Why Botulinum Toxin?
As people age, they commonly develop wrinkles in the skin of the face. Some of these are caused by sun damage or toxins, but others are a result of the contraction of certain facial muscles. In order to remove these wrinkles, some people turn to a facelift, while others may choose botulinum toxin. Commonly known as botox, this is a chemical derived from bacteria. Although it has many uses, its cosmetic use is injections into the facial muscles that cause wrinkles to form, so that these muscles stop contracting and creating wrinkles. As a result, people can be freed of the need for expensive face creams, makeup, and other solutions that are often ineffective.
If you’re choosing botulinum toxin injection, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that botulinum toxin is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the botulinum toxin procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a single botulinum toxin injection is $380. Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual provider, so you should check with the clinic(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
In most cases, the provider’s fee includes all of the expenses of the procedure. However, you should check to be sure that there won’t be extra charges for certain items, such as topical numbing cream (if you choose to use it). Additionally, keep in mind that you will need to have the procedure more than once for optimal results. It’s usually done 2 to 3 times per year, though the ideal interval varies between individuals.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the procedure (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this procedure are not common, they do happen to a few people, and so you should be prepared in case that rare person is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Medical insurance does not cover cosmetic dermatology, with very rare exceptions. If you believe that you may be one of those rare exceptions (which would mean that there is a functional, rather than purely cosmetic, reason to have your procedure), then you can call your insurance company to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to pay all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Cosmetic Dermatology Financing page.