The increasing pressure from social media influencers, filters and edited photographs have all contributed to a rise in demand for preventative botulinum toxin treatments, to combat wrinkles and achieve a more ‘snatched’ appearance in the younger generation.
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), 41% of 19-34-year-olds requested Botox between 2011 and 2015. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons cosmetic statics shows that botulinum toxin has increased 87% in the five years to 2018 amongst the 20-29-year-olds.
The UK’s non-surgical cosmetic industry is worth over £3.6billion and so far, is largely unregulated, leading to a rise in cheaper ‘backstreet Botox’ treatments. Botulinum toxin and dermal filler injections account for 9 out of 10 of the non-surgical cosmetic procedures carried out in the UK.
Help with medical issues
While people mostly associate Botox with cosmetic uses, it can also help with medical issues related to the nervous and muscular systems. The Food and Drug Administration and Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has approved Botox for medical uses such as preventing migraines, eyelid spasms, deep hereditary lines and preventing clenching of the jaw.
A paper published in the European Academy of Dermatology journal in 2008 revealed that when they subtracted pigmentation and wrinkles from a photograph, the person looked sixteen years younger, which means that skin tone and texture counted in the anti-ageing appearance of the individual in the photo.
Alternative Botox treatments
Nicola Liberos, aesthetic nurse at Omniya Clinic and member of the British Dermatological Nursing Group explores alternative treatments for those considering Botox in their twenties.
She explains: “A new generation of clinical rejuvenating treatments is rising to meet the demand for reducing anti-ageing by stimulating the skin’s natural collagen production. Chemical Peels, Micro-needling, Morpheus8, PRP, and Radiofrequency treatments focus on overall skin appearance and prolonged ageing signs.”
As we age, skin cell renewal slows down, says Nicola. Medical grade Chemical peels create an injury of a specific skin depth to stimulate new epidermal growth and collagen by aiding the old skin cells’ shedding. Chemical peels help prolong ageing signs by improving skin tone, skin texture, and moisture levels and leaves the skin looking glowing and more youthful.
Micro-needling is also known as percutaneous collagen induction, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses fine needles to puncture the epidermis to induce regeneration via the wound-healing cascade (Setterfield, 2017). Micro-needling has gained popularity as an aesthetic treatment due to how safe it is for different skin types.
Microneedling can often be used alone but is often combined with other modalities to enhance results.
Combining micro-needling with topical applications of therapeutics is also a growing trend.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma and is facial is famously known as the Vampire facial. This non-surgical cosmetic treatment harnesses your own body’s natural growth factors and stem cells. Our own body’s plasma contains a high concentration of platelets, including growth factors and proteins that aid in tissue repair, wound healing, and collagen production. The production of collagen begins to slow down at the age of 25.
The PRP treatment method collected blood in anticoagulated tubes by venipuncture and centrifuged to separate the red blood cells’ plasma and then reinjected into the skin via micro-needling or injections. Other than mild pain and discomfort during sessions, PRP is a natural treatment and has no side effects and minimal downtime with excellent antiaging results. The most significant results from PRP are at three to six months. These results are not permanent; patients may require touch-up sessions at least once a year.
Another treatment that is gaining momentum is the combination of micro-needling with radio-frequency energy through insulated paired microneedles.
Morpheus8, one of the latest FDA approved skin remodelling and facial contouring cosmetic treatments on the market. A minimally invasive treatment uses two very well-established treatments; micro-needling and radio frequency (RF). The microneedle depths and radiofrequency energy are individually adjustable to allow deep to superficial penetration to treat all the skin layers, precisely where treatment is most beneficial to the individual patient.
Nicola explains: “For optimal results, the healing process can be sped up when combining Morpheus8 with PRP. I recommend my patients to have a course of three Morpheus8 treatments spaced four to six weeks apart, to give patients maximum anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation results. Morpheus8 is best when done as regular maintenance of skin-strengthening and quality treatment, once every six months.
“These alternative non-surgical cosmetic treatments can combat the common signs of ageing within younger patients, to provide a ‘preventative’ improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture and discolouration, without starting too early on botulinum toxin and to avoid the frozen look.”