With the commercialization of BOTOX patients come to me younger and younger for consultation on prevention and correction of fine lines and wrinkles. Often I will be asked, "At what age should I start Botox?"
This is a highly scrutinized topic in the cosmetic medical society. Many "oldschool "physicians believe BOTOX should be used for cosmetic purposes to correct existing damage, while other fast thinking physicians have discovered the use to prevent formation of lines and smooth out skin.
The Brilliant idea: if some (not all) wrinkles are caused by excessive and constant facial movement, then relaxing the muscle temporarily from making these movements should result in less wrinkles down the road..
So how young is too young? I have heard of some physicians treating patients younger than 21 with BOTOX but I usually do not recommend this to patients under 21 (for purely cosmetic reasons). Sunscreen and proper skin hygiene will help prevent skin damage very well up to this point. Don't forget 90% of our sun damage is done during our teenage years!
Acne is a disease that plagues many people through their teens and some into the late 20's and 30's. Recall those gruesome days in high school? Well, if not, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately numerous people are left with unsightly acne scars resulting from from the uncontrolled inflammation and damage to the skin resulting in irregular collagen formation.
Typically acne scars come in 3 types:
The type of acne scars that exist will likely depict the response to treatment. Fortunately, most patients have mixed presentation of acne scars and all can be improved or resolved with combination treatments.
Typical treatment in previous years has consisted of peels, laser/light therapy, and surgical removal. Unfortunately many of these procedures have an increased risk of hyper or hypopigmentation (lightening and darkening of the skin) and can carry a heft price tag. In New York City a full series of acne scar removal with laser therapy may run upwards of $3,000.
Introducing percutaneous microneedling collagen induction therapy, trademarked as Dermapen and many other competitors. This technology uses high-speed vibrating handheld devices to make micro-injury (controlled injury) to the skin allowing numerous growth factors and collagen synthesis to occur in an organized fashion.
Over the course of 10 weeks your skin will begin to smoothen out and acne scars will be come less noticeable and some will completely resolve. For acne scaring, I typically recommend patients to have 4-6 treatments, each treatment a month or so apart.
The treatments are painless thanks to topical numbing cream and the vibrations of the device. The device makes tiny microscopic almost pinpoint needle tip penetrations of up to 1,000 times per second! These little mirco-wounds are at a controlled depth by the physician and differ on each spot of your face.
The results are spectacular. The risks, little to none... Can't beat that, and to top it off most sessions start at $200/session with multisession discounts (beats that hefty $3,000 Laser price tag, with equivalent results).
What about downtime? With any procedure, different skin reacts different ways, but in my experience people are ready to go back to work in less than 24 hours. Granted you may peel a little like a sunburn over the next week or so, but nothing as drastic as laser. The technique causes less damage to the surface layer than laser, hence... shorter downtime!
It is very important to follow a post procedure skin care regimen that your doctor can prescribe.
Don't forget this treatment is not just for Acne marks.
It works well for: fine lines, smokers lines, skin tightening, skin complexion, pigmentation issues, skin texture, stretch marks (anywhere on the body), and even scars.
This device is soon to become a very popular treatment due to its cost, effectiveness, and low risk. Happy skin needling!