"First Impressions" and Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Treatments

I was reminded in the last 2 weeks as to how some patients still endure significant angst when embarking on their first experience of cosmetic treatment. This is despite the reality that many treatments such as muscle relaxant injections are really less traumatic than a visit to the hairdresser! Today most treatments are minimally invasive with very little trauma and are performed in the clinic, walk in-walk out.
Usually this anxiety relates to how a partner, family member or close friend may judge them for acceding to such an indulgence! I recently treated a patient with neck liposculpture who did not tell her husband about it until he arrived home that evening. Happily he was very supportive and the outcome was very pleasing! Minimally-Invasive does generally equal Minimal-Risk.

So once people appreciate that what we do does not carry the risk burden of invasive surgery (like face lifting), the angst dissipates like the wrinkles do! 
I was drawn to a recent online article about how aesthetic enhancement by muscle relaxant injections impacted on other’s first impressions of them. As you will read the effect is positive!
“The popular cosmetic enhancement, botulinum toxin A (Botox) positively effects first impression judgments in relation to attractiveness, dating success, and athleticism, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, IL.*
According to researchers, first impressions of a person are influenced by facial appearance and improved by cosmetic surgery. They wanted to determine whether or not the use of botulinum toxin A would contribute to a person receiving higher scores on a variety of first impression scales. Photos were taken of the study participants before and after the treatment with the botulinum toxin A, then the photos were randomly divided into books with each subject represented only once per book. Blinded evaluators completed a survey rating their first impression on various measures of success for each photo in the book.
Subjects who received the injections improved first impression scores for scales of dating success, attractiveness, and athletic success The authors did not find any positive correlation between botulinum toxin A injection and increased scores regarding social skills, financial, or relationship success.”

*Title: Botulinum Toxin A Can Positively Impact First Impression. Presenters: Amy S. Anstead, MD; Steven H. Dayan, MD. Date: Sunday, September 21.
ScienceDaily (Sep. 22, 2008)