How to Know You Can Trust Botox and Other Injectables
Photographs floating around the Internet of a 29-year-old woman's botched Botox she got on a whim at a Botox party are truly shocking. The U.K. woman shared the photos and her story as a warning to others that they should educate themselves about who is administering their injectables, as well as the source and quality of the injectables themselves.
Cheaper or more convenient doesn't always mean they are better.
In Rachael Knappier's case, her lips swelled to at least five times their normal size after the injectable was administered at the party — very different from what she had experienced when she visited an aesthetics nurse previously, according to The Sun. The beautician at the party suggested she was having an allergic reaction, but when she sought medical treatment, she learned the injectable had gone into an artery, according to Cosmopolitan. Without treatment, she could have lost her entire upper lip.
It took her about three months and multiple surgeries before her lip returned to its normal size.
It's a dramatic case, but it underscores the reality that fillers aren't cosmetics: You need to ensure both the quality of the products and the education of the person administering them.
“It is essential that your injector has an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and is current on best practice for both injection technique and product," said Katie Buchanan, a medical aesthetics nurse specialist and an advanced cosmetic injector at Elite Medical Aesthetics.
Here are four things to consider:
1) Ask your practitioner about licensing, certification and education. For example, not only is Buchanan licensed and certified, her experience includes working in plastic surgery operating rooms, where she performed both facial laser procedures and cosmetic injections, and traveling nationally as a clinical educator. She trains doctors and nurses on current best practices and various advanced techniques of facial/dermal fillers and neuromodulators.
2) Confirm it's the real thing. According to Elle, Allergan, Merz, and Galderma are the top manufacturers of neurotoxins and fillers like Botox Xeomin and Dysport. The article suggests checking manufacturers' websites, as many offer tools to show licensed physicians who receive their products. It's an easy way to lower the chances of receiving tainted or potentially dangerous products.
3) Educate yourself. Be sure to ask plenty of questions during your initial consultation and don't be afraid to visit more than one practitioner if you aren't comfortable with how the first one answers your questions. Self magazine also has a fairly detailed description of how Botox works here.
4) Look at the practitioner's social media accounts. One doctor interviewed by Vogue suggested looking for before and after photos similar to your situation so you can judge the results.