Misconceptions about Botox? Jacksonville Teens Have Plenty!

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Yet, according to statistics released by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, approximately 12,000 injections of botulinum toxin, sold in the USA under brand names Botox and Dysport, were injected into American patients ages 13-19 in 2009 - a two percent increase from 2008 figures.

"What those statistics don't show is that many teenagers undergo Botox treatment for truly medical reasons, such as migraine headaches, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and deep eyelid spasms," Dr. Garcia says. "But we are seeing a definite increase in inquiries from teens about Botox for cosmetic reasons."

It's those cosmetic inquiries that worry plastic surgeons and others who administer Botox. Jacksonville teens, and others nationwide, often have a skewed view of Botox's abilities and risks. Dr. Garcia shares the most common misconceptions his office hears from teenagers:

1. "Botox prevents wrinkles." This misconception is considered a case of age dysmorphia. Actually, getting Botox too early and too often can actually cause new wrinkles. "After receiving Botox, a patient may unconsciously attempt to recreate the facial expressions in the area where treatment has paralyzed their facial muscle," wrote Dr. David Becker, Professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College at New York in a recent issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. "This can have the effect of actually creating new wrinkles." Those wrinkles form across the bridge of the nose and are notably present on the faces of several celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Rene Zellweger and Kim Catrall.

2. "Botox will always be a quick fix when I do get wrinkles." This misconception fails to consider Botox resistance, the filler's inability to deliver the same results from the same injected amounts over a period of time. Simply stated, the more frequently a patient gets Botox, the higher the dosages needed to maintain wrinkle-free expectations. Plus, a Botox overdose can be fatal.
3. "Botox has no side effects." No injectable is completely free of potential side effects. And Botox can have a range of them depending on the purpose and injection site. Possible side effects of facial injections for cosmetic purposes (some less common than others) include bruising, swelling, minor bleeding, temporary headache, flu-like symptoms, respiratory infections and temporary drooping of muscles around the eyes and corners of the mouth. And prolonged use of Botox has been shown to cause paralysis of some facial muscles over time - a real consideration for young would-be patients.
4. "Everybody gets Botox." Though the ASAPS figures seem high, not that they reflect the number of injections in teens - not the number of teens getting injections. One teenager can get multiple initial and maintenance injections over the period of a year. And remember that many of these teens are getting Botox for medical - not cosmetic - reasons.

If your teenager is requesting Botox, Jacksonville's Garcia Institute can help you choose whether treatment is necessary or advisable. Call 904-247-8522 or email info@garciainstitute.com

As double Board Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Dr. Phillip and Roberto Garcia of Garcia Facial Plastic Surgery and Reviva Medical Spaare specialists in plastic reconstructive and cosmetic surgery for aging face procedures, rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), and eyelid plastic surgery.

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