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What is Preventive Botox and Do You Need It?

As adolescents and young adults, we tend to get a little vain and spend hours in front of the mirror, checking and re-checking our outer appearances. The first signs of a wrinkle or droopiness and our thoughts may wander to Botox, a miraculous, zero-downtime injection that many stars love and hate in equal measures. If you have ever contemplated this kind of ‘preventive Botox’, then this article is just for you.

What is Preventive Botox?

Preventative Botox is said to counter and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and it is usually injected during the early stages when these lines or wrinkles are forming. Many cosmetologists recommend this preemptive solution for stopping ageing in it’s tracks. Because wrinkles and lines are permanent, few doctors advice getting work done early on in one’s life, so as to prevent them entirely by keeping up the Botox treatments on a regular basis.

So then it comes doctor recommended? Not exactly. Some doctors say that Botox injections are meant to be used after wrinkles appear and not prior to it. If one does start the treatment even before the lines have formed, then the botulinum toxin in Botox can make the skin and muscles atropic or thin, hence making it look prematurely aged. Take the forehead area, for instance. Using Botox prematurely can flatten the forehead muscles and can make veins protrude while giving rise to more wrinkles.

Studies and observations over time show that while studying the effects on the forehead and around the eyes, it was noticed that the area will once again weaken should you stop with the Botox. If the muscles gain back movement post-wearing off of treatment, then the wrinkles will start appearing as we start animating our faces with every expression. So if any kind of Botox treatment (preventive or otherwise) is stopped, the wrinkles are bound to return with a vengeance.

To do or not to do?

This really does not help that the doctors are divided in their opinions. But it seems that one single medical opinion, for now, will be elusive. This is because all evidences about it’s efficiency and efficacy is all circumstantial. There is also this little imitation that preventive Botox is not entirely FDA approved. Botox which is FDA approved is administered only to treat existing wrinkles to only the forehead, frown line and crow’s feet regions on the face. And believe it or not, this kind of limited approval took about 15 years.

Even without any empirical evidence, people’s interest in preventive Botox is growing by leaps and bounds. The latest data collated by the American Society of Plastic Surgeon proves this; since 2010, there has been a 28% increase in Botox procedures among the age group of 20-29 years. More places are popping up which cater specially to these youngsters seeking to do ‘micro-treatments’ and look very different from the sterile and stark office spaces of plastic surgeons and cosmetologists. They see it as being ‘proactive’ in their skincare routine and getting an early lead. But like regular Botox, preventive Botox is quite costly, with each sitting costing (averaging around $385 and more across the country). Starting early will also mean that you will be spending a lot more than you would have if you had started Botox treatment much later in life. For the majority of the ‘Insta-generation’, this cost is an acceptable investment.

Not without the risks

Under normal circumstances, risks arising from Botox injections are very few. The common side effects may include mild headaches, soreness, bruising, and prolonged numbness. But, it is a medical procedure, which requires specialization and trained doctors, so the risk can never be completely written off. Things can go awry and people may have to deal with droopy eyebrows or eyelids, uneven lips, dry mouth and even dry eyes. With little to no evidence of delaying the development or ‘treating’ signs of ageing, preventive Botox may seem to many as a sham. To keep maintaining a wrinkle-free appearance, you need to keep injecting yourself and keep this up for 50-60 more years? Some would not want that kind of a commitment.

Just like is the case with cosmetic treatments and procedures, fro m hair removal or hair coloring, it remains to be a personal choice. A personal choice to commit a lot of time and expense is totally up to the person. While some might jump at the opportunity, others might just choose to stick to a regular skin care regime. The choice is yours, after all.

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