Botox: the right age to start?

Friday, 23 May 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

As the quest for younger and plumper looking skin continues, more youngsters are opting for this anti-ageing treatment

The popularity of botox as an anti-ageing method has continues to soar over the years. With more skin clinics offering the same, more youngsters are reaching out for the needle. There has been a scary trend however with those looking at botox as a preventive measure. Those in their early 20s are looking for wrinkle-smoothing treatments despite not having any. Also the fact that it is a short-term procedure means faster results. Teenagers in the US as young as 15 and 19 are also looking at injections to cover imperfections. There is no scientic evidence to show that Botox at a young age will prevent wrinkles from forming in the years to come. But what is the long-term impact of botox usage and when's the right age to start?

Dr Sama Rais, consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist, Aesthetic Clinic – Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital says botox is done by both girls and boys in their twenties for subtle corrections of facial features as well as by mature men and women as an anti-ageing treatment. "The commonest age group who approach us for botox is generally in their mid to late 30's. Botox can be done for subtle corrections of facial features like to soften a broad jawline, for a brow lift or to correct drooping angle of mouth. Besides this, botox is also used for excessive sweating of palms and soles or underarms. The treatment when done correctly by an expert can have no residual damage or side effect even if started at a very young age. There is no such thing as the right age for botox, it totally depends on your requirement after assessing your skin," she adds.

" Botox is a natural purified protein used to relax certain facial muscles causing wrinkles to create a relaxed and rejuvenated experience. In our centre, we have patients in their early twenties, generally in the media or brides-to-be who want an instant look. Starting botox at an early age cannot harm the look of the face, it just does not allow certain muscles to move that cause unwanted wrinkles on the face. It is completely safe. Patients however, should be over 18 years of age," explains Dr Geeta Oberoi, dermatologist, founder member, Skin & You Clinic, Nariman Point

Dr Viral Desai, cosmetic and plastic Surgeon, DHI India & CPLSS admits that while traditionally the typical Botox patient has been in the age group of mid-30s to mid-40s, this average is gradually reducing. "Today, a fair number of my patients are in their mid-20s who wish to get rid of the very early signs of ageing. I expect the profile of the typical Botox patient to be soon redefined to late-20s to early-30s. Botox is generally well tolerated and has very few side effects. Studies have not shown any damaging long-term side effects. Very rarely, long term use causes development of Botox-related antibodies. This condition is reported to have occurred in less than 0.2% of cases worldwide and the only effect of this condition is that the use of Botox will not deliver results."

Dr.Sadaf Rangooni, Consultant cosmetic dermatologist, NU Cosmetic Clinic feels botox works best when it is given preventatively. "When Botox is given at an early age, it prevents the lines from becoming permanent. What I would suggest is at whatever point people begin to notice and are bothered by some if these frown lines or forehead lines, it's reasonable to consider starting treatment. It's easier and more effective to inhibit progression than come in 10 years later and take them away. We've termed it prejuvenation."

Thumb rules for those seeking Botox -
Make sure you have a clear need of the procedure
Get your procedure done only from a qualified and experienced doctor, since inappropriate doses or injection sites could result in unwanted complications
Discuss your expectations from Botox with your doctor, who should advise you on realistic results from your procedure
Make sure the areas being treated are free of skin infections
Botox is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or for those with a history of allergic reaction to Botox
—Dr Viral Desai

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