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Our outlets will be closed from 26 Mar (Tue) to 27 Mar (Wed) for our annual team bonding event. We will resume operations on 28 Mar (Thu).

Can Botox Treat Depression? Here’s the Science

Botox for Mental Health

If you only thought of Botox as a cosmetic solution for wrinkles, you’d be surprised that its role extends beyond aesthetics. While its use in medical applications such as muscle spasms, chronic migraines and excessive sweating is known, its potential impact on mood disorders was only uncovered recently.

This revelation offers hope for those struggling with depression and anxiety.

What is Botox used for?

Botox is known for its ability to temporarily inhibit nerve signals to the muscles, preventing wrinkles caused by facial expressions from forming. Over time, the skin gets a lot smoother. 

Botox is usually applied to smooth the following areas. 

  • Frown lines (glabellar lines)
  • Forehead lines
  • Crow’s feet
  • Eyebrows
  • Lip lines


For patients with an enlarged jawline due to overactivity at the masseter (mostly from clenching or grinding), masseter botox can be injected for a slimmer face. 

Also Read: Uses of Botox in Singapore

Non-cosmetic use for Botox

Botox has also been used for medical purposes. It can treat:

  • Muscle spasms: Botox relaxes overactive muscles, relieving muscle spasms and involuntary muscle contraction.
  • Chronic migraines: Botox injections are administered at certain points on the head and neck to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.
  • Excessive sweating: Botox is used in areas such as the underarms, palms, and soles of the feet to block signals that stimulate sweat glands.
  • Urinary incontinence: When injected into the bladder, Botox helps increase its capacity and reduce episodes of involuntary contractions, providing relief for individuals with overactive bladder issues.

How does Botox affect Mental Health?

Recent research uncovered Botox’s positive impact on emotional processing and mood disorders by restricting facial muscle movements in the glabellar region.

Botox may help with mental health challenges by affecting how our facial muscles and emotions are connected. When we’re upset, specific muscles in the area between our eyebrows contract, causing frown lines. Botox injected in this area will temporarily relax the muscles.

This process is linked to the fact that our facial expressions and emotions influence each other. Using Botox to ease muscle activity in the “frown” area might lessen the intensity of negative emotions. Some studies suggest that Botox injections in this region can positively impact mood and even reduce symptoms of depression and borderline personality disorder.

Botox’s effects last for a few months, requiring less frequent injections. The treatment has also been tolerated well.

Does Botox increase Serotonin Levels?

Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain responsible for mood regulation. Serotonin is known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. It contributes to feelings of well-being, happiness, and relaxation.

Ideal serotonin levels are associated with a positive mood and emotional balance, while low serotonin levels have been linked to depression and anxiety.

Dopamine is integral to the brain’s reward system. It is responsible for motivation, pleasure, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviours. Balanced dopamine levels contribute to a stable and positive mood, whereas imbalances in dopamine can signal mood disorders.

Botox has been shown to increase serotonin levels, even in small doses. This rise in serotonin can regulate the uptake of existing serotonin and dopamine.

FDA Approval: Is Botox Recognised for Depression?

Depression can present in several ways, and its symptoms can vary from person to person. If you experience the following signs for an extended period and they significantly impact daily life, seeking mental health support is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment:

  • Persistent sadness: Feeling consistently sad, empty, or down, often without reason.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure: Diminished interest in activities you once enjoyed, including hobbies and social interactions.
  • Changes in sleep patterns: Insomnia or increased sleep, experiencing difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Changes in appetite or weight: Drastic changes in appetite leading to weight loss or gain.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy: Constant tiredness, low energy levels, and feeling physically drained.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering details.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: A pervasive sense of worthlessness, guilt, or self-blame, often disproportionate to the situation.
  • Irritability or restlessness: Increased irritability, restlessness, or feeling on edge.
  • Social withdrawal: A decline in interest in social interactions and withdrawal from social activities, family, and friends.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts. Immediate professional help is necessary for someone showing this symptom.


While the existing literature on Botox in Singapore as a treatment for depression and anxiety is hopeful, further research is needed. If you are thinking about using Botox for mental health reasons, it’s best to talk to a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

For more information on Botox and its application for mental health conditions, please get in touch with us.

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