You have heard horror Botox stories before, such as the one about Eric and Bonnie Kaplan, who went to a friend’s clinic for Botox in 2004, only to suffer aches and sores after receiving their injections, which progressed to difficulty in breathing and paralysis the next day. The couple spent 3 months in hospital in intensive care and life support. Fortunately, they lived to tell the tale in their book, “Dying to Be Young: From Botox to Botulism.”
Turns out that Eric and Bonnie Kaplan were injected with raw grade Botulinum Toxin Type A, which their friend was mixing herself. That particular mix of botulinum toxin their friend injected them with was off, leading to Botulinum poisoning.
While such cases are rare, it is still important to know everything about what is injected into you before you undergo your Botox treatment. Here are some things you should always look out for:
1) Is it really Botox?
There are several reputable brands of Botulinum Toxin Type A in the market, such as Botox and Dysport. Several generic Botulinum Toxins have appeared (often manufactured in China), some of them not properly tested or quality controlled. Avoid these at all costs.
Never assume. Check that your doctor uses original Botox from Allergan, and feel free to ask to see the bottle if you want to make sure.
2) Who is doing the Botox injections for you?
Only health care professionals can inject Botox. In Singapore, only doctors are licensed to perform the procedure. Look for a reputable doctor who specialises in medical aesthetics to perform the injections for you.
This differs in other countries. For example, in the USA, trained Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants can inject Botox, depending on which state you live in. However, they should be under the supervision of a qualified doctor who has prescribed the injection for you. They should also be able Cornelius Filler to show proof of their medical education, training and licensure.
3) Botox should only be done in a proper Medical Clinic
I had a patient who told me that she had received Botox injections in a neighbouring country before, by a hairdresser, in the salon!
Although very safe, Botox is a medical procedure and should not be taken lightly. It should only be done in a medical clinic, with proper facilities. You can talk to other people who have had their Botox done at the clinic previously for their feedback, to get an idea if the clinic and doctor you are visiting is a good one.
4) Learn about the Possible Side Effects of Botox
Ask and understand the possible associated risks with Botox, and if your injector has experience with them. If your doctor tells you he has never had a single case of side effects, then he is probably lying, or he just simply hasn’t done many cases.
Most side effects with Botox are injection related, such as swelling, bruising and redness. These are temporary and resovle by themselves.
Other more serious ones include asymmetry and eyelid ptosis (drooping) – ask your doctor about these as well before you proceed.