Subtle plastic surgeryA study at the University of California in 2011 found that babies whose parents had Botulinum toxin injections, found it hard to elicit emotional responses and therefore became distressed. The study implied that by reducing the facial responses to an emotion, the babies were unable to gauge and empathise with the parent and an emotional bond was lost.

So what does this mean for patients and practitioners? The study was carried out in California, where patients often prefer a more ‘done’ or ‘frozen’ look. This massive inhibition of muscle movement and facial response reduces the ability to communicate subconsciously. We read a lot into facial expressions and movements, even without realising it, so it is inevitable that if this is taken away, confusion can occur. This is emphasised when dealing with infants, who rely on non verbal communication to understand and express emotions and this is part of their development.

It is exactly why here, at LBPS, we emphasise the need for natural looking treatments, with subtle, gentle effects to enhance rather than completely alter a face. We avoid an expressionless appearance at all times and never ‘over-treat’ a face. We also look at other ways to complement injectable treatments, such as enhanced skin care and protection, to help prevent formation of lines and wrinkles.