According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were nearly 7.5 million injections of botulinum toxin type A (Botox, Jeuveau, Dysport, and Xeomin) in 2018, the most recent year for which data’s available, and well over 2.6 million filler injections, making them the two most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States by a pretty wide margin.
In other words, if you’re considering going under the needle, you’re in good company. But, as straightforward as an injection may sound—relatively quick procedures, little to no downtime—it’s still a good idea to do your homework before booking an appointment. To help with that, I’ll review a few things in this post and the next one that you should be considering.
You may already have noticed that there’s a lot of variation in pricing for a cosmetic injection. Much of that depends on the product and where you live. That said, you get what you pay for when it comes to injectables. If a price seems especially low, like a Groupon for $50 Botox, that’s a red flag.
As interest in injectables grows by leaps and bounds, so, too, does the fake-filler market. It’s become all too common of a practice to dilute the product, which enables the injector to offer it well below the average price, but it also makes the product less effective—and potentially harmful, depending on what it’s diluted with. And illegally-purchased black-market knockoffs from China have given rise to a growing population of self-taught injectors.
Excited as you may be over the chance to save some money, you’ll likely end up spending more in the end when you factor in the inevitable corrective treatment. For the best results, wait until you can pay for an injection provided by a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Narrowing your search to only board-certified plastic surgeons is a good start, but then you’ll want to filter it further by digging a little deeper and seeking out those who have experience in the specific procedure you’re interested in. So much of the success of these kinds of cosmetic treatments depends on who is doing them. The remainder is dependent on the product—more on that in a moment—which makes the injector’s expertise even more critical.
Schedule consultations with more than one plastic surgeon, and don’t be shy about asking how long they’ve been doing this particular procedure and how they were trained. It should also be helpful to see before-and-after photos of their patients, not just those from a brochure for the product.
The range of available cosmetic injectables is likely much larger than you’re thinking, so it’s important to learn as much as you can about your options before sitting down with a plastic surgeon. Botulinum toxin type A is a good example. It’s often referred to as Botox, which is the oldest and most widely-used brand, but it isn’t the only neurotoxin out there. It’s like calling all tissues Kleenex. Once you know the true extent of your options, you’ll be better positioned to ask your injector which one they plan on using and why.