Botox® has become an extremely popular procedure since its FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2002. Millions of women and men take advantage of this wrinkle reduction agent; even more so since its approval for treatment of crow’s feet as well as frown lines.
Most of my Botox® patients are in their 40s and 50s – the time when we become concerned about signs of aging. But there is increasing evidence of the benefits before and beyond that time frame.
The preventive 20s and 30s
If you look at where the skin of a young adult crinkles and folds during speech, laughter, and other facial animations, you can easily predict where wrinkles will form later in life. Botox® works by interrupting signals from nerves that tell facial muscles to contract. It is those repeated contractions that crease skin. An early treatment program prevents many wrinkles from ever forming. Because Botox® re-trains muscles to relax, dosage requirements generally decline over time. Certainly though, most people just watch themselves carefully, and seek treatment at the first time that the lines form. Botox is very effective at the early formation of lines, and in this way, one can save much money over years by not doing Botox when it is not yet needed.
The age of maintenance – 60s and beyond
Botox® is labeled for use in patients under the age of 65, but not because it is dangerous to those who are older. It simply may be less effective as the process of aging weakens neural junctions. I evaluate this on a case by case basis. I won’t recommend Botox® to patients in their 60s or older if I don’t think they’ll get reasonable results. But for patients with good facial muscle tone and overall health, I find that Botox® treatment continues to provide excellent wrinkle correction in areas related to repeated muscle contraction.
Aesthetics is a science, yes, but it is also an art. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for rejuvenation and the needs of every patient change over time. It is important to find an experienced, Board certified dermatologist who will design a customized transformation program just for you.