Botox® contains a neurotoxin that blocks nerves at the site of injection, keeping muscles from contracting, thus softening fine lines and wrinkles. Millions of people a year receive injections of Botox on the face and neck to temporarily “erase” the signs of aging. Botox is very effective, but complications and serious side effects are possible. You want the provider who performs your Botox injection to have the proper medical training and experience to anticipate and prevent complications. Top Things to Look For Botox is safest when a doctor performs the procedure. Sometimes, doctors oversee medically trained professionals who give the actual injection. Find a doctor who: Is board certified and who specializes in cosmetic procedures Has experience performing cosmetic Botox injections You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions Use the following four steps to find the best doctor for your cosmetic Botox injections. 1. Ask Around Start by creating a list of potential doctors. Family members, friends, and current healthcare providers (such as your primary care doctor) may have providers they recommend. If you’re starting out without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search Healthgrades.com for doctors who perform Botox injections. Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends. 2. Research Credentials and Experience Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified and performs cosmetic Botox injections on a regular basis. This may be a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, cosmetic surgeon, or another board-certified doctor. The more experience a doctor has with cosmetic Botox, the better your results are likely to be. Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com. 3. Interview the Provider As you narrow down your list of providers, call and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the provider. Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the provider. Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand? Here are some questions to ask the provider: Will you personally give my Botox injections or will you be supervising someone else giving the injections? Do you typically treat patients like me? Am I a good candidate for Botox? How many times have you injected Botox? What results do you usually see? How frequently do you encounter complications from Botox injections? Given my medical history, what is my risk of complications from Botox? Ask the doctor to review your medical history including all medications, vitamins and supplements you take. What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur? 4. Talk About Costs Insurance plans typically do not cover cosmetic procedures like Botox. Talk with your doctor about costs. Some providers will work with you to develop a payment plan that meets your needs. This is important because the effects of Botox wear off after 3 to 4 months. You need repeat injections to maintain the results. Keep in mind your safety and satisfaction with the results is as important as the cost. Don’t automatically go with the least expensive doctor. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.