Dermatology society warns of "bogus Botox"
"Never have any injections done unless it's in a reputable
physician's office, because it's unsafe," Dr. Rhoda Narins, past
president of ASDS, told Reuters Health.
"You wouldn't entrust the care of your heart or kidneys to a
non-physician, so why should your skin be any different?" she asked in
the ASDS statement.
The recent report involved a Salinas, California hairstylist who may
face charges of manslaughter for injecting clients with the counterfeit
substance. The ingredients of the substance used are still unknown,
according to police reports. Furthermore, the hairstylist, who
solicited clients from her salon and conducted house calls to perform
the procedures, was not medically licensed or trained to do so.
"People are drawn to non-physician offices because of price," said
Narins, a private practice dermasurgeon and clinical professor of
dermatology at New York University.
Yet, considering the high cost of the FDA-approved Botox versus the
non-regulated less expensive alternatives, she said, "if something
looks too cheap, it is too cheap."
Injections of the real Botox can also lead to serious health
problems -- and fatalities -- if improperly used. Concern about
potential dangers from Botox treatment performed by non-licensed
professionals is not new, however.
In 2005, Britain moved to impose tougher regulations on the cosmetic
surgery industry due to increasing safety concerns, according to a
previously published Reuters report. According to those regulations,
future Botox injections as well as other cosmetic procedures have to be
performed by trained medical staff registered with the government as
cosmetic surgery providers.
During the 2000 World Congress in Cosmetic Dermatology, Dr. Edileia
Bagatin, from the Federal University of Sao Paulo, warned that
inappropriate use of the toxin can result in severe facial paralysis
"Getting anything injected into the body is dangerous," Narins said,
citing the risk of impurities, infections, and overdose. "It's nice to
look great, it's important to look great, but you need to do it without
the risk," she added.
To avoid experiencing complications from Botox use, the American
Society for Dermatologic Surgery advises potential cosmetic surgery
patients to follow a few of the following Dos and Don'ts:
* Do make sure a board-certified physician is on site and immediately available.
* Do check the credentials of the person who will perform the procedure.
* Don't ever go to someone's home or a hotel room to have a cosmetic procedure performed.
* Don't rely on price as the determining factor.
* Don't be afraid to ask questions.
* Don't be afraid to walk away.