What is a good age to start using Botox & what are its long term side effects?

I'm a 20 yr old African American woman with very dark skin. Throughout my life people tell me that I look older. I'd like to start using preventative Botox in order for me to stay and look younger. Does age matter? What are the long term side effects.

Doctor Answers 19

Preventative Botox

In my clinic, we frequently use Botox preventatively in our younger patient population. Its perfectly safe and anyone over 18 can have Botox injections. There are no long term side effects. Botox is one of the safest medications known. Since we are next to UCLA, we have students come in every once in a while who are concerned about getting their parents' wrinkles. Botox works very well to prevent expressive lines (lines in the forehead, between the brows and crow's feet that are only there when you make facial expressions) from etching in to the skin and becoming static lines that are always there. The good news about starting young is that you need much less Botox - I usually use half doses or less - to do the trick. My goal is to always have patients look natural and maintain normal facial movement, so no one can ever tell that you have had injections.By the way, if you are a surfer, make sure that you are using really good sunscreen. Sun damage is the number one culprit in making skin look older.

BOTOX for Prevention

It's not unheard of for patients in their 20s to use BOTOX as a preventive treatment, but it's not quite the norm yet. BOTOX is extremely well-understood and thoroughly tested, and it's perfectly safe to use in the long term. Because you're a younger patient, it's best to use the product with a specific wrinkle in mind. For example, if you're prone to furrowing your brow, you can use the product now to help prevent the development of brow lines. It's best to see a qualified injector, such as a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, for an in-depth discussion about how the product can benefit you.

Mark E. Freeman, MD
Idaho Falls Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

When to start Botox?

Botox can be used whenever you're bothered by the wrinkles that have formed.  However, I think it makes more sense to see an experienced, board-certified physician for a consultation.  It may be that you're a better candidate for some skin care or a filler injection instead of a Botox treatment to get the result you're looking for.  Just my two cents.  Good luck!

Chaneve Jeanniton, MD
Brooklyn Oculoplastic Surgeon

Botox as a Preventative

Thank you for your question. There is not a specific age to start with Botox treatments. Botox can be a great preventative method.

Leonard Lu, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

What is a good age to start using Botox & what are its long term side effects?

Hello, and thank you for the question. There is no specific age to start treatment with Botox as a preventative measure, as each patient has his or her specific individual needs. In general, Botox may be used as a preventative treatment if there are hints of lines or wrinkles visible. For example, if an individual frequently frowns, the Botox can decrease the frowning, thus decreasing the lines that may appear in the future. I would never perform the injections if I feel the patient does not need them; an in-person consult would be necessary to provide the most accurate advice. I hope this information helps, and I wish you the best of luck. 

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Time to begin Botox

This question cannot b answered with any specific age. Instead, the time is when you begin having significant muscle function of any of the muscles around the face that causes lines to appear when the muscle is active and the muscle starts being active frequently. What you want to prevent is the lines becoming permanent and visible when the muscle is not active. Therefore, if you notice lines around the eyes or in the forehead when you are not trying to be expressive, it is time to start Botox. Occasionally, you can, by reinjecting botox for about 2 years before the botox wears off, get the muscle to atrophy so you can reduce the amount you need to prevent the wrinkles. make sure you see an expert injector. (See ExpertInjector.org)

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Botox and Resuts / What Age To Start?

Botox can be used as a preventative measure for wrinkles beginning at fairly young ages. There should be no complications or long term side effects if you seek treatment from an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

What is a good age to start using Botox & what are its long term side effects?

Botox is a great anti-aging treatment. More and more of my patients are coming at a younger age to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Seek an advanced injector who can give you a natural result 
Kenneth Hughes M.D

At what age should you start Botox?

I don't think there is an absolute number.  My "rule of thumb" is, start Botox when you notice a line at rest.  What I mean by that is everyone has a line when they frown, or squint or raise their eyebrow.  Then when you relax is there still a line?  If no, I don't recommend Botox.  If yes, it is time to get going.  For most people that starts happening in the mid to late 30's.

Botox at what age?

Botox can be injected in anyone over 18 and it is true that you can maintain a youthful appearance with it but be sure you consult a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon and once you start with a doctor stick with him/her.  there are no known long term side-effects to Botox

Melvin Elson, MD
Nashville Dermatologist
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.