On May 8, 2017, the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) performed a Botox-centred debate at their Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Sydney.

The debate, involving ACD dermatologists, Dr Adrian Lim and Dr Michael Freeman, focused on the use of Botox in healthy women in their early 20’s. A media release [May 8, 2017] from the ACD recounted the debate.

Commonly used as an anti-aging method to reduce wrinkles, Botox (botulinum toxin) is a non-surgical procedure that injects neurotoxins into areas of the face including forehead, between the eyes, and under the eyes.

Dr Lim, presenting the affirmative side, argued there are both medical and cosmetic benefits with the use of Botox.

“The age of consent for cosmetic procedures is 18, and the treatment can be used for migraines, acne scarring and other cosmetic purposes.

“If trained professionals don’t perform cosmetic procedures, you run the risk of the young woman going elsewhere for lower quality procedures,” Dr Lim said.

In opposition, Dr Freeman highlighted the risk factors involved with injecting Botox into the face of a young woman, citing “There is risk of infection, scarring and triggering other skin diseases, such as vitiligo and acne.

“In your 20’s, the skin is very elastic and will not permanently crease, so there really is no need to have Botox at this time. It is a waste of money.

“You are far better off practicing good sun protection, eating healthily and not smoking,” said Dr Freeman.

A recent ABC article [May 1, 2017] reported “unprecedented growth in non-surgical procedures like Botox, with Australians spending at least $1 billion on cosmetic treatments each year.”

The article also highlighted the results of a 2016 Mission Australia Youth Study, in which body image was identified as a top concern for young Aussies. Similarly, the National Eating Disorder Collaboration has reported that “70 per cent of young women experience body dissatisfaction.”

Please share your thoughts with us on the use of Botox in young women.