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Dr. Pastrick's Blog: Cosmetic botox treatments not necessary for teenagers

Gregory H. Pastrick, M.D. • Jul 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Botox is one of plastic surgery’s great advances in the past 20 years.

When used cosmetically, it is very effective in reducing or eliminating wrinkles for very little expense, no downtime and with minimal safety risks. No wonder it’s the most common cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States.

It’s alarming, however, to see that in 2010, over 12,000 teenagers were treated with Botox. It is virtually incomprehensible to me that any teenager would need Botox to treat wrinkles, let alone 12,000 of them.

It underlines the importance of choosing an ethical physician to evaluate and treat (or in this case, not treat) you when it comes to cosmetic procedures.

The doctors who are performing cosmetic Botox treatments in teenagers have only one interest and, believe me, it’s not the patient’s well-being; it’s their own profit margin. In response to the increase in teenage Botox treatments, the New Jersey legislature introduced a bill to outlaw the use of Botox in teenagers unless it is medically necessary.

Botox does have a myriad of medical uses that include treatments for headache, neck spasms, strabismus (crossed eyes), bladder spasms, and even hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating) of the palms or armpits.

There are certain procedures that can benefit teenagers with regard to self-esteem and improved socialization, for instance, otoplasty for protruding ears, rhinoplasty for an excessively large or crooked nose, breast asymmetry correction in girls, or gynecomastia correction in boys, but cosmetic Botox is not one of them.

Teenagers should be aware of the aging process and take measures to mitigate it, such as wearing sunblocks when in the sun, avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, and eating healthy, but they don’t need to worry about Botox treatments for at least another 15 years or more.

Gregory H. Pastrick, M.D., is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He practices at The Plastic Surgery Center, located at 1 Sheridan Square, Suite 200, Kingsport, Tenn. Check out all of his services at www.theplasticscenter.com or call 423-392-4884.


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