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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 7:46am

Wireless Wrinkles

News
Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 10:03am

Plastic surgeons claim constant squinting at cell phones is causing wrinkles in young patients.

Can our favorite gadgets be making us look older?

Plastic surgeons say they are seeing younger patients coming in for Botox to get rid of wrinkles.

Those wrinkles aren't caused by age, but instead by constant squinting and facial muscle use associated with technology use.

"We've just become more connected and we're using those devices more and more and we're overusing those muscles," says Dr. Richard Chaffoo. "More and more patients, I think, we are seeing that are more concerned about those hyper-animated lines that are developing."

"I definitely think it's from being on the phone all the time squinting, Facebook, text messaging, emails," says 24-year-old patient Ellie Caston.

Still, plastic surgeon Dr. Munish Batra says he hasn't seen good evidence to show smartphones or electronics are causing early aging.

"There are people in their late 20s who do have premature signs of aging where Botox can be useful. but I don't think it's wise to necessarily promote it to a demographic that really doesn't have the signs of aging or sun damage," he says.

Dr. Batra says southern Californians' exposure to the sun does tend to make us age faster than people from other parts of the country.

He believes the whole idea of promoting Botox for smartphone-related wrinkles may be driven by finances.

"The whole notion of the Blackberry Botox is to go after this younger patient group," he says.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not do research into the reasons people get specific procedures, but it's just-released statistics do show there was an 11-percent jump in Botox treatments done on women ages 20 to 29 from 2009 to 2010.

Dr. Chaffoo says he warns his patients it's not a permanent fix, and not for everyone.
 

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