It might seem strange to start worrying about wrinkles before they begin, let alone Botox injections. Botox is only for people who already have wrinkles, right? Not necessarily. Preventative Botox can help slow the development of wrinkles even before they appear.
An Introduction to Aging & Wrinkles
Wrinkles are caused by repeated folding of the skin. Facial expressions, such as smiling, frowning or raising your eyebrows, all result in wrinkles. These can be horizontal lines in the forehead, crows’ feet, creases in the neck or wrinkles around the mouth. Patterns observed at a younger age can predict how wrinkles will appear many years later.
Certain behaviors, such as smoking and excessive exposure to the sun, can cause wrinkles to develop earlier than normal. Patients who engage in these behaviors or who fail to care properly for their skin may be especially appropriate candidates for preventative Botox.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is a type of neurotoxic protein that is injected into muscles using a fine needle. The active ingredient in Botox and similar products blocks nerve signals that cause muscles to contract. This smooths wrinkles and improves appearance. It is a less costly, less time-consuming procedure than surgical interventions. Results are typically seen almost immediately and last for several months.
While patients seeking Botox treatment are typically approaching middle age or older, some research suggests younger patients can benefit. One 2006 study published in Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery investigated the long-term effects of Botox when treatment was initiated at an early age. The study looked at two 38-year-old twins, one who had received Botox for 13 years and one who had never received Botox.
Results were positive for the twin receiving Botox and there were no adverse effects.
- Forehead wrinkles were less apparent.
- Brow lines were less apparent.
- Crow’s feet were less apparent.
While the decision to use Botox is personal, younger patients without wrinkles can receive preventative Botox and reap the benefits of youthful-looking skin years later.