IAPAM’s Botox Tips for Consumers

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In today’s economy, many patients are seeking anti-aging treatments at discounted prices.  However, while frugality is commendable, cheap is usually not better when it comes to cosmetic injectables.  Injectable treatments, like botox, must be prescribed by a physician and administered by a trained, licensed medical professional in a clean medical facility.  Here are 4 tips for the consumer to ensure a safe and successful cosmetic injectable experience.

1. Know your Physician’s Credentials: Comprehensive Botox Training is Needed

Ensure that the physician you engage for your botox treatments is a medical professional, as botulinum toxin (Botox or Dysport) can be very dangerous to use. Medical professionals are trained to dilute the concentrated product correctly, inject it correctly into appropriate muscles and use the correct concentration for each muscle they are injecting. Engaging an untrained person for Botox procedures could result in adverse outcomes from drooping eyelids to facial distortions.

2. Be Informed:  A Good Patient Consultation Is Central to a Successful Outcome

Managing the patient’s expectations is the most critical success factor in a good outcome with botox. Here are three tips for a successful patient consultation:

a)    Ensure that the physician discusses with you, “what you are paying for.”

b)    Ensure that you understand the office policy for “touch ups” before beginning the treatments.

c)       Ask your physician to discuss the longevity of each product’s results (Dysport vs. Botox Cosmetic).

Also, beware of “before & after” photographs.  If your physician refers to these during your consultation, ask if these are his/her patients or models, and don’t be afraid to ask for photos of poor outcomes, not only good ones.

3. Ensure your Injectable Product is Safe:  Approved Cosmetic Injectables are Always Prescribed by a Physician

Botox Cosmetic and Dysport are FDA controlled substances, and can only be sold to licensed physicians for administration.

Reputable physicians only buy their cosmetic injectable product directly from the US division of the pharmaceutical company (i.e. Botox Cosmetic and Juvederm are only available from Allergan, Inc. in Irvine, CA; and Dysport, Restylane, Perlane are only available for purchase from Medicis, Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ).

Botox sourced over the internet or outside of the US is suspect.  It could be contaminated or counterfeit.

4. Cosmetic Treatments Should be Performed in a Medical Facility

The FDA specifically states that, “botulinum toxin products should be administered in an appropriate setting using sterile instruments. Malls, private homes, [hotel rooms, and conference rooms] are not medical environments and may be unsanitary.”

Look beyond the fancy spa decor, and ensure that the place where you are having your treatments is a clean, medical facility.

Botox, Botox Cosmetic and Juvederm are trademarks of Allergan, Inc. Dysport, Restylane, Perlane are trademarks of Medicis, Inc.

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