It's been a rough four months since the presidential election. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, we're sure you can agree. Almost every day there's something new to worry about, yell about, or angry-Tweet about. And all that stress? Well, it's taking a toll on our skin. Evidence points to the fact that searches and inquiries for Botox injections-used to soften frown lines and wrinkles-have gone up dramatically since the November election.
On Google, searches for Botox spiked just around the January inauguration, hitting a12-year record high. (Searches for the injection have been steadily climbing for years, but they've since beat the previous record twice in the last month). "While there's always a huge demand for Botox in our nation's Capitol, I do believe that there's been an uptick in the number of people requesting Botox to help them deal with the recent change in Administration. Many of my patients have been returning for repeat Botox injections earlier than they have in past because they are totally stressed out and want to at least appear as though they are keeping their cool," says Dr. Tina S. Alster, Director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Georgetown University Hospital. "So many people have told me that they wake up in the morning with frown lines because they are having bad dreams about all of the 'alternative facts' with which they are bombarded."
Searches for Botox also spiked on RealSelf.com, a site dedicated to reviews and discussions of cosmetic surgery and treatments. "Botox, which usually sees a pretty steady rate of interest on RealSelf, had a bump in U.S. traffic recently. Interest in Cosmetic Toxins (Botox) is up 4% in the last 3 months alone," says a company spokesperson.
Top dermatologists around the country have anecdotally noticed more political discourse than usual in their offices, noting it's the reason many women are coming in for their appointments. "I have had at least two women come in saying that worrying about the political fate of our country has taken a toll on their faces, and they realized that they were overdue for their Botox," says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital.
More than just relaxing lines formed by yelling at the television, Botox has also been proven to alleviate tension headaches and migraines. "I've definitely heard more comments lately that staying away from the commentary on Facebook for a few days helps alleviate their tension headaches, too," says Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology PC in Westchester and NYC. Who knew? A visit to the dermatologist might just be the secret weapon in an argument with your relatives.
"I had a Trump supporter in the office with her daughter for injections. I was asking her to explain to me why she loved Trump," says Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a dermatologist in New York and New Jersey. "Her daughter exclaimed, 'Ma, be careful what you say, the doctor has a needle in her hand!' She was fine of course. I find it funny that people are afraid to talk about it; they are afraid to disagree."
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