When it comes to wrinkle-reducing treatments, perhaps none is quite so well-known as Botox. This wrinkle reducer was one of the very first on the market to treat the skin’s most obvious signs of aging -- facial wrinkles. But how young is too young to begin trying this cosmetic treatment out? We discuss federal regulations and health concerns below.
Botox is an injectable prescription medicine that blocks nerve impulses to certain muscles in order to “relax” them. When Botox is injected into a fine line or wrinkle, it treats the area, smoothing out the skin, until another injection is needed -- typically within three to five months.
The most common places for Botox are lines on the forehead, wrinkles around the mouth and nose, and “crow’s feet,” or tiny wrinkles around the corners of the eyes. As we age, the muscles we use to make facial expressions (like smiling or frowning) contract and tug on the surrounding skin. Over time, this creates facial folds, also known as wrinkles.
Botox injections use a special solution, with a purified protein active ingredient derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. Blocking these nerve impulses with the protein keeps wrinkles at bay since muscle contraction is no longer possible.
At this point, Botox has become a household name. Once reserved for the rich and famous, dermal fillers and injectables have become accessible to everyday people in recent years. Women and men alike are opting to try Botox as a trusted and time-tested wrinkle-reducing treatment.
While Botox is cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the regulations surrounding age don’t always align with the dermatology offices administering the Botox injections. The FDA recommends against the use of Botox in anyone under the age of 18. However, most reputable dermatology specialists will typically not administer Botox to anyone under the age of 25.
As long as Botox injections are administered by a credible doctor, they remain relatively safe. The majority of people who receive Botox treatments are satisfied with their results, hence the product’s popularity. However, there are some side effects and extremely rare but potential complications that keep most doctors from administering Botox to younger patients.
Associated side effects of Botox injections can include pain, bruising, swelling, headache, drooping eyelids, dryness or excess moisture in the eyes, crooked smiles, or drooling. Because Botox is technically a toxin, it can spread from the injection site into the rest of the body. While this is quite rare, it’s possible. Side effects of this toxin spread would manifest as issues with vision, trouble speaking, muscle weakness, inability to swallow, breathing problems, and loss of control of the bladder.
Vanguard Dermatology, a reputable group of specialists in the Greater New York City area, offers Botox injections for patients 25 and over administered in-office. If you’re interested in learning more about this wrinkle-reducing treatment, reach out for a consultation, and we can discuss all the benefits and risks based on your specific situation.