Although Botox is most frequently used on existing dynamic wrinkles, some research suggests that Botox may also be useful in preventing wrinkles from forming in the first place. The idea of using Botox for preventative purposes has caused a surge in patients as young as their early 20s requesting treatment.
To understand why more 20-somethings are interested in Botox for preventative purposes, it helps to know how the treatment works.
How Botox Works
Botox is designed to minimize the appearance of dynamic wrinkles, which develop from repetitive muscle movements. Dynamic wrinkles include frown lines, forehead wrinkles and smile lines that appear when we express emotion, and seem to disappear when the face is at rest.
Botox is not intended for deep-set static wrinkles, which form as the face ages and loses fat, collagen and skin elasticity. These wrinkles are visible even when the face is expressionless or at rest, hence the name “static.” Nasolabial lines and marionette lines are two examples of static wrinkles that affect many people.
Botox works by temporarily relaxing targeted facial muscles to limit their movement. The product blocks the nerve impulses to specific facial muscles at the injection site to reduce the muscle’s activity. As a result, the overlying wrinkles soften and become less visible.
Botox for Preventative Purposes
Now that you have a general understanding of how Botox works, you might wonder whether it can prevent wrinkles from forming in the first place. The answer will differ, based on which injector or provider you ask.
Some providers feel that injecting Botox at an early age or when the first signs of dynamic wrinkles appear — and keeping up with regular treatments — can cause the targeted facial muscles to gradually atrophy. They believe that the Botox can “train” the facial muscles not to contract, thereby preventing visible wrinkles. Over time, smaller amounts of Botox, administered less frequently, may deliver the desired skin-smoothing effects.
However, more research is needed to draw any conclusions.
At What Age Is Botox Appropriate?
The age at which Botox injections are appropriate varies from patient to patient. Some people are prone to forehead lines in their early 20s because of genetic factors; others do not see noticeable wrinkles until their mid- or late 30s. The decision is up to you, based on how quickly you see the effects of the aging process and how comfortable you are with the appearance of wrinkles.
The best way to determine what is right for you is to find an experienced provider who can evaluate your area(s) of concern. Based on the severity of your wrinkles and your desired results, the provider can recommend whether you would benefit from treatment.
To schedule an appointment with our master injector, Dr. Cabrera, and the team at the Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton, please call or email us today.