What Is Preventive Botox?

Written by Dr. Sean Maguire on March 23, 2016

Botox is one of the most effective wrinkle-reducing treatments plastic surgeons have in their arsenal — but is it being deployed too soon? Dr. Sean Maguire of Physician’s Center for Beauty has been asked whether Botox can be used preemptively to stop lines before they appear. The answer is not black-and-white; in fact, experts disagree on the validity of this tactic. Here, Dr. Maguire explains the issue in more depth and offers some guidance.  

Understanding How Botox Works

Botox is designed for dynamic wrinkles that are formed by repeated facial muscle movement — for example, frowning, squinting and furrowing the brows. These wrinkles usually surface in a person’s 40s or 50s. The injectable essentially paralyzes the facial muscles, stops the muscle contractions and smoothes the overlying wrinkle. The effects last temporarily; after a few months the muscle starts to contract normally and the wrinkles re-appear. Repeat treatment is required to maintain the results.

The concept of preventive Botox suggests that injecting the product into a person’s forehead or between their eyebrows when they are young and wrinkle-free can actually prevent wrinkles from cropping up entirely. If the muscles are continually paralyzed from regular Botox treatment, they atrophy from lack of use. Atrophied muscles do not contract normally, which means future wrinkles can be avoided.

Data from professional organizations indicates that preventive Botox has already gained traction among a population that doesn’t necessarily need it. For example, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that 12 percent of Botox patients in 2015 were between the ages of 19 and 34.

Expert Opinions Vary

Experts disagree about whether preventive Botox is a good idea. Some advocate a proactive approach, insisting that a “stitch in time saves nine.” Others find premature Botox requests silly, and argue that the face is supposed to wrinkle when making certain expressions; it is only if these wrinkles persist when the face is in a resting stage that they should be corrected with Botox.

It is hard for Dr. Maguire and our team to recommend Botox without knowing the individual and his or her specific needs.

In general, starting Botox treatment at the first sign of visible dynamic wrinkles can be advantageous. It may lower the frequency and dosage of the injectable if it is used at the onset of evidence. Postponing treatment until wrinkles and lines have become prominent makes it more difficult (although not impossible) to achieve and maintain a smooth look.

Schedule a Personal Consultation

If you would like to discuss your wrinkle concerns and treatment options (which include Botox, fillers and lasers), please contact Physician’s Center for Beauty. Call (502) 897-7546 or email us today.

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