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August 23, 2007

Botox Makes You Look Older? One doctor swears it does.

Wrinkle-reducing wonder drug or freaky facial poison? Two top derms debate the phenomenally popular Botox.

The Botox Debate: Does it age you?

Photo Credit: Todd Huffman/Todd Huffman

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It's hard to believe that in the five years since Botox was first FDA-approved for cosmetic use, we've grown indifferent to the expressionless A-listers and me-but-better moms we see every day. A cultural force, Botox has forever changed the way we age.

Still, the debate over its safety and effectiveness continues. On one side, Dr. Fredric Brandt, a New York- and Miami-based dermatologist (dubbed the "Baron of Botox"), reportedly administers more Botox than any doctor in the world — and doesn't skimp on himself, either. On the other, best-selling author and research derm Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone takes a staunchly anti-Botox stance. He argues that an anti-inflammatory diet plus nutritional supplements can better fight the aging process.

On the next page, a look at how their points of view stack up.

Some Botox facts

  • More than 3.1 million Botox injections were administered just last year.
  • About 1 million people in the U.S. habitually use Botox
  • Doctors provide more Botox to women ages 22 to 40 than to women over 60.
  • Botox use jumped 4783 percent from 1997 to 2006 as the injection went from specialized ophthalmic tool to cosmetic phenomenon.

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