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Viewpoint: Freeze the Botax

By: Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS
Posted: December 3, 2009

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At a time when taxing cosmetic procedures is being debated and elected legislators may be in charge of judging what is or isn’t cosmetic, it is important to examine the effects cosmetic medicine has on both the individual and society with clear objectivity. Cosmetic medicine is not a field devoted to stretched faces, large breasts and thin tummies. The caricature of Pamela Anderson, Joan Rivers or Kenny Rogers is not the norm, and does not define the practice. Rather, it is a field of medicine that today is developing products and services that make people feel better about themselves.

Conventional wisdom likes to brand cosmetic physicians as purveyors of beauty, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our research and scope of medicine is targeted toward making the majority of Americans feel better about themselves with safe and effective treatment options. Cosmetic medicine provides congenitally, physically or emotionally traumatized victims a path for returning to society and being productive. In addition, it gives all socioeconomic classes additional tools to obtain improved qualities of life and satisfy one of the most primal human instincts: wanting to look good.

Cosmetic medicine is a field of medicine that is designing, developing and delivering treatments that provide a bolt of self-confidence to an individual and a surge of well-being that is beneficial, some might say essential, to society. The bureaucratic difficulties of instituting the tax, as well as the compromise of personal freedom and disproportionate targeting of the middle class, all point to an arbitrarily suggested and misguided tax. Encourage Americans to invest in themselves; don’t dissuade it.

*Botox is a trade name of Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA


1. (Accessed Nov 30, 2009)