By the term Botulinum Toxin Injections I refer to any medication used to treat lines and wrinkles by injection to weaken muscles of facial expression. I am not referring to any brand, but the words ‘having my B*T*X has become synonymous with the treatment itself, not the medication used.

In today’s financial climate I can’t blame people for searching out the best value they can get, after all money is hard to come by and we all want to feel as if we have got a good deal. I have had more inquiries from people who are price conscious than ever, but is there a hidden cost to cheap Anti-Wrinkle treatments? Here are a few reasons why I think sometimes the answer is an overwhelming yes.

1) With beauty salons feeling the financial pinch they are naturally looking for sources of income and because we have no regulation where Anti-Wrinkle treatments are done, the door is wide open to them. I don’t have a problem with a well run salon, with a competent doctor and high standards, however having seen a multitude of disasters come through my doors I have to say they are far and few between. I’ve seen patients whose eyes have closed, faces look like they have had strokes and skin infections from dirty needles come into the clinic. Many of them have no idea who actually injected them or what the qualifications of the person doing the treatments were! In Ireland it is illegal for a nurse to inject B*T*X and not a lot of people realize this. There are even some really unscrupulous beauticians injecting people after being on a one day course, that means nothing. They must be very clever people because it took me six years of medical school and four more years of surgical training to know the muscles of the face well enough to even try to do the treatment.

2) Watered down Anti-Wrinkle Medication. To do for example a forehead and laughter lines I use almost two bottles of B*T*X For me to buy a vial of Botulinum Toxin from the wholesaler costs well over 200 Euro a bottle, so to offer it for say the forehead at less than 200 Euro has to mean you must be getting less put in than you should be. Perhaps you may think that’s OK if you don’t want that much, but watered down B*T*X spreads quite far and apart from lasting the spread means a high chance of a crooked smile or an eye that shuts.

3) Remote prescribing. In the recent past the General Medical Council has thankfully stopped doctors from giving nurses signed prescriptions for patients who they have never seen. This may sound like madness to prescribe a powerful toxin to someone you have never met, but there is a clinic in the North of Ireland doing just this and offering full upper face Anti-Wrinkle Injections for 250 pounds. That means to me it has to watered down and even worse the patient never sees a doctor! The nurses inject from a diagram and so everyone gets the same injections, even though everyone looks different.