It used to be that you had to go to a doctor's office to get Botox injections. But now, in many parts of the country, you can get your wrinkles erased right at the mall. With the demand for age-erasing procedures booming, so-called medical spas are opening in strip malls and shopping malls, with about 1,200 nationwide.
If you want to use one of these spas instead of going to the doctor's office, Doris Day, a dermatologist and author of "Forget the Facelift," offers these suggestions:
Find out whether there's a doctor in the house. If there is any type of complication, a doctor can immediately assess the situation. Is the doctor in the next room or is he on call? And don't mistake a white lab coat for professional training. Check the credentials of the person doing the procedure. Is that person a nurse practitioner or a esthetician?
Don't choose where to go based on pricing alone. This is not an area where you want to cut corners to save a dollar.
Don't be afraid to walk away if you don't like what you're hearing. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason or if all your questions are not being answered, feel free to take your business elsewhere. The spa should be asking you questions, too, such as what medications you are taking and whether you are pregnant. You should be asking how many times the spa has performed this procedure and what risks are involved.