BOTOX® used to be for boomers, but not anymore. Increasingly younger women are embracing the injections that promise to smooth out wrinkles and result in a more youthful appearance.
Millennials and Gen X-ers are heading to plastic surgeons or dermatologists not to undo the toll years have taken on their skin, but to prevent it.
Lauren Madden used to think of BOTOX® was for her mother’s generation. But when a friend became a BOTOX® injector, her opinion shifted. Her friend told her BOTOX® would erase her fine wrinkles and ensure they did not deepen as she aged.
“You think wrinkles, you think older people. At first, I definitely thought it was just for people that were trying to look younger than what they really are,” said Madden, 30, who started using BOTOX® a few years ago. “Some people think that if you get it at this age, it’s because you’re worried about your looks right now. That’s not necessarily the case for me. Really I’m just looking toward the future in regards to my face.”
Although the majority of BOTOX® users fall in the 40 to 54 age range, about 1.2 million BOTOX® injections, 18 percent of the total, were performed in 2015 on patients in their 30’s. More than 100,000 were for patients in their 20’s, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. And although only 19,604 injections were done in teenagers, that number represents a 2 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Hamilton has seen the trend in his practice.
Since the Food and Drug Administration approved BOTOX® in 2002 for cosmetic use, its popularity has skyrocketed tenfold and so has awareness, said Hamilton, who has offices in Greenwood and at IU Health North Hospital in Carmel.
“Most 20-year-olds, they say, ‘Cosmetic surgery is something that I would never consider,’ ” he said. “However as BOTOX® has become more popular … I think it’s crept into the 20’s. Twenty-year-olds are not typical, but they definitely do occur.”
When Hamilton recently flipped through his patient records, he saw more born in the 1990’s than he expected. Still, only about 20 to 30 patients, or less than 5 percent, of the total were so young. The numbers start climbing for women in their 30’s and soar for those in middle age, he said.
Some of those younger patients decided to opt for BOTOX® after having other minimally invasive treatments, such as microdermabrasions and facials. Others like Madden came to him expressly for Botox.
An emergency department nurse who lives on the south side, Madden visited Hamilton not to achieve a more youthful experience, but to erase a line between her eyebrows that bothered her.
“I’m 30, but I don’t feel like I look 30,” she said. “With or without the BOTOX®, I think I look pretty young.”
The rise of BOTOX® use among millennials has mirrored the spread of Botox from plastic surgeons’ offices into medical spas, dentists’ and gynecologists’ offices, said Dana Berkowitz, author of “Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America.” With all of these places offering the procedure, advertising has increased, and Botox use has become normalized.
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