Ever since the FDA approved the cosmetic use of Botox to treat wrinkling in the glabella region (between the eyebrows, the 11’s, or those annoying creases that are responsible for some of us having Resting B*tch Face!), the war on wrinkles has skyrocketed. Last year over 7 million people in the US received cosmetic Botox treatments. And this isn’t your mother’s Botox anymore either: women (and men) are beginning treatments earlier and earlier in a “prejuvenation” attempt to stop the aging process before wrinkles appear. Is this safe? Yes. Is it necessary? Not entirely. While I have seen women in their mid-twenties with facial aging worse than women twice their age, in general you don’t need to start that young. The average woman who displays signs of aging and can get a significant benefit from Botox is usually in her mid to late thirties.
Since 2002, we have come a long way with treatment areas as well. Once considered “off-label”, the creases at the corners of the eyes, or crow’s feet, have also been approved for treatment. However plastic surgeons, dermatologists and others have been using this therapy to treat a wide variety of concerns including:
Nasal tip drooping
Square facial shape/jawline
But wait, there’s more! Botox can also be used to treat hyperhidrosis (excess sweat) of the armpits, hands and feet. Non-cosmetic uses include treatment for migraines, dysfunctional bladder, strabismus (cross-eyed), and muscle spasms in a variety of locations throughout the body. The list goes on and on.
Personally, I love how easily Botox can take a tired face and make it look more refreshed. Sometimes there is no amount of extra sleep on the weekends that can compensate for a lifetime of sun exposure and excessive facial animation! And about facial animation—frozen faces are SO 2000’s! Botox today achieves that refreshed look without completely taking away one’s ability to show expression. If you are considering it, be sure to have an evaluation by your friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon or dermatologist. They are your best choice for assessing your entire face and neck, and tailoring a treatment plan that aligns with your goals.