What is Preventive BOTOX® and Is it Worth it?
For years, we’ve known that BOTOX® is one of the best ways to treat dynamic wrinkles—the deep creases that form around our eyes and mouth when we smile, laugh, or frown. Unfortunately, the signs of aging aren’t limited to dynamic lines; over time, we also inevitably develop static wrinkles, which are visible even when the face is at rest. These etched-in lines form because repeated stretching and flexing eventually wears permanent creases in our facial skin. Older skin, which lacks adequate levels of collagen and elastin, can’t “bounce back” effectively from normal daily use.
Once static wrinkles develop, they can be challenging to treat. Many people need to use a combination of dermal fillers, skin resurfacing, and other surgical or non-surgical procedures to restore their skin’s youthful smoothness. To prevent the need for more invasive treatments, some cosmetic surgeons have started to recommend the use of a neuromodulator such as BOTOX®™, Dysport®™ or Xeomin®™ to stop (or at least delay) the development of static wrinkles.
How Preventative BOTOX® Works
Logically, the best way to prevent static wrinkles is to reduce the amount of stretching and creasing our facial skin has to endure. Though it’s not practically possible to stop all facial movements, experts have found a realistic compromise: They believe that freezing small groups of muscles in key problem areas—like the orbital region and forehead—can dramatically cut down the number of static wrinkles a person develops.
As a neuromodulator, BOTOX® is ideally suited to this purpose; when BOTOX® is injected into specific facial muscles, it blocks the nerve signals that would otherwise tell them to move. As a result, the muscles stay relaxed for several months after treatment. When BOTOX® is injected by a qualified injector (like a board-certified plastic surgeon), only the small muscles that pinch the skin are affected by treatment, not the large muscles that allow us to smile or frown. This approach minimizes wrinkles without creating an unnaturally “frozen” look.
Before you rush out and book a BOTOX® consultation, it’s important to know that timing is everything when you’re trying to prevent static wrinkles. Preventative BOTOX® works best if you begin treatment when your skin’s collagen levels are just starting to decline. For most people, this means beginning regular BOTOX® injections around age 30; however, if you smoke or spend a lot of time out in the sun, you may want to start as early as age 25. By the time you start to see visible wrinkles (typically by age 35 or 40), a lot of the damage that goes into creating static lines has already been done.
Committing to preventative BOTOX® also means understanding the temporary nature of neuromodulators. BOTOX® injections eventually wear off, so to keep your facial muscles relaxed, you’ll need to have “top up” treatments at least 3-4 times a year. BOTOX® appointments usually only take 15-20 minutes, but it’s important to be aware of this requirement before you get started.
If you’re comfortable with the way preventative BOTOX® works, there’s no reason not to try it. BOTOX® has been proven safe for long-term use, and should you choose to stop treatment for any reason, your face will return to its original state after a few months.
When you feel ready to discover the benefits of BOTOX®, contact Faces PLLC to arrange a personal consultation. Our experts will be happy to help you develop personalized anti-aging strategies.