Botox: Make Sure It's Real
By: Angelica Jackson MPAS PA-C, Halcyon Med Spa
Everyone knows the name BOTOX now; it’s synonymous with a refreshed appearance. Men and woman have been using it for years to soften wrinkles and prevent the appearance of aging. By now you might even have been invited to Botox parties with friends or co-workers. It’s a fun concept, who doesn’t like to socialize, enjoy a drink and enjoy a discount on Botox, to boot?
Unfortunately, the popularity of these injectables also attracts unqualified individuals to offer Botox injections as a side business. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in complications caused by unqualified injectors selling injections containing Botox they purchased online or from other countries. There is speculation that these unscrupulous individuals use this illegal route because they lack the medical credentials required to purchase directly from Allergan, who manufactures Botox.
How to protect yourself
Make sure you do your research on the injector so you know that they are a qualified to perform this procedure. Ask the injector what their medical degree is. Are they a Doctor, Physician Assistant, or a Nurse Practitioner? Don’t ever feel shy or embarrassed to ask, your safety your number one priority. If your provider seems defensive, take this as a warning, don’t take the risk. You also need to make sure the injector has the experience and is performing the procedure legally. Feel free to ask to see the bottle to check the expiration date and make sure it was purchased in the USA. In my practice, I love when patients ask to see the Botox bottle here at our spa and ask questions. A qualified medical provider should be happy to put your mind at ease, beginning with a warm introduction and wearing proper identification so you know their title. They should always provide you with a card and how to contact them in case of an adverse reaction so don’t forget to get this vital information, just in case.
It says “OnabotulinumtoxinA” on the top of the bottle
What to look for when examining the bottle
- There is a hologram exclusively on products cleared by the FDA to be sold in the USA that says, “Allergan.”
- License #1145 is on the bottle.
Another way to make sure you are getting FDA approved Botox is to simply enroll in Brilliant Distinctions, a free rewards system offered by Allergan. Every single medical provider who orders from Allergan has access to this system, and consumers sign up via the App or website. Once enrolled, patients receive points for every procedure. Points can be redeemed for discount coupons off your next treatment. I have actually met with clients who complained that a previous injector claimed that they did not participate. Never accept this as an answer from your injector. In some cases, our has staff assisted those clients with enrolling in Brilliant Distinctions, only to find that, without their knowledge or consent, they had been signed up and their points had been redeemed without them enjoying the loyalty discount. If this has happened to you, reset your password by following the password reset instructions on the Brilliant Distinctions website.
If I didn’t work in this field I simply wouldn’t know what questions to ask or what red flags to look for. We try to educate clients so that they don’t become victims. At Halcyon Med Spa, we want to share our knowledge with our clients and keep our staff educated on on the latest treatment innovations and training. For some people, cosmetic injections can be a way to exploit innocent customers, and make easy money. The best defense against such providers is to be a smart consumer.
Angelica Jackson MPAS PA-C is a medical injector at Halcyon Med Spa.
Halcyon Med Spa is solely owned and operated by Dr. Lonnie Schwirtlich. All medical services are performed by Heather Orr, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Angelica Jackson, a Board Certified PA trained in Dermatology and an Allergen Master Injector.