BOTOX injections remain popular in the 40+ age group, but have you noticed a younger generation of botox users? It is typical to seek treatment in our 40s to “fix” wrinkles and treat the signs of aging. However, more and more 20-30-year old’s are requesting some type of treatment to PREVENT wrinkles. Often times the treatment they are requesting is botox. What started this movement? We suspect the increase in botox at a younger age has been triggered by social media. Celebrities and beauty “gurus” alike appear daily across social media, displaying their flawless skin to all of their followers. The question is, will getting botox before wrinkles develop help prevent wrinkles, and how early is too early?
A recent article published by JAMA Dermatology confirms that by injecting botox before wrinkles are prominent-generally at an earlier age than 40- we can help prevent wrinkles from ever developing. Before we explain how botox works, you should know how and why wrinkles form.
WHAT CAUSES WRINKLES? Many wrinkles are actually creases that have been worn into the skin by making the same expression thousands of times. These “expression lines”, often called frown lines or crow’s feet, are due to the contraction of a muscle under the skin in that area. We have known for years that surgically cutting that muscle will improve the wrinkle.
WHAT IS BOTOX? BOTOX® is a purified protein toxin which has no serious side effects when used correctly in a medical setting. A few drops of BOTOX® are injected with a tiny needle into the muscle that creates a wrinkle. When BOTOX® is injected into a muscle, it blocks the nerve impulse from reaching that area, and, as a result, the muscle weakens. As the muscle weakens, the skin overlying the muscle relaxes and the wrinkles in the skin gradually soften and often disappear.
A STUDY IN WRINKLE PREVENTION The fore-mentioned study followed identical twin sisters for 13 years. One twin received BOTOX in the forehead, and in the region above the nose and between the eyebrows (approximately 2 to 3 times each year over the past 13 years) and in the crow’s feet (twice in past 2 years). Her twin received BOTOX only twice (in the forehead, and in the region above the nose and between the eyebrows, 3 and 7 years ago).
Imprinted forehead lines and lines between the eyebrows were not evident in the regularly treated twin but were evident in the minimally treated twin. Crow’s feet were less noticeable when the regularly treated twin smiled (even at 7 months after treatment) than when the minimally treated twin smiled. Untreated facial areas (eg, nasolabial folds) showed comparable aging in both twins. Neither twin experienced adverse effects.
CONCLUSIONS: “Long-term treatment with BOTOX can prevent the development of imprinted facial lines that are visible at rest. BOTOX treatment can also reduce crow’s feet. Treatment is well tolerated, with no adverse events reported during 13 years of regular treatment in this study.”1
1 Arch Facial Plast Surg. Long-term effects of botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) on facial lines: a comparison in identical twins.
WILL BOTOX GIVE YOU HEALTHY SKIN?
“As described above, it is clear that wrinkles develop from repeated expressions, and botox can be a preventative solution. However, botox will not give you perfect skin and it should not be viewed as the only solution. Beautiful skin comes from a combination of care and nourishment both externally and from within. Botox cannot change bad habits like smoking, drinking, and sunbathing. It also cannot replace eating vitamin-packed, anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, botox can not give you perfect skin, but it can give you smoother skin.”– Dr. Adam Asarch
HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG FOR BOTOX?
“If you slow down the use of “wrinkle causing” muscles early in adult life, the lines may never develop. This makes it tempting to get botox before you even have wrinkle, inhibiting the formation from the start. We don’t advocate treatment for patients in their early twenties and by no means for patients any younger. We do not recommend botox treatments based only on an age range. What I would suggest is to come and see us when you start to be bothered by fine lines, such as frown lines or forehead lines. This is a reasonable time to begin treatment with botox.” – Dr. Richard Asarch
NOT SURE HOW BOTOX WILL LOOK ON YOU?
If you have a web-cam and 2 minutes, you can see what your results could be after a BOTOX treatment.