Botox: Is it time for me to start?

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!

Ages 21-30 reasons for consultation
- Prevention of aging signs
- The "Resting B*tch Face" (Yes, I get this complaint a lot!)
- Fine lines
- Skin conditioning regimen

Ages 31-40
- Correction of fine lines and wrinkles
- Prevention of fine lines and wrinkles
- The "Resting B*tch Face"

Ages 41 and up
- Botox works great to a certain point and then usually cosmetic surgery and/or a change in Botox technique is needed due to changes in facial architecture and sagging of skin.
- With early and continued use of Botox, this may be avoided or prolonged. The verdict is still out since Botox for prevention of aging is a relatively new technique.

In summary,  Consultations are usually free. Check with your doctor about what options are right for your aesthetic needs. I personally do not start anyone with Botox younger than 21 unless they have a special indication.

Again, it is always important to see a well trained injector, as many different off label techniques can be used to achieve the results you are looking for.

Until next time,

Dr. B