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Young Women Are Jumping on the Botox Bandwagon

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Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County, but I’ve typically thought of Botox as a treatment used mostly by middle-aged women looking to erase or fight wrinkles. So recently I was shocked to hear that women as young as 25 are starting to go under the needle. What gives? I interviewed Dr. Mitchell Chasin, a cosmetic physician, to find out more about this surprising new trend. 

When did younger patients first start requesting Botox? What percentage of the Botox injections that you perform are now on younger patients?  

When Botox first hit the market a decade ago, 99 percent of my patients were women in their late 30’s or older. Over time, Botox became wildly popular. So more and more, we have begun to see younger women who are just starting to develop faint wrinkles, which they point to and say, “stop this!” 

Some of these patients are in their mid- or late-twenties, and are very aware that preventing the formation of wrinkles is much easier than trying to remove them.  This is a very small portion of our patient population—maybe 5 percent—but it continues to grow each year. Of course, sometimes I simply say “no” to younger patients who really don’t need the treatment.

I know Botox can reverse existing wrinkles, but how does it work to prevent future wrinkle formation?  

Botox works exactly the same way, whether it’s preventing wrinkles or helping to get rid of them.  Botox slows down the motion of the muscles that cause the formation of wrinkles in the skin.  When done well, the patient has the full use of their expressions, but things will be calmed down enough to keep the repeated motions of the muscles from causing wrinkles to form.

Is there a difference in how you treat patients undergoing Botox depending on their age? 

When it comes to younger patients, they usually haven’t developed the deep wrinkles we see in older patients, so we tend to inject fewer units of Botox in the treatment area. But some people have deeper wrinkles, or stronger muscles, or their Botox wears off more quickly than others.

For twenty-something patients, what areas of the face are most commonly treated with Botox?  

Most of the injections I do for younger patients are in the same places as the older patients: the forehead, the “11’s” between the eyes, and in some cases the area where crow’s feet form around the eyes. 

Actually, a very popular area to treat is wherever their mom has wrinkles. You’d be surprised how often I hear, “I don’t want to look like my mother!”  Unless of course if their mother is a patient as well, which we get quite a bit. 

How much does a typical procedure cost, and how long do the effects last?

A typical Botox treatment will run around $300, give or take, depending on how many units we need to inject to get the desired result.  Everyone is different in this regard. We tell most patients to come back three or four times a year for follow up treatments. 

—Mai

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