Botox Party: Are They Safe?

I’m interested in knowing more about the true risk of Botox parties. Are the risks all that significant that you need a doctor on-hand? Afterall, Botox does wear off

Doctor Answers 46

Caution with Botox parties

While Botox is a safe procedure in the right hands, it is not something that can be done by anyone, anywhere. It amazes me that people turn their faces over to any "beauty professional" to administer a medical injection that chemically denervates your facial muscles. Yes, the effect is temporary, but there are real complications that can occur. This should be performed by an appropriately trained physician (board certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist, oculoplastic surgeon, or ENT surgeon) or someone directly trained by and supervised by a physician.

When you go to a Botox party in a non-medical setting, it is really hard to ensure safe practices and appropriate medical record keeping. What are the training/credentials of the injector? Do they even know what muscles they are injecting, or how to fix any problems they cause? Do you have a way to contact him or her after the party? Do you have any follow-up? Is the product being used really Botox? Is the lot number, expiration date, and amount of product used recorded in any medical chart? Were you informed of all of the potential risks, asked if you were pregant, informed of the expected results and what to do if you are not satisfied? Are you getting one-on-one attention with your injector, or are you literally in the middle of a party setting? Did you sign an informed consent? Is there alcohol involved? Were you under pressure by friends or the injector? Is there appropriate equipment to provide sterile technique? Did he or she take the time to analyze your face specifically? Was a medical history taken?

The real answer to your question depends on what you mean by Botox party. The above refers to social gatherings in a non-medical setting, with an injector offering Botox to the attendees. Often the person injecting is not properly trained or qualified to perform the injections, may or may not be a licensed practioner, or may not even understand how Botox works.

I strongly urge you to seek out a professional who is trained to provide this medical service, rather than getting injected at some random party or the corner salon offering cheap prices. There is a reason the prices are cheap. You don't want to learn the hard way that yes, it does matter who injects your Botox.

Good luck!


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Botox parties can be safe if done right

Botox parties do not have to have a negative stigma. I regularly hold Botox parties in my office and in The Roxpsa medispa at the Roxbury Clinic and Surgery Center. When performed safely, with approved medical techniques and appropriate informed consent, Botox parties can be very safe.

That being said, you must still be cautious and suspicious when Botox parties are conducted by non-trained individuals. These are still medical procedures and must always be supervised by a knowledgeable physician.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Botox " Parties"

BOTOX is an injectable medication for use by medical professionals. A 'BOTOX party' is a gathering designed to make the treatment less intimidating to attendees, but a word of caution; 'BOTOX parties' are sometimes held outside of medical settings. Before joining a 'party', ask yourself the following questions:
  • Have I been asked to provide a complete medical history?
  • Have I been advised of alternative treatments?
  • Have risks or potential complications been discussed?
  • Have I been asked to give my informed consent?
  • Will I receive adequate follow-up care?
Consumers should look for a doctor with BOTOX Platinum status, ensuring that your physician is one of the top users of BOTOX Cosmetic in the nation. Through a special offer provided by Allergan, the manufacturer of BOTOX Cosmetic, patients can enjoy $25 off every BOTOX treatment when administered by a BOTOX Platinum status physician.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Botox should only be injected by trained medical professionals

Botox should only be injected by trained medical professionals (Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists).

In California, RN's may inject Botox if properly trained and only under the supervision of a physician.

Occasionally (underline occasionally as this is uncommon) a bit of the Botox can get into the muscle of the upper eyelid and cause it to droop. Fortunately, this is usually short lived as the muscle was not injected directly. Over-injection can cause facial immobility.

In the right hands, Botox is very safe and the vast majority of patients who are properly injected by trained professionals are very happy with results.

Do your homework first and beware of highly discounted prices.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Your injector matters

All three of the neuromodulators that are commonly used and FDA approved for cosmetic use in the US (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin) are extremely safe, when in the right hands. 

Any horror stories that you hear are likely performed by unlicensed providers at a medi spa, home injection party, dentists office, etc.  When put in improper places with incorrect doses, problems can definitely happen. These unqualified injectors, although especially prevalent where I practice, are everywhere across the US. 

Choose somebody whose entire practice revolves around facial anatomy, facial cosmetics, and who's training was specific to that - this is not your cardiologist or geriatrician who took a few weekend courses. Stay away from the dentist, internal medicine doctor, family practice doctor, etc who decided to inject Botox on the side to make a few extra bucks. You often find the best deals with these unqualified providers or medi spa's, but you will get what you pay for in the end.  

It is also worth noting that just because somewhere does a lot of Botox does not necessarily mean they are good at it; doing the same thing wrong a thousand times just makes one better at doing it wrong.

Scientifically: 

Botulinum toxin was first isolated in the 20s, was first used therapeutically in 1968, and became approved in 1989 for eye issues. It has been used heavily for cosmetic use since 2002, and it was the first aesthetic drug ever approved.  All that is to say...it has a lot of safety data behind it. Recent evidence (coming out this week) proves that botulinum toxin does NOT enter your brain as it's distant cousin tetanus toxin does, which is where that theory came from. 

Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are the 3 botulinum toxins approved for cosmetic use in the US. They all work in the same way, at the presynaptic terminal blocking the release of acetylcholine - making the nerve temporarily unable to communicate with the muscle. It is broken down as a protein in our body with liver metabolism. Effects are temporary, and repeated use serves to take tension off of your skin, relaxing lines and wrinkles.

To ensure you are receiving the highest level of care, seek out a modernly trained, new-school dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these "core four" cosmetic specialties. Membership in organizations like the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery help to identify a highly trained surgeon.

Cameron Chesnut

#realself500 Physician

Cameron Chesnut, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

So you've been invited to a Botox Party, should you go?

While they sound like a lot of fun I do not think they are safe. For patient safety I believe in maintaining the highest medical standards. This means administering Botox in a safe clean clinical setting with no alcohol involved.

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Botox Parties With Dermatologists Can Be Safe

Many women enjoy getting cosmetic procedures at the same time as their friends, to make the experience more communal. However, these procedures should always be performed by a qualified and well-trained professional with years of expertise, ideally in a medical office setting. Botox is a neuromodulator that relaxes muscles. If injected incorrectly, it may create nerve damage and/or unwanted paralysis that can disfigure facial expresses and cause a drooping or closed eyelid. Botox takes three to four months to wear off, so if a mistake is made, you will have to live with the consequences for quite some time. If you and your friends wish to do Botox together, be sure to choose a board-certified dermatologist to help you get the results you want. We have performed Botox and other procedures with groups of friends in our medical office during the weekend or on evenings by special request.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Botox Party

Who is having the Botox Party??  Is it in a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist office? Do your research, and do not be afraid to ask questions.  There are people who inject Botox who are not qualified to do so. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Botox Party Safety Concerns

 

It is absolutely essential that Botox is administered by an experienced medical specialist to help reduce possible risks and complications that can occur. Some forms of side effects can last weeks, while others can last for several months. If the Botox party does not have a medical practitioner performing the injections, then it should be avoided.

 

The person administering the Botox must have a thorough understanding of facial anatomy and how to work with these principles to not only make necessary corrections, but also to ensure a sound aesthetic result.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

It is not a party if someone gets hurt

Botox parties can be safe if conducted by a board certified plastic surgeon.  Too frequently these parties are run by non experts who risk sterility, improper handling of botox, and improper techniques which can lead to a variety of issues up to and including blindness.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.