Women's health * Healthy living

Eighteen year old Glee star has Botox

Eighteen year old Glee star has Botox 'Wanted to look fresh on camera'

Eighteen year old singer Charice Pempengco has reportedly undergone skin tightening treatment and Botox as she wanted to "look fresh on camera" before guest starring in the hit television series Glee.

The 30 minute Thermage skin tightening procedure and Botox injections were to make her "naturally round face" more narrow, cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo told ABS-CBN television.

However, the teenage singer's publicist said the Botox injections were not done for cosmetic reasons but for jaw pain she had been experiencing.


Botox or botulinum toxin type A is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The same toxin is responsible for the potentially life threatening type of food poisoning called botulism.

It can be used in small doses to weaken or paralyse facial muscles to give the face a more relaxed look. The effects usually last for three to four months.

UK guidelines recommend that Botox should not be used on anyone under the age of 18, although it is not illegal to do so.

Risks involved

Although much is known about the short term side effects - pain at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache, stomach upsets, temporary drooping eyelids - less is known about taking Botox in the long run, especially if someone starts from the age of eighteen.

Fazel Fatah, President elect of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said there was "absolutely no need" for girls in their teens to have Botox, and it was a "complete myth that it will freeze their face and keep them looking young."

In addition, excessive dosing of Botox can lead to a patient developing resistance to the treatment and can even exaggerate any facial asymmetry, and should only be administered in extremely clean, sterile conditions, Dr Fatah warned.

It can also cause facial weakness or paralysis as well as double vision if injected incorrectly near the eye, he added.

This article was published on Tue 20 July 2010

Image © Andrea Rankovic - Fotolia.com

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