Ask a doctor

Botox As a Preventive Measure - Antiaging

I'm young and am very concerned about aging. I've read that Botox can be used as a preventive measure, but couldn't find a lot of information about it. Can botox really prevent wrinkles? If it can, when is a good time to start? Would I need as much of it as someone who has already developed wrinkles? I want to prevent aging as much as I can (I'm already using sunscreen) but I dont want to be throwing away thousands of dollars by starting too early.

Doctor Answers (18)

Botox for prevention of wrinkles

+3

Greetings~

Botox is being used more and more frequently by people trying to do preventative treatments.  Waiting until lines become etched into the skin means it's much more difficult to smooth their appearance again.  Botox is used for lines and wrinkles that are formed by muscle movement such as scowling (creates lines between brows), raising the eyebrows (creates horizontal lines) and squinting (contributes to crows feet).  Often by starting Botox preventatively, people, and their muscles, can actually learn to not make certain faces and expressions and contribute to worsening their lines.  By not making certain expressions in the future, or making them less often, you may actually need less Botox or need it less often.  Above all, don't spend too much time worrying about these things---it causes wrinkles.

Good luck~

Dr. Grant Stevens


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Botox should NOT be used for prevention.

+2

To gg96,

I get upset when Botox is promoted to someone like you. Of course I don't know you, but my advice would be: Forget Botox, don't look in the mirror too much, and enjoy your youth.

When you actually get lines or wrinkles that bother you, then Botox is a good thing.

 

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Yes, it is best to start Botox before you have bad wrinkles.

+2

gg96,

It is best to start Botox before the wrinkles develop. The reasoning is that continued stress leads to dermal atrophy and breakdown of the structural integrity of the dermis (wrinkles). If you start Botox early, then you are decreasing the stress on the skin and, thus, helping to prevent wrinkles.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

You might also like...

When to start Botox

+2

Botox is being used as a preventative treatment for wrinkles. The question of when to start is more complicated. It depends really a bit on your facial structure and your predisposition for wrinkling. Many of my patients wait for the first signs of wrinkles to occur before treatment. The skin typically has enough elasticity that waiting until identification of problem areas will not prevent complete correction.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Botox can certainly be considered preventative

+1
Facial wrinkles can be static (always present) or dynamic (only present during certain expressions).  Most wrinkles start out as dynamic and over time become static.  This process can be accelerated by sun exposure, smoking, or genetics.  Once wrinkles become static, it is impossible to make them invisible with Botox.  If you treat the wrinkles in the dynamic phase and prevent the creases from forming repeatedly, you can theoretically prevent or delay those permanent creases from forming.  More and more patients are starting Botox in their twenties to prevent early formation of facial creases.  This is especially true if you live in a sunny area where constant squinting and sun exposure can accelerate the formation of static wrinkles. Cost considerations aside, it is perfectly reasonable to employ Botox as a "preventative" measure. 

Anh-Tuan Truong, MD, FACS
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Anti-aging with Botox - When should I start using Botox?

+1

Botox only works on wrinkles that are due to regular use of facial muscles. Also, you need to be able to stop those muscles from moving safely (so you can't use it for every wrinkle on your face). 

Your face is supposed to wrinkle when you talk or make expressions. When you start to notice those wrinkles even when you are not making expressions, it's time to consider if Botox may be right for you. 

Most women do not "need" Botox until they are in their 30s or 40s, but younger patients sometimes use it to treat signs of premature aging from sun exposure, tobacco or drug abuse, or bad genes. Do not waste your money until the wrinkles are there. Also, consider other treatments like retinoid creams and good nutrition, hydration, and skin care to delay the need.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Botox As a Preventive Measure - Antiaging

+1

More and more young people are turning to Botox as a preventative agent for wrinkles.  Botox is good for treating dynamic wrinkles but once the skin has in-depth wrinkles it is hard to completely treat them.  When early Botox treatment and skin care is performed the lasting effect is a more youthful ,softer appearing face.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Botox works wonderful as a prevention for wrinkles

+1

Botox works by by blocking a chemical reaction that occurs in muscle that allows the muscle to contract.  Therefore, when Botox is injected into a muscle the muscle cannot contract.  If a muscle contraction causes a wrinkle and the muscle is no longer contracting, the wrinkle goes away , or the wrinkle does not form.  If the muscle continues to be paralyzed, it will atrophy from disuse, like a stroke victim.  An atrophied muscle will not contract normally, future wrinkles may be avoided.  So, preventing wrinkles can be successful with Botox, but you will need to maintain the Botox over a long period of time and make sure your injections are made BEFORE it totally wears off.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Botox As a Preventive Measure

+1

Botox may be helpful to combat dynamic wrinkles before they get worse, and it would take fewer units for correction then if the wrinkles got worse.  However, don't jump too quickly.  Botox should not be used to prevent wrinkles from forming.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Botox and aging - study done

+1

There have been twin studies where botox was used in one identical twin for a number of years and then stopped whereas the other twin did not get botox. Photos several year later showed the twin who had botox for some time looked younger than the "non-botoxed" twin. It works well. You probably need a lower dose and could spread them up to six months apart. Early botox has several advantages:

1. The muscles that you paralyze grow weak over time and don't work as well. This happens over years

2. Muscle memory from the body results in you not using those muscles to create wrinkles so much over time

3. The wrinkles never develop in the first place. 

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Washington DC Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.