Strip malls have become commonplace in America and lately, a new addition has been popping up next to convenience stores and take-out restaurants: Botox clinics. These strip mall Botox stores offer Botox Cosmetic(R) or Dysport treatments on a walk-in or appointment basis, similar to a hair salon, manicurist, or other strip mall staple. However, it is important to remember that neither Botox nor Dysport(R) are a manicure or a meal off of a take-out menu. Botox and Dysport are a purified form of the botulinum toxin injected into the skin that require technical expertise to administer properly.
Doctors caution using common sense and exercising care before getting Botox injections. Dr. Kent V. Hasen M.D., a Naples, Florida Plastic Surgeon,warns that "just because Botox treatments are becoming as commonplace as hair styling doesn't mean that every business offering them is the right choice." Hasen goes on to warn that in order to "deliver aesthetically pleasing results and ensure patient safety," the skill and expertise of the person administering the Botox treatments are essential.
Both Botox and Dysport relax facial muscles in the forehead and around the eyes and mouth to remove and eliminate unwanted wrinkles. Administering Botox, according to Dr. Hasen, "requires an understanding of the anatomy of the facial muscles and nerves." Hasen reports that "there's a science to knowing exactly where to make the injections and how much product to inject," and that patients should not take the decision to have Botox lightly.
While patients would certainly do research before having a more invasive procedure, medical spas are becoming a popular option and patients are embracing these fast-fixes and not necessarily doing their due diligence when it comes to less invasive procedures. While many of the medspas in strip malls or otherwise are overseen by licensed physicians, the physician may not perform any or even most of the procedures and may not even be on site at the strip mall location when the Botox or Dysport treatments are being administered. Thus, patients may have no idea who is performing these cosmetic fixes or what their background or training is.
Hasen urges care and caution and advises choosing a "highly trained and experienced specialist such as a board certified plastic surgeon to maximize your safety and satisfaction with your results." Although Botox and Dysport procedures seem common and patients are inclined to let their guard down due to the deceptive simplicity, taking a chance with your health by not ensuring proper care is not a risk you want to take.