Ashley Judd’s Puffy Face: Plastic Surgery or Drugs?

This morning I was doing my usual search for stories when I came upon this story: Ashley Judd Plastic Surgery?

Ms. Judd was on Canadian TV promoting her new series Missing, which premiers tonight. In it, she plays an ex-CIA agent whose son is kidnapped while studying abroad.

But the buzz after her TV appearance wasn’t about the show but about how her face looked “puffy.”  This sparked internet rumors that Judd, daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd, had recently undergone cosmetic surgery on her face.

Here, look for yourself:


Radar Online went so far as to enlist a plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn, (who, mind you, has not treated the star) who states:

I am flabbergasted that she appears to have changed her face like this.

But Ashley Judd came back swinging- she has NOT had plastic surgery. Her puffy face is the result on being on prednisone for a “sinus infection and flu.

Her rep, Cara Tripicchio, told E!

For the record, this is unequivocally not true. Ashley has been battling an ongoing, serious sinus infection and flu. Therefore, Ashley has been on a heavy dose of medication to overcome it so she could get on a plane and travel to Toronto and New York to fulfill her commitment of completing four consecutive days of press to promote her new show Missing.

10 Things You Should Know About Prednisone

1.  Prednisone belongs to the class of drugs called corticosteroids. These steroids are similar to hormones that your adrenal glands produce to fight stress associated with illnesses and injuries. They reduce inflammation and affect the immune system.

2.  You may need to take corticosteroids to treat:

3.  Corticosteroids are available as pills, inhalers, or can be given by injection. Corticosteroid creams or ointments are also available to treat skin rashes.

4.  Side effects are dependent upon the method by which they are taken. Oral prednisone is spread throughout the body and has the highest potential for side effects. Topical and inhaled steroids are less likely to cause generalized side effects.

5.  Short term side effects (which can start days to weeks after starting the medication) include:

  • Elevated pressure in the eyes (glaucoma)
  • Fluid retention, causing swelling in the lower legs
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain, especially fat collections in your abdomen, around the face and at the back of the neck

6.  Taking oral corticosteroids longer term, may cause:

  • Increased risk of infections
  • High blood sugar, which can trigger or worsen diabetes
  • A decrease in calcium from the bones. This can lead to osteoporosis and even fractures.
  • Irregularities of the menstrual cycle
  • Decreased production of natural adrenal gland hormones
  • A thinning of the skin, which bruises easily and is slow to heal.

7.  Because of these side effects, physicians try to use as low a dose, for as short a period of time as possible.

8.  Inhaled prednisone is frequently used in the treatment of asthma. Side effects of inhaled steroids includes coughing, hoarseness, dry mouth, and sore throat.  This can be minimized by gargling with water (and spitting it out) after using an inhaled steroid.

9.  Long courses of oral corticosteroids may cause growth problem in children. However long term use of inhaled steroids for children with asthma does not prevent them from reaching normal adult height.

10. After your steroid dose has been decreased or stopped, your adrenal glands may not be functioning at full capacity. If you have a serious illness, surgery or injury, your body may not be able to handle this additional stress, and you may require a short steroid burst.

It seems like there is a lesson somewhere in this story: like not jumping to conclusions without having any facts!

But Ashley Judd did something very classy when people responded to hearing the correct diagnosis. She responded  to a young girl who Tweeted that she had was bullied when she took steroids:

@CassandraProbe I know, steriods r dramatic. My clothes don’t fit right, hard on a girl’s self esteem, so lots of positive self talk & love.

Good for you Ashley!





Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Real Time Analytics Google Analytics Alternative