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What's Up Magazine

A Sprinkle of Anti-Aging Power

Feb 01, 2018 10:03AM
By Kelsey Casselbury

Are you ready to be let in on a little secret? It’s what some celebrities, such as Robin Wright Penn (“House of Cards”), and smart Annapolitans alike do to take the edge off of the aging process: Botox “sprinkles.” Also known as micro Botox or baby Botox, these “sprinkles” of the now-very-common drug offer up a way to diminish the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes, forehead, and mouth without any worry about “freezing” the face. To learn more about this celeb-inspired trend, What’s Up? talked to a few local experts for their take. 

“Botox injections are as popular as a trip to Target,” says Dr. Haven Barlow, MD, FACS, of Chesapeake Plastic Surgery in Annapolis. “It’s one of the top five non-surgical procedures that we perform at our office.” Barlow notes that some patients prefer Xeomin or Dysport, different forms of the treatment, as alternatives to Botox. The doc can let you know more about the three types, and which one is optimal for your sprinkles. 

However, “A lot of women, particularly in Annapolis—which is more conservative than Los Angeles or Miami Beach, where to look “done” is the style—just want subtle changes,” says Emily Clarke-Pearson, MD, of Sullivan Surgery and Spa in Annapolis. She notes that many of her patients who are asking for a little sprinkle of Botox are women who are teachers, actresses, TV interviewers, or businesswomen who frequently present at conferences. “They want some softening, but they want to be able to emote facial expression,” she says.   

Don’t think, though, that it’s just middle-aged or older folks, who are turning to baby Botox. “Younger patients are flocking to these micro-treatments to try a baby-step approach to their aging-prevention goals,” says Elba Pacheco, MD, of Adoro Medical Spa in Severna Park. It’s not an intense process—while a standard dose of Botox would be around 50 units, these sprinkles are, at most, 30 units, though it can be less if it’s being injected only into one area of the face. 

Of course, these micro-doses mean frequent upkeep. A 50-unit dose lasts four to six months, but smaller doses require a return for more injections every two to three months to keep up the effect. The treatment’s cutesy name, too, might lead patients to choose micro-Botox when it’s not really what they desire. “When we elect to go this route, many come back for additional treatment early because ‘it didn’t work,’ meaning they still had more function than they desired,” says Paul Buhrer, MD, of Plastic Surgery Specialists in Annapolis. “In retrospect, we should have injected the more traditional amounts initially.”

Just like with any other medical treatment, you want to talk to the expert—the doctor doing the injection—about what’s best for you. “It’s important to find a balance between overdoing it and under-doing it,” recommends Clarke-Pearson. “You have to listen to the patient, learn what their goals are, and do some tweaking.”