When you think of Botox injections, you probably think of it as something you do when you get older and start getting wrinkles on your forehead or between your eyebrows. Yet, many people in their 20s and 30s are getting the injections as a preventative measure.
Why Preventative Botox?
“Many of my patients want to do little things to stay ahead of the curve,” said Christine DiEdwardo, M.D., a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who sees patients at Lahey’s full service laser and cosmetic center in Lexington, Mass. “In addition to taking care of their bodies by eating healthy and exercising, they’re doing minimally invasive things in advance before they have skin damage or wrinkles.”
She said the people she sees also have skin care regimens and wear sunscreen to stay in front of brown spots and sun damage. They get Botox to prevent deeper lines that happen over time, rather than waiting until they’re harder to treat. Along with Botox, patients are often interested in undergoing other non- or minimally invasive procedures such as filler injection to improve facial contours and reduce folds, laser procedures or intense pulsed light to improve the skin changes we see with aging and sun damage, or they may want to tighten the soft tissues of the face with Ultherapy.”
“Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are less costly than surgery and keep people looking fresh and natural,” Dr. DiEdwardo said. “The people I see aren’t trying to look 20 years younger. They just want to look healthy.”
How Does Botox Work?
Botox injections relax the muscles of the forehead. When you’re excited and raising your eyebrows, the muscle between the eyebrows and forehead pulls. That creates dynamic lines, those lines that crinkle up when you move those muscles. The repetitive motion creates static lines, so even when you relax your face, you can still see the faint outline.
“The static lines are actually made by injury to the collagen and skin,” Dr. DiEdwardo said. “It takes a while to reverse those lines. Botox is used to lessen them.”
When you start getting injections is up to you, and a consultation may help you decide whether you want to start in your 20s or wait until your 30s. At first, you may need to have injections every four or five months. But over time, it lasts longer. As a preventive measure, you may only need to have injections once or twice a year.
Use Caution with Botox
Botox injections are relatively safe, minimally invasive procedures. But that doesn’t mean you should get it done just anywhere. Dr. DiEdwardo suggests anyone getting injections take safety precautions beforehand.
- Get a consultation. During a consultation, you can ensure you and the person doing the injections are seeking the same result. Too much Botox can relax the forehead muscle so much it doesn’t move, leaving you with an unnatural look.
- Check credentials. At The Lahey Lexington Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, you see a board-certified physician and medically trained nurses and aestheticians. You can expect a higher quality of care going to a full-service center with highly trained providers.
- Know the product origin. Make sure your center logs the lot numbers and where the product came from. Botox parties or spas may not be as diligent about tracking the product. Having the product documented in your record ensures you’re notified in the event of a recall or problem.
- Look for full-service centers. You may be considering other procedures like fillers or skin care along with Botox. If so, visit a full-service cosmetic center. There, you’ll be able to talk about all your options, hear pricing, learn pros and cons and have a one-stop shop for everything you need.
Carefully evaluating and questioning the provider you’re considering for preventative Botox will help you get the best result. “There’s an art to injecting,” Dr. DiEdwardo said. “A small amount of product in the right place gives a look of natural aging. No one would ever know.” It’s a simple procedure, but it requires a careful application.
To see if Botox or other anti-aging procedures are right for you, speak with a Lahey Health physician.