Posted September 23, 2016
TM from Shadyside asks:
I am 35 and lately I have noticed the wrinkles on my forehead do not disappear when I am at rest. I have been doing my research on Botox and have found that some offices offer Botox by the area and some by the unit. Can you tell me the difference between the two and is one better than the other?
Thank you for your question. Botox is measured in units and functions according to the number of units injected in an area. Each person’s muscle strength can vary, therefore, the amount of Botox required is subjective.
When a patient pays per unit, they pay for the number of units used to treat an area. If the muscle requires more units, the dollar amount increases, and if it requires less units, the dollar amount decreases. When paying per area the amount stays the same for the area being injected, regardless of the amount of Botox used.
When paying per unit, you will get the required number of units needed to have an effective result. When paying per area, you will get the amount of Botox it needs to freeze the muscle and if you require more or less you will still pay the required amount for that area which may be less or more than you need.
Another thing to consider is the dilution of the Botox. Most offices use a 1:1 ratio but some may dilute it more. If you are paying for a specific number of units, the dilution is irrelevant. The dilution becomes very significant when paying by area as the Botox may be less in a more diluted sample. Many times if the price per area seems to good to be true, it most likely is. As each person has different muscle strengths, it is important for an individual to know the number of units needed for effective treatment of an area. With that information you will be able to know exactly the amount you will pay for with your treatment and how effective it was to further assess your treatment value in the future. It is more difficult to track an area treatment then a unit treatment.
In conclusion, I believe it is better to pay per unit. I also encourage each patient to make sure the Botox is FDA approved with a hologram symbol directly on the vial.