Botox cosmetic was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to reduce the appearance of frown lines, or the “11’s,” between the eyebrows. Since then, it’s become a very popular procedure and was recently approved by the FDA to treat crow’s feet.
In 2012, Botox was one of the top 5 non-surgical procedures performed in the US, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The number of people receiving Botox increased by nearly 25 percent between 2011 and 2012.
While some people might think that Botox Cosmetic is only for those above the age of 40, it’s actually appropriate for a younger person to receive the injections in some cases. Dr. Jessica Kulak, an aging face specialist, notes that Botox is often more effective at preventing wrinkles from forming than at completely smoothing out deep set wrinkles.
The idea of using Botox to prevent wrinkles from forming is controversial. Some plastic surgeons believe that there is no way for a person to keep wrinkles from developing by starting the injections early on. A person can invest in Botox throughout their 20’s and 30’s and still get wrinkles in their 40’s and beyond, these surgeons argue.
But, other surgeons think that preventative Botox is effective. The injections work by blocking nerves signals to certain facial muscles. With continued injections, the muscles become weaker, making it less likely that wrinkles will develop. Wrinkles that do appear might be less deep than they would be otherwise.
People with completely smooth faces usually don’t have to worry about preventative Botox. A surgeon can’t guess where wrinkles will show up if a person has no evidence of aging on his or her face. The ideal time for the injections for many people is just after wrinkles start to appear. The wrinkles show up when a person speaks, squints or smiles.
It Depends on the Person
Some people have more expressive faces than others. These people might scrunch up their foreheads in surprise, laugh with their eyes or make faces as they go about their day. While expressive people share their emotions more readily, they are also more likely to develop dynamic wrinkles earlier. People who spend a lot of time outdoors squinting into the sun are also more likely to get wrinkles at a younger age. Preventative Botox can help expressive people reduce the signs of wrinkles.
The type of skin someone has can also play a role in determining whether or not preventative Botox is something to consider. People with thinner skin typically show signs of wrinkles at a younger age. Usually, people with lighter complexions have thinner skin than people with darker complexions. Thin skin can be a result of aging, or it can be based on a person’s genes.
Preventative Botox in Twins
One study conducted over a period of 13 years showed the effects that regular Botox injections can have in a person if started from a young age. The study looked at the impacts of Botox in a pair of identical twins. One twin had injections several times a year for 13 years while the other twin received the injections just twice.
The twin that received regular Botox didn’t have deep set lines on her forehead or between the eyebrows, while the untreated twin did. The treated twin also had less evident crow’s feet by the eyes when she smiled. Both twins had signs of aging in the areas of the face that weren’t treated with Botox, such as the nasolabial folds.
If you are in your 20s or 30s and are interested in learning more about Botox injections, contact Dr. Jessica Kulak today at either (301) 222-2020 in Maryland or (703) 481-0002 in Virginia.