Thanks to the influence of celebrities, younger women than ever are demanding Botox injections a means of wrinkle prevention.
But according to one British doctor, using the cosmetic filler too young could actually speed up the ageing process.
In an article published today, Dr Darren McKeown claims the idea that Botox could halt the development of wrinkles is a myth, and could actually have the opposite effect.
Ageing? Dr Darren McKeown says the idea that Botox could halt the development of wrinkles is a myth, and could actually have the opposite effect
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: 'There is no evidence that in the long term Botox works as a preventative, nor is there any licence to use it as such.
'The drug works on wrinkles by relaxing the muscles responsible for expression lines and is licensed only for the treatment of moderate to severe frown lines.'
Using the late screen legend Elizabeth Taylor as an example, he speculated whether she would have looked so attractive late in life if she had succumbed to cosmetic fillers in her youth.
'Starting Botox treatments at an early age ultimately could do more harm to your looks than good,' Dr McKeown explained.
'While Taylor was clearly always a beautiful woman from her teens onwards, arguably her looks did not reach their peak until she was in her mid-thirties.
Mature beauty: Elizabeth Taylor at 25 in 1957 (left) and aged 75 in 2007 (right) - but would she have aged as gracefully if she had used Botox in her youth?
'Had Botox been available to Taylor in her early twenties, would she have ever reached that same level of mature beauty for which she will now always be remembered? I suspect probably not.'
Dr McKeown said that excessive use of Botox over a long period of time can cause the muscles to waste away.
He explained that overuse of the filler could cause 'the face [to] appear inadvertently aged' - despite a lack of wrinkles.
He added that this was more noticeable around the eyes than anywhere else, and was something he had noticed in a number of celebrities.
Of mothers such as Sheena Upton and 'Human Barbie' Sarah Burge, who admitted to injecting their young daughters with Botox, he added: 'What advocates of underage Botox don't realise is that children and adolescents do not have wrinkles: they have facial expression, and the two are not the same.'
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