Ballpark Estimate: $300 to $500 per injection
Do you ever wish you could turn back the hands of time to erase some of the years off your face? Botox treatments are a temporary procedure that many people undergo today to smooth out some of their age lines and regain a more youthful appearance.
A Non-Surgical Approach
One particularly appealing aspect of Botox treatments is that it is a non-surgical approach that can be done right in the physician’s office. It requires little or no recovery time yet is often able to achieve dramatic (although short-term) results.
A Growing Trend
The use of Botox injections, which are made from bacteria called botulinum, was approved by the FDA in 2002 to be used for cosmetic purposes. Since then, the treatment has become widely available throughout the United States and in countries around the world. Although most insurance companies won’t pay for this, many people are willing to shell out a few thousand dollars a year in the hopes of achieving younger, smoother skin.
How It Works
When you smile, frown or squint, the repetitive motion of your muscles over time can leave deep wrinkles on your forehead and around your eyes and mouth. To reverse the effects, Botox is injected into the muscles in order to paralyze them. This weakening of the muscle results in smoother looking skin, yet still allows enough movement for you to have normal facial expressions. (Note that Botox doesn’t work on those fine wrinkles which aren’t caused by muscle movement.)
What to Expect
Botox injections are typically performed by a plastic surgeon right in his or her office. The procedure takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of the wrinkles, and there is very little pain or discomfort for most patients. (Some physicians will numb the area first to make it even more comfortable for patients.) Some patients can experience some light bruising in the treated area but they are able to resume their normal activities immediately.
Smoother (or in many cases, even unwrinkled) skin can typically be seen within a day or two of the procedure. The results last anywhere from a few months to close to a year. With repeated treatments, however, the results can be longer lasting as the muscle consistently becomes weaker.
Plastic surgeons report few serious risks associated with Botox treatments. Some of the possible side effects experienced are typically short-term problems, such as a drooping eyelid that can last for several months and an inability to raise your eyebrows. However, women who are pregnant or have certain nervous system disorders and other serious medical conditions may not be good candidates for the procedure.
What It Costs
The cost of Botox treatments can depend on a variety of factors. For instance, how many areas of your face need treatment, how strong the treatment is, how much training your plastic surgeon has received and what area of the country in which you live can all impact what you can expect to spend.
That being said, the price range in the United States for a Botox Cost For Botox Injectionsinjection is in the $300 to $500 range. Just keep in mind that if you need multiple injections, you may spend as much as $1,000 or even more for your treatment each time you have it done. (Some practices today even charge as high as $1,000 per injection each time, so in that case, treating two areas can cost $2,000 for one visit, but this is less typical.) Further, some practices charge by the unit instead of by the injection. In that case, you will likely be charged about $10 to $15 a unit, but the overall price of the procedure should come out in the same range.
Keep in mind that physicians actually pay considerably less for each vial of Botox (the going price charged to physicians is in the $400 range, although experts say that the bottle of liquid actually costs less than $100 to manufacture). Each vial of Botox contains 100 units, but any liquid not used within a few hours of opening the bottle must be discarded, so there is usually a fair amount of waste. In addition, the physician’s fee must also include time, the facility and other overhead.
A Word of Warning
In an environment where most people are tightening their purse strings and shopping around for the best deals on almost everything, the experts points out that you should draw the line on this practice when it comes to any medical or cosmetic procedures. This is because some states don’t require any training to perform treatments such as Botox and some of the untrained practitioners may be willing to charge you less than their licensed counterparts. In order to protect yourself, you should always look for a plastic surgeon or physician who is accredited and check his or her qualifications.
In addition, some physicians offer Botox parties, providing treatment for a group of friends in someone’s home. While this can be an interesting and entertaining way to try Botox and get a group rate, this practice has raised concerns about the safety of performing this treatment outside of a sterile office environment, so you may limit your treatment to those provided in a professional setting.
Creative Ways to Save
These warnings aside, there are actually a few creative ways you can get Botox at a more affordable rate. One option is to look for a well-respected practice that offers the option of paying up front for the full year’s worth of treatment. This can cut the total price by 20 or 30 percent, making it worth the trouble. In addition, some practices run special promotions and incentives that allow new patients to try a treatment at a reduced rate. If you are considering trying such a special, always make sure the plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.