In the last fifteen years the use of Botox® for wrinkle treatment has grown rapidly to become one of the most popular and frequently used non surgical cosmetic treatments. Choosing a Botox® clinic and practitioner for the first time can be difficult; however, there are a few simple things that you can look out for to make the process easier and to ensure you not only look great but also have a good experience.
Botox® injections work by relaxing the muscles on the face so that the skin appears wrinkle free and smoother, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The effects last on average three months after which time the Botox® wears off and the facial muscles become active again.
Botox® works well for wrinkles that are caused by facial movement, such as crow’s feet, frown lines and forehead wrinkles. The injections themselves only cause very slight pain and take about fifteen minutes. Botox® treatments are generally safe and their effects reversible. However there are recent media reports of people having bad experiences from cosmetic treatments. Here are ten tips which you should consider before choosing a Botox® clinic:
1. Injecting Botox® is a skilled procedure and should be administered by a qualified and trained practitioner, preferably a doctor. There are experienced nurses who also administer Botox® and dermal fillers in the UK.
2. Check that the practitioner has registration with their relevant regulatory authority. For UK doctors this is the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC have an online registration checking service which allows you to check a doctors GMC status online. In the U.S each state have their own regulatory board.
3. Before undergoing any cosmetic procedure it is important to check that the practitioner has appropriate insurance cover, also known as medical indemnity, this is to protect you if something goes wrong.
4. There are many established medical, dental and cosmetic clinics providing Botox® and other aesthetic procedures. More recently other premises such as salons, hairdressers, and department stores have started offering Botox® wrinkle treatments. Most of these premises are well equipped with suitable standards. Unfortunately a small number are not ideal environments best suited to perform injectable treatments. We would advise you to be more cautious of non mainstream premises. Botox® at home and Botox® parties are not suitable places to have treatment.
5. Look for signs of service regularity such as clinics that provide Botox® treatment clinics at least once weekly in the same location.
6. Look for clinics and practitioners whose main focus is Botox® and other aesthetic procedures; a good rule is if they provide other related cosmetic procedures such as dermal fillers.
7. Look for signs of success such as if clinic has different locations within the same city or nationally.
8. Most reputable clinics now offer free consultations to clients who are curious about the procedure and want to find out more. This is good practice and allows you to check the premises and staff to make sure you feel comfortable. This is also a great opportunity to ask the doctor any questions or raise any concerns you may have. There should be no pressure to have the treatment at the end of the free consultation.
9. Make sure that the clinic offers a follow up service. Botox® takes up to two weeks to work. If you are having Botox® for the first time you want to make sure you are getting the right result. Sometimes small areas can be missed at the first treatment. If you are new to Botox® treatments, it is good practice for the doctor to follow you up at two weeks to make sure that the result is the one you were looking for and to give you a top up if any areas are missed.
10. In the US, Botox® treatments are charged per unit of Botox®. Most clinics in the UK charge by area, the frown lines are considered one area, the forehead a second area and crow’s feet a third area. Each successive area is usually given at a reduced rate compared to the previous area. Many clinics in the UK also charge a supplement for men having Botox (ranging from £25 – £50), as they have stronger facial muscles and therefore need higher doses.
There are some clinics that are offering Botox® at ridiculously cheap prices, but cheapest is not always best, don’t make your decision on price alone. There are reports in the US of unscrupulous practitioners injecting “fake Botox® ”, or giving very diluted doses or sometimes unregulated versions of the medicine. Check that what you are being charged is around the industry average price. In the UK the average price for three areas ranges from £250- £400, depending on the clinic and the location. In the US the average cost of a vial of Botox is around $400.
Article by Dr. Nazim Mahmood, Face Clinic London Botox® Clinic.