Injecting foam insulation around a drafty electrical socket is one thing, but Injectables oneself with a botulinum toxin product is quite another. Consumers need to be aware that engaging in DIY laser treatments or cosmetic injectables carry with it a great deal of risk vs. reward. Consumers interested in cosmetic injectable procedures should always engage a professionally-trained physician to administer these Injectables treatments. Patients should choose doctors who have completed a comprehensive cosmetic injectable training program.

The International Association of Physicians for Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) offers consumers the following 4 “tips” on how to ensure their aesthetic medicine treatment is both safe and effective.

Tip One: Botox buyer beware

Recently, there have been several reports regarding DIY “botox-like” injectables, which can be purchased through the internet. A woman in Texas offered consumers a botox-like product called “Freeze,” complete with a “How-To” video, so consumers could administer the botulinum toxin themselves. The red-flags regarding this internet offering range from her unrealistically low pricing to her lack of knowledge regarding the potential side effects

Injectables the administration of a neurotoxin into the body

In this instance, the vendor was offering a 100 unit vial of “Freeze” for $139, where the physician cost for a 100 unit vial of Botox Cosmetic┬« is over $500. Equally, for Dysport, she was quoting $169 US for a 500 unit vial, where a 300 unit vial in the US is sold to physicians for $475. “As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is,” says IAPAM Executive-Director Jeff Russell. “If you see someone selling a cosmetic injectable on the internet for a quarter of the cost to physicians, then the product is most likely counterfeit and you have no idea what is actually in it,” continues Russell.

Furthermore, “it’s important to ensure the vial being used is not counterfeit, look for the 3-d hologram to ensure it is the FDA approved product,” says Jeff Russell. Single-use vials of BOTOX Cosmetic┬« have a holographic film on the vial label that contains the name “Allergan” within horizontal lines of rainbow color. To see the hologram, rotate the vial back and forth between your fingers under a desk lamp or fluorescent light.

The FDA offers these salient “tips” to consumers considering botulinum toxin injectables:

Know what you are being injected with and make sure your health care professional is using only an FDA-approved product, purchased within the United States. Patients and doctors alike can verify that the product they are receiving is an FDA-approved and licensed botulinum toxin type A medical product.

If your doctor refuses to give you this information, look for another health care professional. As well, if your vial is not in English, this is another red flag. Some physicians buy their cosmetic injectables from Mexico and Canada where they often originate in China and Eastern Europe. These vials are not FDA approved, and therefore you have no idea what is actually in the vial. You should ask your provider if they purchased their injectable products directly from the US distributor.