Study after study has shown that Botox injections are very safe and that the risk for side effects is very low, provided that a few conditions are met. When you are considering Botox, or any other cosmetic procedure, whether it’s surgical or not, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting and to do all the research necessary, before you let someone inject you. There are three things you want to do before Botox to protect yourself and to make sure the injection is a safe one.
Skip the Party
Parties are a great excuse for getting manicures with your friends or for buying items such as plastic storage containers or costume jewelry together. But, if a friend invites you to a Botox party at her house, it’s in your best interests to turn her down, and to strongly recommend that she pick another theme for her party.
Since Botox injections tend to be quick and simple – they usually take less than 30 minutes per session and they don’t have the lengthy recovery period associated with surgery – there’s often an assumption that anything goes when it comes to the injections, or an assumption that it’s perfectly safe to perform them outside of a medical setting, such as in someone’s home or even in a shopping mall.
While the risk for complications is rare when Botox is performed by a trained professional, the risk increases when the injections aren’t performed in a sterile setting. When you have the injections performed outside a medical practice, there aren’t the same precautions in place or the same equipment around in case something should go wrong.
There’s another component that can make Botox parties particularly risky: the presence of alcohol. While you don’t have to give up drinking for long before or after your injections, having a cocktail or two right before or after your injection can increase your risk for bruising. Plus, drinking can interfere with your decision making. You might have gone to the party just to socialize, but suddenly find yourself agreeing to the injections, without much forethought, after just a couple of drinks.
Choose an Experienced Injector
Another potential risk of having injections administered at a Botox party is that the person giving them might not actually be a trained medical professional. Or, he or she might be a doctor who usually specializes in another area, such as gynecology or family practice, and who isn’t very well versed in the anatomy of the face or in the proper way to inject Botox.
There are a few ways to make sure the provider you end up working with is trained and experienced in performing Botox injections. You can ask the provider what his experience is with Botox. Ask how frequently he performs the injections, how long he’s been performing the injections, and to see pictures of previous patients before and after their treatment.
You also want to to get an idea of the doctor’s skill in performing the injections. Ask him about the rate of side effects and about which side effects are most common in his patients in particular. Also ask if you’ll be seen in at a follow-up appointment or about what you can do if you have a particularly unpleasant side effect, such as facial drooping.
Know What You’re Getting
You also want to make sure the Botox you are getting is the real deal. There have been numerous tales of surgeons or inexperienced doctors giving their patients counterfeit Botox, purchased from a company other than the official manufacturer of Botox. There have also been cases of inexperienced people trying to make their own Botox to inject into patients and cases of people overly diluting the injectable, so that patients don’t quite get the results they were seeking.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting authentic Botox is to ask your surgeon to let you see the vial, before it’s injected into you. If he or she refuses to show you the packaging, it’s a good idea to leave and find another person or medical practice to perform the injection. If the surgeon does show you the packaging and vial, there are a few things to look for, such as the Botox logo printed on the vial and a holographic seal with the logo of Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, on it. You can also look for a lot number and other identifying details on the packaging. Counterfeit products won’t have those details anywhere on the packaging.
When it comes to Botox or any other type of injectable, it’s better to play it safe. Always choose a board certified, facial plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Michael Schwartz in West Palm Beach, Florida, to perform your injections. If anything seems off about the treatment, location, or the product itself, it’s OK to postpone your treatment or walk away.
If you have any other questions about Botox and safety, or are considering trying it out for the first time, book a consultation with Dr. Schwartz today to learn more. Call 561-655-5562 for an appointment.