Highway Robbery: Roadside Cosmetic Surgery
Would you ever believe a billboard touting safe, $9 Botox treatments? Or pay $40 to have your teeth whitened at a state fair? While down in Florida this weekend enjoying some MLB Spring Training games (Go, Tigers!), this RB editor was shocked to see two serious beauty fouls that served as unfortunate reminders of our tough economics timesand how people will blindly pursue a cheap, quick cosmetic fix.
The billboard promising $9 Botox treatments was outside of Tampa. It didn't advertise a website, address, or doctor's credentialsjust a local phone number and a picture of a syringe. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for Botoxing just the "11" lines between the brows is around $400. Of course, prices vary around the country, but getting a surgical enhancement at any legit establishment should cost you more than a movie ticket. The risks of bootleg injectibles coupled with untrained technicians are well-documented and can range from permanent disfigurement to death, so rule of thumb: find an accredited practitioner before going under the needle.
And the same goes for tooth whitening! The second dubious beauty sighting was at a state fair, where a mother and her grade-school-aged daughter were getting side-by-side tooth whitening treatments (in between a hot dog truck and a carney selling cotton candy). Though whitening isn't the most invasive form of cosmetic surgery, when done improperly it can cause permanent tooth sensitivity or discoloration because of overly-aggressive bleaching agents (especially for young children!). On the other end of the scam-spectrum, it can be a hoax. The new blue-light treatments that are meant to expedite brightening results can be easily imitated with impotent bulbs. Either way, should you see a stand like this and suddenly feel the urge to get rid of coffee stains, save your money for skee-ballor a visit to see your dentist.