Plastic surgery in Charlotte is no longer something to bat a perfectly-sculpted eyelid at — especially among 20-somethings.
Several practices in the city say they’ve seen a huge jump in the number of young people who have work done, many already actively seeking anti-wrinkle treatments.
Dr. Paul Watterson of Charlotte Plastic Surgery has seen a dramatic increase in patients in their mid- to late-20s seeking a Botox evaluation within the last few years.
In fact, they’re the fastest-growing segment of Botox patients at his practice, with a 70% increase this year to date – on top of a 47% increase in 2016.
Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery, whose patient base runs from 20 to 70 years old, has also seen an increase in patients in their 20s, Carol Tyner, Practice Director, told me. About half of their 20-something patients come in seeking non-invasive procedures (breast augmentation takes up a large amount of the other half of the age base’s wants).
What are they looking for? Charlotte plastic surgeons say most of their patients are seeking remedy for their crows’ feet (the crinkle on the side of the eyes) and the “eleven” between their eyebrows that’s created when the brows are furrowed.
Anne Massie, 25, is a prime example.
She began researching Botox at 24, when she first noticed that if she made certain facial expressions, lines appeared. She worried that if she didn’t do something about them, they’d just grow deeper.
“I didn’t want to turn 40 and regret that I didn’t do anything in my 20s,” she explained. “I felt crazy, thinking, ‘I’m only 25.’ But then I started researching and found that there’s this growing popularity.”
She scoured the internet for a year before deciding to get a consultation to reassure herself that people wouldn’t look at her and immediately know she got Botox — something she was afraid of. She didn’t want that “shocked” or “raised eyebrow” look.
She wound up walking out of Charlotte Plastic Surgery with the procedure done the same day.
Now, Anne Massie gets what she calls a “super small” amount every three months and says she can definitely tell a difference in the disappearance of her “glaring lines.”
“People tell me my skin looks amazing, and nobody thinks I’ve had anything done,” she says.
At around $14 per unit, her quarterly visits run her about $250 each time. She says it’s justifiable, especially if it saves her money in the long run.
It’s a trend that’s on the rise nationwide.
In 2016, Americans dropped $16 billion on both invasive and minimally-invasive procedures, the most ever.
Minimally-invasive procedures have seen a steady increase over the years (Botox and soft tissue fillers like Collagen saw 4% and 2% increases from 2015 to 2016, respectively), capping at 15.4 million procedures, a 3% raise since 2015.
Watterson of Charlotte Plastic Surgery said he believes the rise in popularity stems not only from the FDA approving the procedure in 2002, but its popularity on television and advertising that surrounds it as well. It’s led the procedure, which used to be kept quiet and hidden when had, to almost become a household topic of conversation.
It’s not uncommon, either, to turn to the procedure to help with migraines, further catapulting it into the vicinity of normal.
Tyner says that this normality is due to the increased availability of different technologies and fillers as well as the improvements that the industry has seen in them.
“Advancements in non-invasive technologies are proving to have increased effectiveness with decreased downtime,” she said.
I’m always doing field research on my fellow twenty-somethings. Want to talk about plastic surgery (or literally anything else) with me? Say hi.