While some cost-conscious consumers are turning to "Do-It-Yourself Botox" kits in these tough economic times, experts say those kits could cost you your life.
Dr. Tracy Favreau, an attending dermatologist at Nova Southeastern University, says buying and using one of those kits comes with dangerous risks.
"For a patient to buy a kit like that and just think that if there's an instruction sheet that they can use to inject the muscles of the face for facial expression, it's a catastrophe waiting to happen," Favreau said.
One kit purchased sold for $152 contained a 100 unit vial of what's purported to be filled with the bacterium that's supposed to soften frown lines.
"A lot of them are from India, China, third world countries," Favreau said of the kits. "There's actually some that were made in Arizona in a bootleg Botox lab, with horrible results, almost killing people."
Under federal law no form of Botulinum toxin may be commercially distributed for use on humans unless approved by the FDA.
Botox and Dysport are the only two approved for cosmetic use.
Favreau says the risks are too high with one of the kits.
"Paralysis of one side of your face, so it droops, they can get ptosis of eye, which is a common complication, they can get an abscess, a really bad infection that will worsen from that, a really bad staph infection," she said.
Favreau advises that the best way to make sure you're getting the real thing, even in a doctor's office is to ask questions.
"You have to be a good detective, no doctor should be afraid to tell you exactly how to prove that this is an FDA-approved Botox," she said.
The price is also a good indicator.
Any drug that claims to be Botox that sells for less than $9 a unit should be a red flag, since doctors charge on average $15 a unit.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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