Consumer Media and the Aesthetics Specialty

Aesthetics investigates the effect of negative industry press on patients and whether it influences their treatment choices

In May 2017, beauty therapist Deborah Mitchell made a claim in an article published by the Daily Mail that suggested patients who had been having botulinum toxin treatments were damaging their sex lives. Mitchell, who has practised beauty therapy for more than 25 years, said, “The thing these ladies were doing to delay the ageing process and make themselves more attractive seemed to be having the opposite effect. Instead of enhancing their sexual life, their heavy Botox [sic] use seemed to be sabotaging it.” Mitchell claimed this was due to toxin creating ‘frozen faces’ that were unable to communicate and show true thoughts and feelings towards their partners. Practitioners interviewed for this feature believe there are no clinical studies to support these claims.

Aesthetic practitioner Dr Preema Vig adds, “This article alludes to ‘heavy Botox’ users with frozen mask-like faces that have rendered them incapable of smiling and communicating their feelings. There are many variables that would need to be researched before being able to scientifically identify ‘Botox’ [sic] as affecting ‘sex lives’.” The consumer media, over the years, has printed numerous negative stories on aesthetic treatments and their outcomes, leading one to ask: what effect does this have on our patients?