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How can I tell whether my Botox injection is real or fake? Counterfeits flood market

Miami Herald - 4/27/2024

Q. I have been hearing about fake Botox. Any chance you could shed light on how I can protect myself from getting it?

A. As the demand for cosmetic treatments like Botox increases, so does the market for counterfeit products. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory Tuesday, warning that fake Botex injections have sickened 22 people from 11 states, including Florida, as of April 18.

READ MORE: An FDA warning about droopy eyelids, blurred vision and fake Botox in nine states

Here are several tips to ensure you're getting the real deal:

Check the provider's credentials. Only licensed professionals--like dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or trained nurses--should administer Botox. Verify their qualifications and ask about their training with Botox.

Examine the packaging.Authentic Botox comes in a vial with a holographic film on the vial label, which contains the name "Allergan" to ensure its legitimacy. The lot number, expiration date and manufacturer's information should be clearly visible. If the packaging looks tampered with or lacks any of these details, it's a red flag.

Ask to see the bottle before treatment.The label should be in English and should not have any signs of tampering or inconsistency in labeling.

Ask your provider where he or she is getting their supply. A reputable provider should have no issue disclosing where they source their Botox. Products that are priced significantly lower than the market rate may be suspect, as genuine Botox has a standard price range due to manufacturer pricing.

Watch your results.Authentic Botox results are typically noticeable within a few days and last three to four months. Unusual side effects or a lack of effect might indicate a counterfeit product.

By following these steps, you can better protect yourself against counterfeit Botox and ensure a safe, effective treatment.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com

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