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How Young is Too Young for Botox?

Botox is the most popular nonsurgical, cosmetic treatment for smoothing lines and wrinkles. It provides unparalleled results, and rarely causes side effects when in the hands of an aesthetically skilled and trained dermatologist like Dr. M. David Cole, MD. But, when injected by untrained and unskilled providers who do not understand facial anatomy or have an artistic eye, things can very go wrong.

Botox contains a neurotoxin that relaxes the muscles that create dynamic wrinkles, softening and smoothing the wrinkles. Botox injections treat dynamic wrinkles, the wrinkles that develop from repeated facial expression, such as frown lines on the forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes, glabellar wrinkles between the eyebrows, vertical lip lines from smoking, and smile lines. If left untreated, these wrinkles and lines become etched in the skin and make treatment less than successful.

So what is the right age to start Botox treatments? It depends. People age at different rates, depending on their skin type and their skin care regiment. Young skin usually bounces back from repeated facial expressions, but as we age the collagen that makes the skin elastic begins to slowly deteriorate.

Our best advice is to become aware of your facial expressions and when you begin to see the Angry 11s, the lines between your eyebrows caused by a furrowed brow, and those lines do not go away when you are relaxed, it may be time to consider Botox. Generally, this will happen between the late 20’s and early 30’s. But, people with sun damaged skin or smokers may desire treatment earlier.

Will Botox injections prevent or discourage the development of these dynamic wrinkles? Preventive Botox may be appropriate for people with fair skin who grow up in sunny environments. Others who might benefit would be people who exaggerate their expressions.

Does that mean that freezing these muscles will limit facial expressions? NO. The key to success is the placement of the product and the amount used. Dr. M. David Cole, MD targets just the muscles that cause the frown or wrinkles, without restricting eyebrow or other facial movements.

However, there is one facial expression which may be affected, angry 11s or angry eyebrows that make people look angry when they are not! The good news is that a 2014 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research reported that angry facial expressions play a role in mood disorders, and treatment with a neurotoxin can induce significant and sustained antidepressant effects in patients with depression. A 2015 study published in Dermatological Surgery found that Botox-treated patients experienced significant improvements in perceived appearance, attractiveness, tiredness, age and satisfaction. Another 2015 study reported that aesthetic procedures result in patients projecting a better first impression and experience better mood, and self-esteem. Who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves?

Dr. M. David Cole, MD understands that cosmetic procedures accomplish more than just treating wrinkles. They affect the mind and mood.

If people constantly ask you “What’s wrong?” or “Are you angry or upset?” it may be time to consult Dr. M. David Cole, MD. Furrowed eyebrows convey anger, worry, displeasure and other angry emotions. Studies show that when people are forced to furrow their brows they generate more negative emotions and sadness, and feel less joy. So deep forehead and glabellar lines affect not only those you perceive you but also how you perceive yourself.

Another area that conveys unhappiness is drooping mouth corners. Application of Botox in to the muscles that pull down the corners of the mouth can produce a more relaxed demeanor, elevate the corners, and reduce that scowl.

Finally, will repeated injections over time, before the effects wear off, cause the muscles that create your lines and grooves to become weaker and atrophy? Yes. When the muscles weaken due to repeated Botox use, they have less of an effect in generating dynamic wrinkles. We do know that early treatment of these lines and grooves can prevent them from becoming carved in the skin.

Do repeated injections every 3-4 months result in longer lasting results, and smaller amounts of Botox needed to maintain the effects? Yes.

For patients in Newport beach, Mission Viejo, Torrance and Buena Park, California; to learn about your options, schedule a consultation with Dr. M. David Cole, MD. You deserve to look as good as you feel.