Ballpark estimate: $350 to $1,000
If you’re been searching in vain for the fountain of youth, how about trying Botox injections instead for a simple and effective way to refresh your look? This is an easy—and temporary—non-surgical cosmetic technique to smooth out wrinkles and help your skin look younger again.
What are Botox Injections?
A Botox injection is a procedure approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that uses botulinum to weaken or paralyze facial muscles as a way to achieve a smoother, more youthful look. Botox works to relax the deep creases and wrinkles that form when the muscles engage in repetitive motion over the long-term. This can occur in the areas around the eyes, the mouth, and also on the forehead.
These treatments take only a few minutes to perform (depending on the the number of areas being treated), and the results typically will take effect within just one to two days of having the injections done.
You can expect the benefits of Botox to last anywhere from a few months on up to a year before they need to be repeated. Over time with repeated injections into the same areas, the effects of the Botox may begin to last for longer periods. There is typically not much discomfort with the injections, although if pain is a concern, you can have the area numbed first if needed. Following receiving Botox injections, you should be able to get back to your regular activities without any down time.
Not All Options Are Equal
Botox treatments are easy to access in the United States. You can find them in medical offices as well as in more informal settings (including spas, malls, and even homes), but the experts stress the necessity of selecting a licensed cosmetic surgeon who is trained in this technique and will perform it in the safety of a sterile medical office to avoid any complications.
To find someone experienced in performing Botox injections safely, you can ask your primary care physician or dermatologist for a recommendation to a board certified cosmetic surgeon. You can also do a search online to find a reputable specialist in your area who comes with pristine credentials. Or, you might look for a practitioner through the American Academy of Dermatology’s website or the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Both organizations offer searchable directories that can help you find qualified members who practice in your area.
Although Botox is viewed as safe in most cases, there are some people who are not good candidates for this procedure, including women who are pregnant and those with some nervous system disorders, so a physician should review your medical history in advance to be sure it’s a good fit for your situation.
Further, some physicians offer “Botox parties” where Botox injections are given to groups of women in a home setting at a discounted rate. While the concept may appeal to some women, this is not recommended. The danger is that in rare cases, people can have a serious reaction to Botox and therefore, it’s always safer to be in a physician’s office in the event something goes wrong. In addition, home parties often include drinking, which can increase the likelihood of bruising from the injections.
Cost of Botox
When shopping for Botox injections, you’ll need to weigh some of the variables to understand the full financial picture. First, Botox injections can vary depending on the part of the country in which you live. Practitioners located in big cities with a higher cost of living will generally charge more than their counterparts in more rural areas. The level of experience the surgeon has can also affect the price he or she charges for Botox injections. In addition, exactly how many areas will need injections in one treatment session is a major factor in the cost. On the low end, one Botox injection can start at $300 and it can go up to $1,000 or even more. If you need two areas treated, then you can expect to double the cost. Some physician’s office can charge per Botox unit at an
average rate of $10 to $15 per unit. (One physician estimates that to treat three areas of wrinkles, he uses 60 units of Botox. At $15 per unit, this would come up to $900.) If you are pricing Botox by unit, be sure to find out approximately how many units would be used for the areas you want to address. Usually, the pricing should be consistent when charged per unit to what you would pay for a physician who charges using a per-treatment cost.
When considering the cost of Botox, it’s important to know that it may not be covered by your insurance provider since this is generally considered a cosmetic procedure that isn’t medically necessary.
There are a few exceptions, however. For instance, Botox may be covered by insurance if it’s administered for a medical diagnosis, including uncontrolled eye twitching, which is called blepharospasm. Botox may also be covered when it’s injected under the arm to treat cases of extreme sweating.
However, if your purpose of undergoing Botox injections is for vanity’s sake, you better be ready to splurge on this approach out of your own pocket. If you’ll be footing the bill yourself and you’re on a budget, it’s worth talking with the surgeon to find out about payment plans and other financing options. Some plastic surgeons will offer a discount if you pay for multiple treatment sessions up front.
When the price seems too good to be true, some experts say that it probably is. Therefore, when exploring Botox treatments, keep in mind that you don’t want to select the least expensive option if it could come at the expense of your safety or health.