it could actually happen. In the last week no fewer than four Botox stories appeared in various outlets.

Weird uses for Botox: While Dr.Hale does not perform these procedures and it's still fairly radical, the drug has been used for lifting sagging breast tissue and even--wait for it--penis elongation. Both the breast and the penis have suspensory ligaments, which are anchored in place by ligaments that are attached to muscles. So theoretically by inhibiting or weakening the muscle it can cause elongation and lift. It is also used for inhibiting sweat glands, and was recently FDA approved for treating migraines.

How young is too young? Dr.Hale acknowledged that she's seen an increase in women in their 20s coming to her office saying, "My mother told me if I get Botox now, it will prevent wrinkles later." While this is true, Dr.Hale said,"That doesn't mean it's the right thing to do or that it's good for us. In their 20s and young 30s, people are getting jobs and meeting their life partners and it’s an important part of your personality, and overdoing it with Botox too early can inhibit some of that social development." So, to the detriment of business, she has turned women away. (This also goes for older women who already look too "plasticky.")

What about guys? Dr. Hale saw an increase in men coming in for treatments at the beginning of the recession; they were feeling the pinch to look younger and therefore more competitive. And while she's been treating gay men for a while, straight men are coming in almost as frequently.

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Other advice? "Wear sunglasses!" Dr. Hale advises. It will prevent squinting and prolong the formation of those nasty furrows. And, of course, always wear sunscreen.

A healthy attitude towards Botox (and aging for that matter) is the message. Botox is such an unnatural concept, that it will likely always stir debate. But at least we can debate a bit more rationally.