First a confession: We're committed fans of Botox and Restylane and other fillers. There's nothing like 'em to make you look refreshed and well rested.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can tell you one place we would not get injected: On a cruise ship. Norwegian Cruise Lines introduced the ill-conceived concept at the start of the summer on three of their ships and are due to roll it out fleet-wide this fall. Why is this a bad idea? Well, consider that you need a glossary when getting a blowout from a new stylist. And that's just your hair. A bad blowout can be fixed with a quick shampoo. A bad injection can take months to fix.
But don't take our word for it. We checked in with Dr. David Bank, founder and director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, New York to get his take:
With all injectables,you are creating breaks in the skin. The moment you put a whole in the skin you create potential for something to get in there and get infected. In the doctor's office you’re cleaning with sterile circumstances and are being instructed by your physicians about what to apply, what not to apply, how to make sure nothing gets into openings that could cause infections, etc. It seems like it would be hard to control that on a ship where you have a large number of people in close quarters which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Whether you’re on the ship in the sauna, pool, gym, deck or dining area all of which can be tight quarters with lots of people, or going ashore to islands or new cities, you’re constantly being exposed to bacteria and other infectious agents. [JSG note: Remember the norovirus epidemic of 2003, anyone?]
Dr. Bank continues:
Are there medical charts for each patient? Is the doctor performing the injections? What’s the level of training and supervision? If you’re in international waters whose laws do you apply? Who’s licensed in the middle of the Atlantic ? (I'm licensed in New York ). What happens if something isn’t right after a few days? You may be OK if you’re still on the boat and can go back to the person who you originally saw but what if your trip is over? Who do you go to? There’s no medical follow up. These are still medical procedures that carry with them the standard risk of swelling, bruising, bleeding, infection, but you will have no appropriate follow up care.
Consider that you won't even see the effects of the injectables while on your vacation and it becomes obvious what a bad decision this is. Botox takes about 2 weeks before you see full effects. While you can see the effects of Restylane and other fillers immediately, they can cause minor bruising and swelling and can take a few days to settle in.
A better decision? Visit your home dermatologist two to four weeks before your vacation. You know you'll be in capable hands, have somewhere to go for a follow up visit and will be able to enjoy the full results on your vacation.