MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Customers say a deal on botox at a Twin Cities skin care clinic left them with less than flattering results.
The experience also left the women with a lot of questions.
WCCO explains what to ask before going under the needle and the possible wrinkle in regulations.
Botox is nothing new for Heidi Ziman and Neva. Neva didn’t want us to use her last name. Both women have been injected with the protein that paralyzes facial muscles every few months for at least the last year.
But they say they won’t be back to KP’s Upkeep Boutike in Uptown after a Groupon got them in the door.
Twenty units of botox went for $168.
“So why did I buy it? I thought, well, it’s a good deal,” Heidi Ziman said.
It’s half of what Heidi Ziman usually pays. When she ended up at Kim Platt’s Boutike, she bought even more, 40 units in all.
“When she was done I looked in the mirror and I had these huge welts all over my forehead,” Ziman said.
“She made things worse. She gave me a headache and I’m out $340,” Ziman said.
Neva also went to Platt’s place with her mom and had similar reactions.
“Our foreheads hurt for an entire week. Kind of like a bruise on our foreheads,” Neva said.
Ziman first sent a text to complain of the pain and to say her treatment didn’t tighten anything up.
“I said can I just have a refund and she said no. She said you just need a little bit more,” Ziman said.
So, Ziman was back for 12 more units of botox.
“Why I let her inject me again I don’t know,” Ziman said.
Ziman says she took this picture after that treatment. If she really had 52 units of botox she believes she wouldn’t see these lines or this kind of movement.
Neva says she saw the same non-results.
We tried for weeks to ask Platt about her technique. She never called back. The patients who’ve complained suspect Platt is diluting or giving them old botox at a discount.
We finally caught Platt outside her business taking out her trash.
“There’s nothing wrong with it,” Platt told us about her botox.
“I’ve had a Groupon on there for going on five years. I’ve got Groupon awards from 2016 and 2017,” Platt added.
“There was a significant amount of bad reviews from Groupon,” Ziman said.
Ziman posted hers. Platt’s response took her by surprise.
Platt wrote: “This person is in their late 60s with lax skin and it takes more than 20 units to tighten them up. You also stated your forehead had to be very tight because you had been pulling your bangs out and hair was not long enough to cover forehead! Clearly some issues here. Do not take your frustrations out on me, and please go elsewhere and hassle them!
“What kind of professional writes that?” Ziman said.
Another reviewer complained on Facebook and told people to beware.
Platt’s response: “Word has it you’re known to be a complainer and never satisfied with anyone’s work. Go bag on someone else and get a life.”
“This is just nasty and unprofessional,” Ziman said.
“I protect myself. I can respond anyway I want. I can run my business any way I want,” Platt said.
Dr. Melvin Brown oversees KP’s Upkeep Boutike and at least a dozen other clinics in the Twin Cities. In many cases, skin care clinics answer to a doctor or medical director. But one isn’t required to be on site. After setting up a time to meet with WCCO, Dr. Brown said he was too busy to be interviewed.
Dr. Charles Crutchfield has been pushing to tighten Minnesota’s botox industry for years.
“We end up fixing bad botox treatments,” Dr. Crutchfield said.
There are no state qualifications needed to perform botox or other prescription injections.
“The most important thing about botox is not price per unit it’s whose doing it,” Dr. Crutchfield said.
“If you’re getting discounted botox you have to be concerned about how old is it, how effective is it, and also whose doing it,” Dr. Crutchfield added.
A WCCO Investigation in 2012 revealed there are also no rules on how many clinics a doctor or medical director can oversee.
“When things seem too good to be true they probably are,” Dr. Crutchfield said.
“I run a very successful business. If they don’t want to come to me they don’t have to come to me. They have choices,” Platt said.
Some customers now echo the call for an industry facelift.
“It’s dangerous. It’s absolutely dangerous and I was a fool,” Ziman said.
After we started asking questions, the customers Liz spoke with did ultimately receive full refunds.
Dr. Crutchfield suggests asking about a clinic’s refund policy before going under the needle.
He suggests having an on-site physician examine you before getting botox and making sure the provider is certified in fields like dermatology.
Dr. Crutchfield also helped launch a website to make it easier to find a provider.