What is Preventative Botox?

Years ago, the only patients that inquired about Botox were women (and a few men) in their late thirties and forties who wanted to smooth out those forehead wrinkles and noticeable laugh lines. The procedure carried a stigma of vain, frozen-faced women attempting to reverse the inevitable signs of middle-age. But those days are gone. Now, plastic surgery and dermatology practices across the nation are seeing an increase in women and men in their 20s requesting Botox—not to erase existing deep wrinkles but to prevent those wrinkles from forming in the first place.

How does that work?

Botox is a neuromodulator that reduces wrinkles by blocking signals from the nerve to the muscle, paralyzing the muscles around the injection site. When you smile or frown, those expression lines eventually start to stick around. The idea behind preventative Botox is that if small doses of the neuromodulator are injected into facial muscles, causing the muscles to move less, you won’t develop frown lines and laugh lines in the first place.

What exactly is a small dose?

One of the main differences between preventative Botox and a typical Botox treatment is amount of Botox—measured in units—used to treat the problem spots. In any Botox treatment, the number of units needed varies depending on the severity of the wrinkles and other factors specific to the patient’s skin type. But preventative Botox can require as few as 10 units to smooth forehead lines. Many doctors consider 10 units to be a good minimum, because any fewer than that and you might not notice results.

If I’m interested in preventative Botox, at what age should I start?

There’s no exact age we recommend patients get preventative Botox. Usually, around your mid or late twenties, you’ll notice faint expression lines even when your face is completely relaxed, and that’s typically a good time to start small doses of Botox. Often, expression lines are hereditary, so patients that are predisposed to develop them in certain areas might choose to start treatment sooner. Lifestyle factors like smoking, stress, and living at a high altitude can also cause you to develop expression lines.

Neuromodulator injections are still more costly than topically-applied products, but some patients view preventative Botox as an investment that will reduce the cost and time needed for more drastic anti-aging procedures down the road.

How long will my results last?

You should start to see results of your preventative Botox treatment within a few days, and those results should last up to four or five months. To achieve a natural look, we don’t recommend coming in for a second treatment any sooner than three months.

Is preventative Botox right for me?

While the stigma around Botox is quickly disappearing, it is still an injected procedure, so you should consult an experienced practitioner like our doctors at Coastal Dermatology to figure out if you would benefit from a small dosage of Botox. Contact us today!