5 reasons why you should not go to a Botox party
Recently, I was interviewed by a local radio station in Munich about the topic of “Botox parties.” Is it safe to attend such events or not? These types of gatherings seem to be common in Munich, as I have been asked several times if I would like to come to a Botox party to treat 10–15 people with Botulinum toxin all at once.
Wrinkle-free with a glass in hand?
The pattern is always the same: the host or hostess expects to receive their own Botox injection for free in return for organizing the party and gathering 10 to 15 willing participants for treatment. And all party guests expect to receive the treatment at a lower cost than in a medical practice. So far, so clear. And the treatment seems easy for everyone because alcohol and the festive atmosphere lower inhibitions; it seems like a great deal for all parties involved. Or does it?
Doctor commits a violation of the law, host becomes an accomplice
No, a Botox party carries risks for all participants. Personally, I categorically reject Botox parties for this reason among others, as they are professionally prohibited for doctors in Germany (professional codes of conduct refer to the prohibition of practicing “while roaming around”). This prohibition also extends to the host or hostess: they become an accomplice to the doctor’s violation of the law.
For associations, chambers, or competition associations filing lawsuits, this is a golden opportunity, as past court rulings have shown. Most organizers of such events are unaware of this, to their disadvantage.
However, there are also several risks for the other participants that may not be immediately apparent to them when receiving treatment at a Botox party. Therefore, I will address them below:
Participating in a Botox party is excluded for reputable medical professionals from the start, as this type of treatment is prohibited by professional regulations. No one who has a reputation to uphold would risk endangering their reputation and medical standing for the few hundred euros that could be earned at such an event.
Therefore, only unreliable providers would be considered as possible practitioners at a Botox party. In most cases, these are beginners or even completely unrelated individuals without experience and qualifications for aesthetic treatments. In the worst-case scenario, it could even be that the treatment is not carried out by a medical professional, but rather by a naturopath or a beautician, which is a criminal offense.
It is also not excluded that counterfeit products sourced from illegal channels are injected instead of genuine Botox, which pose unknown risks and have no effect.
What motivates such practitioners? Most of them hope to quickly gain customers through participating in a Botox party, as they are new and inexperienced and do not yet have a practice with regular clients for aesthetic treatments. Perhaps they can retain one or two customers and later sell them additional treatments – similar to a bait-and-switch offer.
No proper examination
An individual medical examination is not possible at a Botox party to ensure that the patient is suitable for the treatment and that there are no contraindications. Furthermore, the doctor-patient relationship is not maintained at such events, as participants may not want to discuss existing conditions that may contraindicate a Botox treatment in front of other party guests.
Since Botox is a potentially dangerous medication with potentially serious side effects, it is important for the doctor to be informed about exclusion criteria.
Similarly, there is often social pressure at Botox parties. If everyone else claims to have no exclusion criteria, would you want to be the one who stands out and possibly has to pass on the treatment? Especially if the hostess has organized everything so nicely? Do you potentially not want to be invited again next time?
Lack of Hygiene
At Botox parties, the hygienic environment of a medical practice is not provided. This significantly increases the risk of infections and other complications. The risk of infection exists with every injection, and it is by no means negligible. Strict hygienic conditions are therefore essential in a medical practice, which cannot be guaranteed at a party basement or the living room of the host.
Furthermore, after having a drink, one might have forgotten to remove makeup and cleanse the face. But did one even want to do that in the first place? After all, the party continues after the treatment, and one wouldn’t want to completely remove their makeup. Can’t it just be done without cleansing?
You can see where this is going, right? Bacteria and contaminants have an easy time thriving in such a party environment.
Indeed, every face is truly unique, and this is not just a slogan used by the aesthetic industry. Especially with Botox treatments, it requires an individual approach with a thorough analysis of the muscular conditions in the face and a tailored treatment plan. However, at a Botox party, due to time constraints, this is not possible.
Instead, you will be given a generic treatment that you have to accept the results of. For example, if your left eyebrow droops, making you look 15 years older, tough luck. You often only notice these issues several days after the treatment, but by that time, the provider from the Botox party may already be gone.
Since Botulinum toxin treatments are not reversible, you have to live with the results, even if they are flawed, for 4–6 months. That alone should be motivation enough to only seek such treatments from a professional, after a thorough examination and consultation.
What to do in case of complications?
Have you ever considered what happens if something goes wrong during a Botox treatment? While it is rare, there can be unforeseen complications such as allergic reactions or circulatory problems.
In a medical practice that is prepared for emergencies and has a well-coordinated team, you can receive optimal care in such cases. However, at a party hosted by an acquaintance, where at most one provider brings a basic first-aid kit and may not be motivated to call an ambulance because they are illegally administering Botox and do not want it to become public, it is a troubling thought.
In summary, I would like to emphasize once again that Botox parties are often unsatisfactory and potentially dangerous for patients. Results can be disappointing, and the medical risks are significant when Botox is administered by an unqualified provider outside a professional medical practice setting. My recommendation is instead for anyone considering treatment to carefully select their doctor and ensure they have the necessary skills and experience. And such a doctor would never agree to administer treatment outside their practice at a party.
It is also important to note that not every person is suitable for a Botox treatment, without even realizing it. Certain medical conditions, such as pregnancy or certain neurological disorders, exclude someone from receiving Botox treatment. Assessing the presence of such conditions is a central part of the patient consultation that a conscientious doctor will conduct before treatment. Sufficient time and a calm environment are necessary for this, as well as the establishment of a trusting relationship, so that all essential aspects can be discussed openly.
For these reasons, Botox treatment must be regarded as a medical procedure that cannot be taken lightly in the context of a “party.” For a satisfactory outcome with minimal risk, treatment by an experienced and qualified doctor in the confidential and professional environment of their practice is necessary. Only in this way can potential risks and complications be minimized, and therapeutic results optimized.
About the author:
Dr. med. univ. Eva Maria Strobl is the owner of LIPS and SKIN Aesthetic Medicine practice in Munich. She is a trained specialist in general medicine (MedUni Vienna) and has over 10 years of specialization in non-surgical aesthetic procedures. She is a member of the German Society for Aesthetic Botulinum Therapy e.V. (DGBT), the German Society of Anti-Aging Medicine e.V. (GSAAM) and of Network Global Health. She publishes regularly on her blog and on DocCheck.