Okay, so you have decided that you are tired of dealing with your crow’s-feet and forehead wrinkles and you are ready to do something about it. You have been saving your money and finally have enough to take the Botox plunge. You schedule your consultation at the local clinic. They inform you that you are a perfect candidate for Botox injections. You show up on the day of your procedure and get your injections. A few days later, rather than getting that refreshed, younger look you were expecting you end up with a peculiar look and droopy looking eyebrows. Wonder what happened? Well chances are you were another victim of fake Botox injections performed by an unqualified injector.
The medications Botulinum toxin A, sold under the brand name BOTOX® and Abo Botulinum toxin A, branded as Dysport, are the two brands that are generally used safely for the reduction of brow frown lines. They are both FDA approved and MCC approved here in SA.
1. How is fake Botox different from real Botox?
Fake Botox or Dysport could be as a result of the Botox crystal being overly diluted with saline, rendering it less effective. In other words, it’s not mixed to recommended specifications by the manufacturer or it may contain other foreign chemicals.
2. What are the dangers of using fake Botox?
As Botox® becomes more popular, the danger from counterfeit substitutes rises. Some people may minimise these dangers assuming that ineffectiveness is the worst case scenario – but nothing could be further from the truth. In recent years, several incidents of fake Botox injections have put victims into hospital. Fake Botox can cause paralysis of the muscles that control swallowing and breathing. Injections in the wrong doses can cause respiratory distress and much worse.
3. How can a lay person spot the difference between real Botox and fake Botox?
They can’t. Often consumers allow non-licensed practitioners to perform “minor” procedures such as Botox® because of the reduced costs, but are they really getting what they are paying for?
To safeguard yourself against falling victim to false Botox:
• Make sure you go to a reputable aesthetic practice run by doctors. The larger the practice, the more you will increase your chances of receiving bona fide Botox or Dysport. This is because they are far more likely to have an ongoing relationship and large account with reputable distributors. Also, larger aesthetic practices are using much larger quantities of Botox or Dysport which ensures a fresher supply.
• Avoid beauty salons or clinics that have visiting doctors.
• Make sure you are injected by a qualified cosmetic doctor who has been injecting for a number of years.
• Before you receive Botox injections you should always ask to see the original packaging. Ensure it is Botox distributed by Allergan or Dysport distributed by Pharmaplan and not a generic form distributed by illegal importers.
• Make sure the benefits and risks are fully explained to you in a patient consultation.
• Fully disclose any medical conditions you might have and medications you are taking, including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs.
• The alarm bells should start ringing if Botox is offered at a special price.
4. If you come across fake Botox, what should you do?
Unfortunately, there is no governing body to whom you can report purveyors of fake Botox. However, you can report it to the distributors: Allergan for Botox; or Pharmaplan in the case of Dysport .
If you have any further inquiries about Botox, please contact Skin & Body Renewal on 0861 263 972 or visit www.skinrenewal.co.za
Other article you may be interested in:
How Botox affects your emotions
Botox in your twenties
Who should be performing beauty procedures