Red Flags That You’re Getting Your BOTOX® From the Wrong “Professional”

Red Flags That You’re Getting Your BOTOX® From the Wrong “Professional”
Red Flags That You’re Getting Your BOTOX® From the Wrong “Professional”

BOTOX injections seem common these days, but just because it feels like everyone else is getting them, doesn't mean that just anyone should be administering them.

I spoke with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Adam Rubinstein to get professional advice on the most important questions to ask anyone about to administer botulinum toxin (BOTOX, Dysport, Xeomin) or any other injectable(s) to your face or anywhere else on your person!

Mary Cunningham: Is there a specific accreditation needed to administer BOTOX or similar injectables?

Dr. Adam Rubinstein: No, there isn't, but in the state of Florida where I’m based, and in many other states, the administration of BOTOX is supposed to be performed by a physician, physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. As someone with a medical license, they are deemed by the Board of Medicine to be appropriately trained, and as such, they can administer BOTOX and other similar injectables. People who are neither trained nor licensed can get their hands on fillers and treat themselves, their friends and family, or even set up a fake shop and work on unsuspecting clients. Always be on the lookout for people who are trying to make a quick buck doing this. They are unscrupulous providers and should not be trusted. Know what questions to ask. Dentists and doctors from other medical specialties are also technically able to inject, but they likely don't have the knowledge, training and experience to understand the movement of the face and the best places to inject, which can lead to undesirable results.

MC: Something important to consider! Okay, so what should someone ask when choosing a health professional for BOTOX administration?

Dr. Rubinstein: First, know where you're going, and what you're getting yourself into. There are many people who will advertise a certain “price per unit” which might sound like a good deal, but, as with everything else - you get what you pay for. And with BOTOX, you should research the practitioner in advance, so that you know who you're visiting and you’re aware of the knowledge, training and experience they have. Even though your dentist, general practitioner or gynecologist might offer BOTOX, it's kinda like going to an Italian restaurant and ordering Chinese food - you're not going to get the best version of what you were looking for. So when you go to an office that doesn't specialize in aesthetic procedures, you're setting yourself up for the possibility of having a less-than-fantastic outcome because this person doesn't have the mindset or experience necessary to produce the best results.

Unfortunately many doctors view aesthetics as a nice money-making adjunct… more or less an add-on to their core practice. You should look for someone who has many years of focused cosmetic training and practice to inject any substance(s) into your face. Do your research, and ask the administrator directly, how long have you been administering these injections? Are there any side effects? What kind of result(s) can I expect? How long will it last?

You want, need and deserve accountability, proper training, and experience. With experience and training comes someone who understands facial musculature, and the nuances between injecting just a little lower or just a little higher. The subtleties count – believe me!

MC: Speaking of those nuances, most of us have seen examples of too much BOTOX or have seen it injected into the wrong area, leaving a patient looking a little… well… twitchy. Are there certain places that are better than others for injection sites?

Dr. Rubinstein: BOTOX stops muscles from moving temporarily- and if you don't have intimate knowledge of how the muscles move in the face, then you aren't giving the best experience to the patient.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but you need a board-certified, trained professional who deals with muscular structure and how the face moves on a day-to-day basis. Look for those practitioners for whom this is their profession, again – someone who specializes in aesthetics – who has studied this and continues to study aesthetic non-surgical and surgical procedures - and possess years of experience.

A trained professional understands the difference from one face to the next, and how they each move differently and have individualized needs. Anyone you are considering receiving a BOTOX injection from should consult with you first and ask you about what you want to look like and what your personal expectations are. Some patients want to look natural and expressive after BOTOX, even if that means there are residual lines, but some prefer to look a little more, well, unnatural for the sake of having absolutely no lines. Everyone has his or her own personal preference, and anyone administering BOTOX or any other injectables should know what your preference is prior to doing anything.

If the administrator of the injectables doesn't ask you to move your face for them - to smile, frown, laugh, etc. to watch how your face moves, then you probably aren't in the right place, and not with someone who knows or cares enough about you to provide you with the best treatment.

MC: Vitally as important. Thank you for your time, Dr. Rubinstein, it was a treat speaking with you about this!

Dr. Rubinstein: is a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Miami, FL. For more great advice from Dr. Rubinstein, tune in to his New Reflections radio show.

About the Author

Mary Cunningham is a health and wellness writer and co-founder of the lifestyle site, Girl Around Town and travels regularly between New York, Austin and Houston. She loves speaking about the beauty we have inside and how to do the inner work to let that beauty radiate. Prior to leaving the corporate world to start her own company, Mary worked at the GRAMMYs in Los Angeles, before moving to Manhattan, where she joined Nokia's Digital Music Department.