Teen Botox Use Increasing

Photo of Teenager Getting Botox
Guess what’s an increasing fad with adolescent and twentysomething girls? Botox. MSNBC recently conducted interviews showing that this trend is growing exponentially … and that scares the crap out of me. ZL has looked at this in the past when Scotland started encouraging Botox use in twentysomethings, and now it’s coming to America.

Dr. Glenn Vallecillos, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, explained that he sees more and more clients coming in for Botox at a younger age.

“We do a lot of Botox, and there’s definitely a propensity for younger people doing it,” he said. “I’d say 30 percent of my clients are 20 to 25 years old and probably 5 to 8 percent are under age 20. The trend, at least at our offices, is younger people.”

Um … what the hell does a 20-year-old need Botox for? Of course, I’m of the camp that kind of wonders why anyone would use Botox for cosmetic purposes anyway, but seriously? Twenty? That’s just crazy! And you know what’s even crazier? Over 12,000 teens under eighteen had a Botox experience last year.

MSNBC says that statistics support claims that Botox devotees are getting younger.

“In 2009, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported 12,110 Botox or Dysport (another wrinkle-relaxing shot) procedures performed on patients 18 and under (in 2008, the number was 8,194) while the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found 11,889 cosmetic Botox/Dysport procedures were performed on patients age 13 to 19 (an increase of 2 percent from 2008)),” they explain.

Okay, beyond the obvious (which is, of course, why on earth an underage girl would even consider Botox) is the reason given for a large number of these procedures. In a nutshell, it’s all about peer pressure. If your best friend’s doing the Botox thing, I guess you’re supposed to feel like you need it too. Am I the only person ridiculously confused by this?

And it gets worse. Yet another driving force behind this epidemic? Mothers. Yup, I said mothers. Christie Brinkley, I’m sorry I ragged on you … but evidently, it’s more common than I realized.

“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,’” Dr. Mark Jewell explained. “Botox is a blockbuster of a product, but should a teenager be getting it? I think the answer is no.”

When I was playing rummy with my best friend recently, he pointed out that there were wrinkles on my forehead because I was concentrating so hard (there was a fair amount of money riding on the game, and in case you’re wondering, my wrinkles and I cleaned up). When I’m not concentrating hard, the wrinkles disappear. I’m very glad about that — I’m 33 and still almost always get carded in bars — but someday they won’t. And the day is coming.

Am I happy about that? Hells, no. However, say I decided to get Botox for my forehead wrinkles. What would I do when, in a year or two or five or whatevs, there are wrinkles cropping up elsewhere? Well, the precedent would have been set, and I’d probably want to Botox the hell out of those, too. How ridiculous does Joan Rivers look? Candy Spelling? It’s a slippery slope, that metamorphosis into a Barbie doll, and one that getting Botox as a teenager would unquestionably play a role in.  And I don’t mean to slam Botox users, by the way … if you’re an adult and have some minor issue that Botox helps with, more power to you.  It’s just the “out of control” potential that worries me, frankly.

What are your thoughts on this (especially with the parents of 12,000 kids giving consent)?

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9 thoughts on “Teen Botox Use Increasing

  1. I get 2 vials of Dysport every few months for Dystonia, and all I can say is YIKES! Good plastic surgeons would not allow procedures that aren’t needed, but it looks like they are interested in lining their pocketbooks.

  2. I really can see no reason to get botox at 20. It wears off after a while (sort of), so it’s not like you’re preventing wrinkles; you also don’t have any wrinkles to begin with. So….complete and utter waste of time and money? I think so.

  3. Yes, the teens getting it are being silly. But who’s really to blame? It seems obvious: a) their parents for allowing/encouraging/funding it, and b) doctors who perform the procedure- it is may not be as unethical as more invasive unnecessary surgeries, but it is still wrong.

  4. I guess the idea is preventing wrinkles from forming… by PARALYZING YOUR FACE. So silly. If you want to prevent wrinkles, use moisturizer, start using a wrinkle cream early on, take vitamins, don’t abuse your skin with excessive tanning. Or become a wasp and talk through your teeth. After that, oy vey, allow your face to do what it is meant- convey emotion. What really boggles my mind is when actors and actresses get botox. Largely you can look young if you stay healthy.

  5. There are inherent risks involved with Botox. I highly doubt the teens understand that. For example, the shots required in my neck could cause weakness that prevents me from holding my head up. It could also prevent me from swallowing – requiring a feeding tube for three months.

    The other risks? Infection, permanently paralyzed muscles, lumps underneath the skin, scarring, serious allergic reactions, and death. Unless the teen has a genuine medical problem, I couldn’t justify using botulinum toxin on a teen.

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