If someone were to walk up to you and tell you that they could offer you the best haircut, would you trust that person to cut your hair without proof of their work or their credentials? What if you were really desperate for that haircut would you take the risk of having a novice give you a buzz cut? Many, if not all of us,in response to these questions would say,“No, I would not. Who would want to trust their locks to an amateur?” Yet, in the pursuit of a youthful appearance, a growing number of women and men have entrusted their faces to medical professionals without an education in Botulinum toxins. This choice has been to the detriment of many persons who have been with left with permanent damage.
Botulinum toxin or Botox as it is commonly called has, in the last 10 years gained significant popularity as the youth elixir of choice for many. Not only is this cosmetic procedure the choice of the older or mature population but for the younger men and women who want to combat the signs of aging before they begin. The growing interests in and (getting) Botox treatments has been due hugely to the fact that it is a relatively inexpensive option (when compared with other cosmetic procedures) and because it is a non-invasive procedure – you don’t have to go under the knife to attain a younger appearance. After a few pricks of Botox injections to those unholy forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines, you will have a smoother appearance in just minutes. This means that recovery time and bruising are significantly decreased. With the benefits in mind, it is no wonder, that this procedure is the choice for many who want to look and feel younger.
The benefits must be lauded but like every procedure you must weigh the pros and the cons equally. One of the greatest mistakes one who is considering this procedure can make is to underestimate the risks associated with this procedure, citing its non-invasive technique. Yes, it is non-evasive but it is still a cosmetic procedure and it is the responsibility of the patient to avoid such pitfalls by firstly ensuring that the procedure is administered under the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Many have made the mistake of not researching the plastic surgeon before going under the needle and have been left with damage to their faces that ranged from mild to severe. Dr Bhatty, one of the foremost administrators of Botox in Pakistan, in the article Botox: Beauty Going Beyond Skin Deep describes the more severe consequences:
“Bad injection technique by an untrained doctor can have painful consequences such as bruises on the face, abnormally positioned eyebrows, permanently frozen facial expressions, double vision and squints, abnormal creases on the forehead, problems in swallowing in the case of neck Botox and problems in chewing in the case of Botox on lips or the jaw line.” (Rahman, M. 2013)
As with any medical procedure, it is important to ask yourself some questions: Am I completely comfortable with my knowledge on this procedure? Do I know enough about this procedure to have it performed? How does this procedure work? What are the associated risks? Am I an ideal candidate? Some of the less personal questions would need the expert opinion of a trained doctor. Your choice of a doctor should not be made on the basis of the physician’s years in medical practice or his renown but on his extensive experience in administering the Botox injection procedure safely and effectively.
You would not trust a novice to give you a haircut, why would you entrust a novice with one of the most important parts of your body – your face?