When you’re considering facial aesthetic treatments in Mexico — Botox, fillers or dermatological treatments — you might be wondering about important issues like safety, expertise, product choices and affordability.
Seasoned dermatologist Dr. Daniela Lara, founder of Clinica de la Piel Dermantra in San Miguel de Allende spoke to us about Botox treatments in Mexico, to address some commonly asked questions based on her personal, professional experience.
Medical tourism in Mexico continues to evolve rapidly — as does its reputation — due to the high standard of doctors, facilities, amenities and significantly reduced costs. In 2022, about 1.2 million people traveled to Mexico for elective medical treatment according to Patients without Borders, and medical tourism is expected to grow significantly this year. The medical process — from diagnosis to recovery — can be of excellent quality and cost less than 40% of similar treatments in the U.S., Dr. Lara tells Mexico News Daily.
She continues, “Currently, due to Mexico’s proximity, many people travel from the U.S. and Canada for neurotoxin or neuromodulator cosmetic procedures. Dermatologists in Mexico can also often provide better access to Asian products, which due to strong lobbying, are not always available in the U.S. Research your Mexican aesthetician’s credentials and testimonials thoroughly.
One of my clients said she was happier with the results from her Botox treatment at my clinic than with her doctor in New York – and the treatment runs at about a third of the cost in the U.S. I’m part of the VIP doctor program with Allergan (Botox, Juvederm) Galderma (Restylane Sculptra) and Merz Aesthetics (Belotero, Radiesse, Ultherapy), and they’ve invested in training me to work with their products.
This has given me the chance to learn with some of the very best aestheticians in the world, like Jani Van Loghen and Dr. Arthur Swift, and attend three to five world conferences annually with the top speakers in the field. It keeps me current with the latest technology, techniques and products, and in turn, I’m able to train my staff.”
Dr. Lara, what is Botox and how is it used in a cosmetic procedure?
Botulinum neurotoxin, popularly known as Botox, is a pharmaceutical substance made from the toxin produced by bacterium clostridium botulinum — which is in fact the same toxin that produces botulism.
Botox is one of the most popular brands administered as a muscle relaxant injection, and botulinum toxin or Botox injections are used cosmetically to relax the muscles in your face, thereby smoothing out facial lines and wrinkles, such as crow’s feet around the eyes, frown lines or facial grooves. Studies demonstrate that neurotoxins such as Botox and other brands also affect sensory neurons, so they can work well for chronic pain such as migraines, and can aid with cessation of sweating by blocking the sweat glands.
Keep in mind that it’s important to check your doctor’s training, both past and current. By attending the international congresses held each year, I validate my license as a Dermatologist and surgical Dermatologist according to the Mexican Dermatology board guidelines. In Mexico and the U.S., a nurse, dentist, or medical assistant can get a license to inject, but poor training or use of non-FDA-approved products and unregulated procedures can lead to a bad experience. You need to trust the doctor you choose, through research and patient recommendations.
What brands besides Botox are available in Mexico for cosmetic use and what is your opinion of them?
I work with many brands of neurotoxins, from the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, Korea, and China, as most practitioners in Mexico do. I think people come to Mexico for cosmetic treatment not only for the better costs, but the better care. My clients tell me that the one-on-one time we spend in the initial consultation inspires more trust and results in a more satisfactory experience. It’s important to spend quality time on the diagnostic process, which can be very intimate. I will always invite clients to research my suggestions before we begin.
These are some of the brands I choose to work with based on my own training and experience:
Botox by Allergan is the most popular brand, and which I often work with, as it is the most researched product and has an extensive safety profile.
Dysport by Galderma. I choose this brand when working with certain areas, like a larger area under the arms. It works well with sweat glands. But when I need high precision, like the eyebrows, I will work with other brands of products like Botox.
Xeomin by Merz Aesthetics. This is the purest product on the market so therefore there are often fewer side-effects and is ideal for ensuring skin quality.
I work with a neuromodulator technique called mesotoxin, which reduces pore sizes by injecting a very diluted and small dose of botulinum toxin into a superficial level of the skin. I use this technique to create smaller pore sizes, reduce sweating in different areas of the body, reduce redness of the skin, reduce oil production on the skin (i.e. face) and to create facial smoothness wherever the client and I decide to target.
Medytox and Nabota Botox 100U. These are the top two Korean brands, which I like. Dituroxal is a Chinese brand.
These brands are more affordable than Botox, and I see fantastic results. They are also my clients’ most popular brands, and this particular treatment is minimally invasive. It will radically improve fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing the skin and creating a fresh, radiant and youthful appearance. I recommend a treatment two to three times per year, but it also very much depends on the individual. For some clients, the treatment will last four months and for others it can last over six months.
Without a doubt, the treatment lifespan depends on many factors such as the dosage, the muscle, the type of skin, metabolism, age, gender, and the amount of physical activity you engage in.
Is there a big difference in cost between the U.S. and Mexico and can you give some examples?
As I mentioned, Mexico has become one of the most popular destinations for cosmetic procedures for U.S. and Canadian travelers, due to its short travel time, expertly trained doctors, affordability, amenities and its high level of diagnostic and recovery care. If you travel to San Miguel de Allende, for example, world-class accommodation, culture and gastronomy is also available to you! A consultation at my practice runs around US $40, and the cost of Botox and similar treatments are a third of the cost of the U.S. A complete face and neck Botox treatment can run around US $350.
And finally, social media, i.e. the Kardashians, seem to drive beauty trends. What are you seeing and is this a good thing?
In young women under age 30, I am starting to see a trend for injectables on the face like, over volumization for lips, cheek, chin, “foxy eyes” or overuse of Co2 aesthetic laser technology, which is very ablative. In my opinion, they don’t really need it. On the other end of the spectrum are women who feel that everyone should just accept their age and wrinkles. When clients ask for my opinion, I like to offer them the analogy of a hair treatment; when you use a lot of hair straightening treatments on curly hair, one needs to repair the damaged hair. This is no different on the face or the body. So, it’s a balance. It’s a pleasure to help people feel more beautiful, but I also like to say, never overcorrect.
My advice is to do very thorough homework regarding any aesthetician or dermatologist’s credentials and testimonials, and research their chosen products, the price points and the different treatments and techniques available. At my practice, our quality of service and patient satisfaction is at the level of the best clinics in the major world cities.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or medical advice. The writer and Mexico News Daily assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content on this site. Individuals should always consult with qualified professionals regarding medical procedures, including plastic and/or cosmetic surgery, and medical aesthetic treatments, as well as consider their jurisdiction’s applicable laws and regulations.
Henrietta Weekes is a writer, editor, actor and narrator. She divides her time between San Miguel de Allende, New York and Oxford, UK.