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Plastic Surgery Blog

Cheap Botox Is Bad Botox


Botox is something of a wonder drug for people who want to turn the clock around, arrest the aging process, and erase crow's feet, forehead lines, and other signs of aging. The only wrinkle with Botox - pardon the pun - is that it has to be re-injected every few months or so for the effects not to wear off. This costs money, so it's only natural for patients to bargain hunt as they do with everything else. However, cheap Botox is not cheap. There are risks involved when patients get it from injectors who are either inexperienced or unethical. We'll discuss those risks here.

The Price of Botox

Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, sells this product in vials at a set price, currently $6.01 per unit. When you add the cost of syringes, needles, office space, electricity, malpractice insurance, phones, internet, and staff, it's easy to see how the profit margin on Botox is low when compared to other procedures. If you see a half price Botox sale, or anything approach the hard cost of just the product and disposables ($7 per unit), understand that the provider who is offering that Botox at such a low cost has to offset his costs to provide it at that price. How is this possible? There are several ways.

It's possible that the low price is due to the inexperience of the Botox provider. He may be offering Botox as a loss leader product because he is new to his practice and wants to bring people through the doors. This is the most benign explanation. There's nothing wrong with providers trying to build up a clientele, but consider how important your practitioner's experience level is when it comes to your health, wellbeing, and appearance. The low price can't last forever.

There is also the possibility that the provider may be diluting the Botox beyond what Allergan recommends. Before a provider can inject Botox, it has to be diluted with sterile saline. An unscrupulous provider may be tempted to add more saline so it can be spread out and used on more patients. He can make more money that way. This causes problems with the Botox spreading too far or not lasting very long, two telltale signs for incorrect dilution.

Botox also has an expiration date. It follows that deeply discounted Botox might be expired, Botox that is near its expiration date, or Botox that was mixed weeks or months ago. Botox should be used within hours of reconstituting. Weak or short lasting Botox are signs of old product.

Unfortunately, the most likely explanation for Botox being sold at or below Allergan's cost is that it's counterfeit or illegally imported Botox and possibly not real product. Ask to see the vial, check for the hologram, and verify they're depositing points into your Brilliant Distinctions account. If they can't do either, it's not being purchased legitimately from Allergan.

Lastly, it could be a competitive product where the equivalent activity of a "unit" is not created equal, but the injector calls it "Botox" for name recognition. Dysport, for example, requires 3 units to 1 unit of Botox for similar wrinkle reduction. $4 per unit of Dysport seems like a deal until you realize you must have 3 times more "units" injected, making it a similar cost to Botox. By the time this is explained, you've already fallen victim to the low advertised price and product bait and switch.

What Are the Risks of Cheap Botox?

You do not want expired, overly diluted, or counterfeit Botox injected into your face. Diluting Botox too much can cause it to travel to other areas in your face. This might mean that your eyebrows or eyelids might begin to droop. Expired Botox or knockoff versions of Botox could be contaminated or ineffective. The FDA has issued warnings about counterfeit Botox found in the United States and sold to doctor's offices.

If you are considering getting a Botox deal through Groupon or another flash sale website, reconsider and do your research. Would you purchase a flash sale deal for another medical procedure? Medical procedures need to be performed by people with both the proper education and experience. Just because this treatment is beauty related doesn't mean that it shouldn't be taken seriously. If you buy the wrong dress, you can take it back to the store. If you get Botox treatments from an unethical or inexperienced provider, you could be living with the results for a long time.

At Bancroft Feldman we don't take chances and we don't cut corners. Ever. We take your health and our reputation as a respected and trustworthy cosmetic surgery facility extremely seriously. As Holly, our nurse injector, likes to say: Cheap Botox ain't good, and good Botox ain't cheap! Remember that, and you'll save yourself time, money, and worry fixing bad Botox.

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