Reality vixen Kim Kardashian recently revealed that she's undergone Botox treatments, and she's only 30. Botox and Dysport treatments use a purified and diluted version of the botulinum toxin to affect nerve function and prevent muscle contraction in the treated area to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The treatments are most commonly associated with those who have wrinkles, but are now becoming associated with preventing wrinkles.
In a recent article on www.msnbc.com, teens and twenty-somethings are beginning to turn to Botox treatments to help keep wrinkles away. According to the article, in 2009, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reported 12,110 Botox or Dysport procedures were performed on patients 18 and under, up from 8,194 in 2008. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported 11,889 cosmetic Botox or Dysport procedures were performed on patients age 13 to 19, an increase of 2 percent from 2008.
The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety (PCIS) has spoken out against this trend, dubbing it "Teen Toxing." Dr. Richard D'Amico, a leader in the Coalition and former president of the ASPS says, "We need to avoid the abuse of this product in the US and the only way we can do that is by stricter control of distribution and administration of all neurotoxins." Dr. Robert Weiss, another PCIS leader and Past-President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) doubts that there's any need for teens to undergo neurotoxin treatments and feels that it's not worth the risk. "I am very doubtful of the benefits of neurotoxins for individuals who are wrinkle-fee by virtue of their age. Botox does not prevent natural aging, so this seems like an unnecessary risk."
According to the Botox Cosmetic website, their official indication for use reads: BOTOX? Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in people 18 to 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary).
Furthermore, Botox and Dysport both carry a blackbox warning concerning potential risk of the distant spread of the toxin, saying it could spread to other areas of the body and affect the nerves and muscle function there.
According to MSNBC.com, Dr. Mark Jewell, a plastic surgeon from Eugene, OR and spokesperson for the PCIS said "I've heard from colleagues that kids are coming in with their moms and saying, 'Can I have Botox, too? I feel like I need it'.... "Botox is a blockbuster of a product, but should a teenager be getting it? I think the answer is no."