Preventative BOTOX®: Does It Really Work?

Did you know you don’t have to wait until you’re riddled with wrinkles to enjoy the anti-aging benefits of BOTOX? Scottsdale-area patients sometimes start in their 20s or 30s. As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, I often meet with younger people who want to stop signs of aging as early as possible. BOTOX is one of the most effective treatments for doing exactly that, and it’s almost never too early to start.

In this blog post, I’ll answer a few of the questions I hear most about how preventative BOTOX works, when to start it, and the long-term benefits it has to offer.

What Is Preventative BOTOX?

Preventative BOTOX is an approach to BOTOX aimed at stopping wrinkles before they start. Rather than focusing on smoothing away existing lines, preventative BOTOX catches faint wrinkles early on and keeps them from becoming etched more deeply into the skin.

The treatment experience is the same as traditional BOTOX: a few quick injections, little to no downtime, and results that last about 3 to 4 months.

While BOTOX is the best-known anti-aging injectable, you can get the same effect with Dysport®, another neurotoxin that works in the same way. (Learn all about the differences between BOTOX and Dysport in this blog post.)

How Does Preventative BOTOX Work?

BOTOX works by relaxing the muscles that contract and create wrinkles as we form facial expressions. Some of the most common treatment areas include:

  • Horizontal forehead lines that form when you raise your eyebrows
  • Vertical “11s” between your eyebrows that appear when you frown
  • Crow’s feet that show up around the outer corners of your eyes when you squint

The more we form these expressions over time, the more deeply those wrinkles set into our skin. The theory behind preventative BOTOX is that by relaxing these areas early on, we can minimize the creasing action over time, keeping our skin looking smooth and wrinkle-free for as long as possible.

Does Preventative BOTOX Really Work?

For the right candidates, yes! And there are some studies to prove it. One study followed a set of twins, one of whom only tried BOTOX twice and one of whom used it consistently for 13 years. At the end of the study, the twin who consistently used BOTOX had much fewer and less severe wrinkles in the areas she treated. She had essentially paused the clock on that aspect of her facial aging.

It’s important to note that no procedure can stop the aging process altogether (unfortunately). Even if you faithfully stick to preventative skin treatments, you will develop some lines at some point. However, staying on top of aging can delay or prevent the need for more extensive rejuvenation procedures, such as a facelift.

Are There Any Negative Effects of Starting BOTOX Early?

The twin in that study did not experience any adverse effects for all 13 years she used BOTOX, and that is the case for most people. There are no documented negative effects of using BOTOX long-term or starting it early on.

One effect some people do notice is that over time, their muscles naturally contract less in their treated areas. The good news? This turns out to be a benefit. It means you’ll be able to wait longer between appointments as your wrinkles will stay smoothed away for longer.

Will My Wrinkles Come Back Worse If I Stop BOTOX?

Nope! That is a myth. As the twin study proves, and as I have witnessed over my years of experience as a facial plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, wrinkles do not come back with a vengeance or form more quickly if you stop BOTOX at any point.

There’s no commitment involved. You can try BOTOX for a while, take a break from it, and start back up again without negative effects on your skin. However, the more time you spend with BOTOX in place, the slower your wrinkles will develop.

What Is the Best Age to Start Preventative BOTOX?

Most people start in their 20s or 30s when they first begin to notice subtle lines forming. On the younger end, it’s best to wait until your facial features have finished developing, which is typically around age 18.

Here’s a test you can try to see if you’re ready: Raise your eyebrows, squint, and frown in the mirror. Notice where you see wrinkles on your forehead, between your eyebrows, and around your eyes. Now, relax your face and make a neutral expression. Are any wrinkles still there? Can you see faint lines even when your face is at rest? If so, you’re likely ready to get started with some preventative BOTOX.

How Much Does Preventative BOTOX Cost?

Preventative BOTOX costs the same as traditional BOTOX. The product is priced per unit, and you may need anywhere from 2 to 30 units per treatment area. Preventative treatments usually require fewer units, as wrinkles are not yet stubborn.

Are There Other Preventative Skincare Treatments I Should Know About?

Skin treatments such as chemical peels, dermal infusion, and custom masks are an excellent way to keep your skin as fresh and healthy as possible for as long as possible. And, of course, there’s the most important prevention tip of all time: Wear plenty of sunscreen!

Your Next Steps

Curious about preventative BOTOX, dermal fillers, or other anti-aging treatments available in Scottsdale, AZ? Contact me online or give me a call at (480) 418-6415. My facial plastic surgery practice welcomes folks from Phoenix and all across Arizona. I look forward to hearing from you!

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