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When is it “Too Early” to Start Cosmetic Procedures?

In a recent article in JAMA Dermatology, Dr. Heather K. Hamilton addresses the question “when is ‘too early’ to start cosmetic procedures,” with the question “when is too late?” This raises the intriguing proposal that there’s no time like the present to start appearance-enhancing procedures that preserve the image of youth.

Facial lines that betray age and the wear-and-tear of life are mostly caused due to repeated facial expressions and sleep postures. These include the ways people smile, frown, crease their foreheads, create furrows between their eyebrows, and sleep in the same position night after night.

According to Dr. Hamilton, beginning treatment with a neuromodulator during the 20s and 30s will greatly diminish age marks in the 40s and 50s. In fact, “there will be few, if any, lines of facial expression present.” This was illustrated through a study conducted on 38-year-old twin sisters. One twin received ongoing treatment beginning at 25 years old; the other twin only received treatments twice. The one who had received recurring treatments did not have visible lines when her face was resting, while the other did.

Furthermore, treatments can have long-term positive effects. Studies have demonstrated that “the more a filler is used the less often it is needed and perhaps over time, its use becomes not necessary at all.”

Dr. Hamilton proposes that the use of neuromodulators, fillers, and non-invasive energy-based treatments, should be encouraged alongside other strategies like using sunscreen and topical retinoids. This outlook paired with taking into account necessary precautions in selecting patients, may provide positive results for patients seeking cosmetic treatments. 


Source: JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(11):1271. doi:10.1001

Image: Martina Yach

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