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You might have heard about Botox parties from your friends, co-workers or an invitation in the mail. If you think that a get-together to rejuvenate your features sounds like fun, you’re not alone – many people in Massachusetts and elsewhere have attended Botox parties. These social events have gained in popularity in recent years. Attendees may gather for wrinkle-reducing Botox injections at a doctor’s office or in someone’s home. The events are quite attractive because they generally cost less than Botox treatments at a cosmetic surgeon’s office and they promise to be fun, relaxed and casual.

Does this sound too good to be true? Dermatology experts say that yes, in many cases these Botox parties can cause more harm than good. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are numerous risks you might face by getting Botox injections from anyone other than a certified cosmetic surgeon. The most common unwanted side effects can include bruising, pain and temporary weakness of the muscles around the injection site. You might suffer a more serious complication, such as vision problems, an allergic reaction or difficulty swallowing, breathing or speaking.

Despite the risks, many dentists, gynecologists and spa technicians offer Botox in addition to their usual services. The danger is that they usually lack sufficient training on where to administer the injections in relation to the facial muscles and nerves, as well as the resources to handle an emergency.

Would you see your dermatologist for a cavity filling or root canal? If the answer is no, you might also want to reconsider attending that Botox party at your dentist’s office. Serious health and legal issues might arise if you are injured by a doctor without the experience or credentials to perform cosmetic procedures. This information, however, should not be taken as legal advice.