Apr 4

Should Botox be done in the Mall?

The Grove

I was reading the Times when I came across an article about a duo of doctors who were planning on opening a “Botox- only” store front office on a busy corner of 59th Street in NY, when I began to think

“Is a Botox convenience store appropriate?”

The idea behind the store is:  “It will appeal to people who took a few hours to shop at Bloomingdale’s, to secretaries on their lunch hours, to people who live and work in the neighborhood, and we will be getting visitors who think on a whim, “I wouldn’t normally do this at home, but we’re in New York, so let’s try it.”

They reason in an age-conscious society that has already accustomed itself to Botox parties, Botox house calls, Botox in spas and Botox at malls, the idea of a Botox specialty retailer akin to Starbucks seems inevitable.  One of the doctors was quoted as saying, “Botox is the female yuppie heroin. It’s like electricity: If you want to keep it on, you have to keep paying.”

To this effect the owners of this new enterprise have hired family practitioners whose experience with cosmetic injections and facial aesthetics amounts to courses on Botox injection they have taken at weekend seminars and training by the doctor- owners of the store.

After reading the article I was left confused and troubled. For us at Profiles, it seems that the idea of Botox or any other injectable as an impulse buy is, too say the least, problematic. The owners of the Botox-only store believe that general practitioners who have basic training and experience using Botox could be good injectors, saying “Botox is not very user dependent…As long as you inject it in roughly the right spot, it works. It’s like a flu shot. You can have it in your deltoid or your buttocks and it spreads out. It doesn’t have to be to the millimeter.”

We wonder if consumers would go to a place like this if they knew that the owners felt this way about their Botox treatments.

In our experience and in our practice, each patient is viewed individually both in terms of their concerns and with respect to their anatomy. Some patients have stronger muscles or thicker skin and require more Botox, other patients are very clear in knowing that they don’t want to be frozen and require less Botox. But only by listening to their concerns and understanding their anatomy can we discern these issues. Moreover, and perhaps even more importantly, some patients present thinking they need Botox when really they would do much better if they had a filler, a combination of Botox and a filler, or something totally different, like a peel. So what happens in a “Botox- only” store? We fear the answer is akin to the man with a hammer, who thinks everything he sees is a nail.

I thought it was interesting that another doctor who was questioned about this Botox-only store compared the new enterprise to car painting, saying there are places that also paint cars for $99 but that doesn’t mean you’re going to take your Porsche there.

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