For our readers this article was recently published and my comments are in blue text where appropriate.

Botox Babies: Why Are So Many Young Women Going Under The Needle?

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Thinking about going under the needle?  So are millions of young women who are desperate to ward off the signs of aging before they even start! But is this safe? We wondered. Botox is generally viewed as a procedure used by the 30+ demographic in order to freeze aging in its tracks. However, it turns out women in their twenties make up 30% of Botox fans. Even crazier, the number of teenagers springing for Botox has risen 800% in the past three years alone!

These young women, known as “Botox Babies” may think they found the secret to a flawless complexion and eternal youth, but they may not realize exactly how this prickly procedure will affect their barely-aging skin. We sat down with Dual-Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. James C. Marotta to discuss the rising trend of “Botox Babies” to get advice for any young women considering the procedure.

– Botox babies.  When did this phenomena start?
Our society has always been concerned with retaining their youth, but in recent years, an increasing number of young women have been turning to Botox injections. These young women are coined “Botox Babies” because they are trying to treat signs of aging that haven’t appeared yet. However, it seems they are increasingly going under the needle for the same reason they use sunscreen – to minimize damage and aging while it’s still manageable.

– Is it healthy to engage in preventative skincare treatments before the aging process starts to show, or is this too preemptive an approach?
Many argue that starting Botox injections early is a great way to help prevent wrinkles from forming. The older you get, Botox will mainly be treating wrinkles that already exist, but the younger you are, the more you’re preventing wrinkles from occurring. However, some argue that Botox (which relaxes the underlying muscle layer) does not treat the true cause of wrinkles that come with age, thus preventative Botox is not necessary.  BOTOX, Dysport & Xeomin treat dynamic wrinkles caused by excessive muscle contractions.  Most other wrinkles are caused by; unprotected sun exposure, smoking, drinking, exposure to harsh environmental conditions, lack of proper hydration & genes.

– What’s the right age to start getting Botox?  Why?
Believe it or not, if one wants to prevent wrinkles and deep lines, rather than trying to erase them when they appear, mid to late twenties is a good time to start Botox treatments.  Not only will starting Botox in your twenties help to prevent wrinkles, but it also means you will be doing treatments much less frequently than others in the future.    We fully agree and see far less wrinkles from patients who began BOTOX in their 20’s who are now in their 30’s.       

– Are there any adverse affects to starting the process early?
As long as the treatments are done in moderation and only as a preventative method, there are no adverse affects.   While rare BOTOX, Dysport & Xeomin can have adverse effects.  Click link to view all possible complications http://www.allergan.com/assets/pdf/botox_pi.pdf.  Since 2005 and having performed countless BOTOX and like treatments we have never had a single incidence of a serious complication.

– Is Botox the best option in terms of fillers?  Are there any other alternatives?
The best option is subjective based on the individual.  Botox, Restalyne, and Juvederm are probably the three most popular fillers.  Some doctors will choose to use two in conjunction to produce optimal results, while certain patients will be better suited for only one of these products.  Even Doctors can be misquoted…  BOTOX, Xeomin & Dysport are not fillers and do nothing to “fill in” lines and wrinkles.  They simply relax the muscles that cause “dynamic” wrinkles.   Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse & Belotero are products we use to “fill in” areas that have lost volume over time and BOTOX & Fillers are quite often combined to achieve the best results.

– What celebs do women want to model their skin after most often?
Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Lopez.  Those are the most popular celeb requests.   We often hear from patients that they want a “natural” look and not a frozen look some models & actors.  Injecting BOTOX & Fillers is a medical art form.  Knowing which muscles to inject more vs. less units into allows us to tailor the look patients want.   Some patients do want a frozen look and that’s ok as well.  With fillers it’s much the same.  Some want lips like Angelina while most just want to fill in areas of the lips (or other parts of their face) that have lost volume with time and age.

– How long does Botox last? Any long-term risks?
Botox normally lasts up to 3 to 6 months. Other factors young women need to take into consideration before receiving Botox injections are the potential health risks and cost of maintenance. All procedures come with some risk; so all candidates need to be well aware of potential side effects. Additionally, young women need to consider the cost of maintenance. The earlier you start injections, the more money you will spend throughout the years on maintenance – so they need to be sure that is a cost they can afford.   All the FDA studies on all three products show corrections lasting 3-4 months.  Past 4 months none had more than a 35% or so improvement.  In other words you begin with a 100% improvement and drop each month until the improvement fades away.  This is why over 90% of all patients receive BOTOX, Dysport & Xeomin 3-4 times per year.

– Any additional recommendations?
Preventative skincare is the most important, so if you are below the age of 25 the best thing to do for your skin is to apply high SPF sunblock daily, drink plenty of water, moisturize, use topical retinoids, antioxidants, alpha-hydroxy acids, have occasional chemical peels or microdermabrasion’s and eat a healthy diet.  Otherwise, starting Botox sooner but in moderation is the best solution to preventing the formation of deep-set lines and wrinkles.
Thanks Dr. Marotta!    Your skin is the largest and most sensitive organ in your body.  Preventive skin care begins with having a monthly HydraFacial M.D. treatment to remove encrusted old makeup, blackheads, unclog pores, exfoliate the top layer of skin & super hydrate deep into the dermis Hyaluronic Acid.  EVERY patient should begin their monthly skin health regiment with HydraFacial M.D. treatments.  Then add in everything else Dr. Marotta suggests as they are all important in preventing premature aging.