May 22, 2006 -- Sacramento -- The saying, "If you look good,
you feel good," may have a basis in scientific fact according to
a controversial new study published in May 2006 edition of the medical
journal Dermatologic Surgery.
The limited study by Baltimore cosmetic dermatologist Eric Finzi,
MD, PhD indicates that the common and serious disease of major depression
that is resistant to routine pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic
treatment approaches may be successfully treated by minor cosmetic
procedures that provide the patient with a feeling of improved appearance.
Dr. Finzi selected ten female patients from his dermatology practice
who met the standards for ongoing major depression, based on their
responses to standardized depression surveys. Four patients had
been treated with psychotherapy. Seven had tried antidepressants.
Botox injections were given into facial muscles used for frowning,
giving the patients a facial expression that they believed to be
more pleasant. After two months the patients were surveyed and nine
of the ten patients appeared to no longer be depressed. The tenth
patient had improved, but not fully out of depression.
The study may have implications on the benefits of other cosmetic
procedures and even the popular Lasik laser eye surgery. Many who
have Lasik indicate the feeling of improved appearance without the
need for spectacles, however no study has demonstrated a connection
between Lasik and a reduction in depression. A connection is only...speculation.
Dr. Finzi's study did not include a control group or other common
techniques to exclude patient and physician bias, so the information
is considered anecdotal until additional detailed studies affirm
the apparent result.