How to avoid getting scammed by bad Botox procedures

In a FOX 32 special report: bad Botox.

With procedures on the rise, how can you save face and avoid getting stuck with a bad deal?

“Had Botox for under my eyes, and somehow, it was misplaced. They didn't do the placement correctly,” said Maureen Conley.

Maureen has a bad Botox story.  

"I probably shouldn't tell this story but my husband thought I might have had a stroke. And he's like ‘what is wrong with you?’” she said.

She went to an eye doctor for her procedure and needless to say, wasn't pleased with the results.

Maureen isn't alone. Fedja Temim has tried it.  

“It was my first time going, we went to a spa, there was a physician there,” she said.

After about $500 and two weeks later, it wore off.

"I felt a little bit scammed, to be honest with you, because these things aren't cheap,” Fedja said.

Fedja and Maureen are among a growing trend. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says Botox procedures have grown tenfold, from about 700k in the year 2000 to more than 7 million last year.

With that growing demand, more places are offering it. But not all are above board, with people like Fedja and Maureen getting scammed, or bad Botox.

“If it's too inexpensive, it's not really Botox, or it's just diluted down, you're basically getting water,” said Dr. Irv Wiesman.

Doctor Wiesmann is a plastic surgeon whose performed tens of thousands of Botox procedures. He says be weary of spas offering cheap Botox or fake Botox bought illegally.

“Counterfeit product, stolen product, illegal product, not for human consumption products that are being sold on the black market,” Dr. Wiesman said.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says Botox can only be performed by a licensed physician or under the supervision of one. 

“I think it's regulated. It's just not enforced. And that's the main issue,” Dr. Wiesman said.

Wiesman says the way to protect yourself, go to a licensed physician's office. He's partial to plastic surgeons.

“If you take a look at this vial, there's nothing in there. There's a teeny little rim of white powder on the bottom. That's it. That's all that Botox is,” Dr. Wiesman said.

But there's really only way to be sure what you're getting is the real deal.

“The only way you'll know for sure if it's fresh, or really Botox would be to watch them open that box,” Dr. Wiesman said.

If you're planning on trying it, experts say instead of looking to save a buck, save yourself the trouble by doing your homework.  

“These treatments are everywhere, but you still want to do your due diligence, and do your research, find out who you're dealing with,” Fedja said.

“Check it out a little bit more than I did before I went,” Maureen said.