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A Wrinkle in Technology

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Women are increasingly initiating Botox® treatments at an earlier age.  It’s not uncommon for women in their twenties or thirties to seek treatment for fine lines and wrinkles around the brow area.  What’s the reason behind younger women visiting the cosmetic dermatologist?  Blackberry Botox® .  It’s a new term referring to the rise in women seeking Botox® treatments due to overuse of mobile phones.

The pervasive use of smartphones means women are spending more and more time squinting at smaller screens to browse the latest celebrity gossip, watch YouTube videos, check Facebook news feeds or read text messages.  Focusing on small text on Blackberry, iPhone, or Android screens for extended periods of time builds tension in the facial muscles, typically resulting in premature wrinkling.

Cosmetic dermatologists are divided over Blackberry Botox® .  Some feel it’s premature for young women to get Botox® while others feel that a light Botox® treatment (approximately 15 to 20 units) does wonders to erase crows feet as well as fine surface lines around the brow and forehead.

Dr. Zimmet treats patients in their twenties and thirties, provided they have no contraindications and understand the potential benefits, risks and alternatives.  Botox® not only improves women’s appearance but helps prevent the worsening of lines over time.  In his experience, Botox® is very well tolerated with significant side effects being very rare.

Geek Squad’s Stephanie Albertina provided some tips to help women prevent the mobile phone wrinkle blues:

1. Take a break – It’s important to put down or at least glance up from your smartphone regularly so that your eyes can rest. Though squinting is necessary when using a smartphone, taking time to relax your eyes can significantly reduce this new type of strain on your facial muscles.

2. Turn the light down low – Too much light and contrast can have cause you to narrow the eyes to take in the brightness; a no-no for fresh-looking eye contours. Combat the dreaded ‘crow’s feet’ effect by dimming the screen in your ‘settings’ options – and see how low you can go on the light emission. The less, the better (as a bonus, this will also help preserve your phone’s battery life!)

3. Enlarge the text – If you find yourself struggling to read the small text on your smartphone and holding it so close you wrinkle your nose so much it hurts, just enlarge the text by simply going to your settings and altering the text size. Also, the zoom function can be a fantastic thing.  Use it to focus in on images on your device so you can see much more clearly and avoid pulling the inner eye.

4. Looking after your eyes – If you can bear it, spend less time glued to your iPhone or Blackberry. During this timeout, take some deep breaths to relax the face into a more natural expression, and gently  massage the area around the eyes.  It’s a simple thing that can make a big difference to preventing those lines that starts subtly, but can get deeper and more pronounced. Not only will your face be serene looking, you will feel more serene – and in a much better state to deal with any inbox horrors.

5. Don’t forget to smile! If you are experiencing stress from being constantly attached to your smartphone, just think about the potentially negative effect this is having on your youthful appearance. Then, take some time to do something to relieve the tension, like playing on a fun app, like TomCat or Angry Birds; this will help relax your face, soften your expression and prevent long term frown lines.

Photo:  Ed Yourdon

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