Botox® in St. Louis: An Alternative to Not Smiling for 40 Years

There are many reasons people come to West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. While cosmetic surgery is a frequent choice, patients also seek out the popular injectable Botox®. St. Louis patients choose the cosmetic for its ability to temporarily reduce facial lines and wrinkles, particularly on the forehead, between the eyebrows. A reduction of crow’s feet on the side of either eye is another reason people opt to get Botox® in St. Louis.

Patients seeking a more long-term solution via cosmetic surgery can decide on a brow lift, which addresses forehead wrinkles, among other features. The procedure is more involved than a Botox® injection, but the results also last much longer.

There is another option, too, when it comes to combating the signs of aging.

Britain’s Daily Mail recently ran a story about a woman who decided to keep her face youthful and unlined by not smiling for four decades. The 50-year-old made a commitment to herself while in her teens, vowing to avoid showing emotions and laughing as a way to keep from developing the sort of wrinkles that form through repeated muscle use. She told the reporter that people often ask her if she’s had Botox®, but she attributes her fresh face to nothing more than a commitment to a lack of expression.

This is obviously an extreme tactic, though she is not alone. Several women interviewed for the story revealed that they practice the blank-face strategy, choosing to smile only rarely or never as opposed to showing happiness or other emotions throughout the day. Even celebrity Kim Kardashian has said that she tries to keep smiling and laughter to a minimum in an effort to avoid contributing to the formation of wrinkles.

The main source in the article, named Tess Christian, said that her method has drawn criticism from people who feel that she should lighten up, but she puts stock in the decision that she cites as more natural than Botox®.

Other critics have pointed out that smiling is a beneficial activity that contributes to a beautiful face, and a range of expressions and emotions are important to everyday human interaction. While a select few people may have decided that living an expression-free life is the best choice for them, it is not a realistic option for people who do not want to hide their feelings from childhood on.

Smiling and frowning are not the only factors that contribute to facial lines, either. Wrinkles form for a variety of reasons, including repeated muscle use, sun exposure, stress, and the natural loss of components in the skin that keep it hydrated and pliable. Botox® works to combat some of those combined effects by blocking the successful transmission of signals sent to specific muscles. If the message can’t get through, the muscles won’t contract. If the muscles don’t contract, wrinkles are less visible.

The results from most of the Botox® treatments from St. Louis’ West County Plastic Surgeons last for about three months, during which time the skin will appear smoother and less wrinkled. Some of the areas where Botox® is used to treat lines include between the eyes, known as the glabellar area; the forehead, where creases can run horizontally across the entire width; the bridge of the nose, where what is known as a “bunny line” can form; and the sides of the eye sockets, where webs of fine wrinkles known as “crow’s feet” develop.

Beyond Botox®, the more involved cosmetic surgery options include a minimally invasive endoscopic brow lift to treat wrinkles; a transpalpebral brow lift with corrugator resection, which eliminates certain muscles that create wrinkles; and a traditional open brow lift.

Learn more about Botox®, cosmetic surgery, and other wrinkle-fighting options available to St. Louis-area patients at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. To speak to someone or set up a consultation, call (314) 996-8800.


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