Aging is unavoidable, but your skin doesn't have to age without a fight. But how late in life should you be using cosmetic procedures like Botox to treat aging skin?
Botox is an injectable cosmetic product that has been used to reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles for about 30 years. Derived from the neurotoxin clostridium botulinum, the active ingredient of Botox works to freeze nerve impulses in specific facial muscles. By freezing these muscles, the dynamic wrinkles that form on the skin above them are made less severe. The most common dynamic wrinkles are crow's feet, frown lines, and forehead lines, and these are the targets Botox is approved to treat.
Botox is administered in an office setting, with no need for general anesthesia or downtime following treatment. The one thing you should abstain from following Botox is exercise, but that's only for a few days. Botox injections don't take long; generally speaking, you'll be in treatment for no longer than an hour. Often it takes even less time. Results are not instantaneous, but after some time, they become apparent. Botox does two things to help alleviate wrinkles: it prevents wrinkles from further developing, and it can help to improve pre-existing wrinkles. Botox is not a magical wrinkle eliminator, but it can help. By stopping muscle movements in problem areas, Botox helps the skin catch up and heal from the damage repetitive motion can do after years and years. While there's no health risk with dynamic wrinkles, they can greatly impact one's self esteem.
Botox may sound unsafe (it does involve the word neurotoxin, after all), but in a controlled environment, it is not risky. The chances of serious side effects are very low, but they can happen. This is perhaps the primary reason why there's a question of age at all when it comes to getting Botox. So is getting Botox after the age of 65 unsafe? The answer of safety depends more on a person's health than their age, though those two things can be fairly intertwined. If you live a healthy lifestyle and have been using Botox for a while, maintenance treatments after 65 should be relatively safe. While Botox is recommended for people under 65, it can legally be administered to people who are older. And that is generally at the discretion of your dermatologist. They can assess your overall health and your skin health to determine whether Botox is right for you, and that's true of any age. Spas and other less reputable providers may not have your best interest in mind, and the risk can be higher if you go there rather than to your dermatologist. So Botox is safe for most people, and there isn't any change in your body's reaction to the drug once you hit 65. As with many FDA recommendations, "65 and under" doesn't mean it can't work for you, it just means that the risks and effects involved haven't been fully assessed in this age bracket. And that's the other major consideration when looking at Botox when you're over 65 – is it effective on deep wrinkles? Yes and no. Botox will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, even severe ones, but it's not going to erase them. You won't achieve the same results as a person who's had many maintenance treatments in their lifetime if your first Botox treatment is at 65. The reality is that the health risk and reduced efficacy of Botox in people over 65 may be enough to keep many dermatologists from recommending it. But that doesn't mean that it isn't right for some people.