NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters Life!) - Busy New Yorkers a bit worse for wear need only a lunch-time to look better, thanks to a drop-in Botox salon.
In the latest quick-fix indulgence for people on the run, a Botox-only boutique has opened off ritzy Park Avenue where shoppers and harried professionals can walk in for a jab of Botox to smooth away facial lines and be out within 30 minutes.
Plastic surgeons Andrew Elkwood and Michael Rose opened New York's first Botox boutique, Smoothmed, this summer after realizing their cosmetic surgery practice contained a group of people who wanted Botox but didn't want to wait for the five to 10-minute injections.
"In a lot of respects, the taboo of cosmetic surgery is leaving society, especially the injectables," Elkwood told Reuters Television.
"What we wanted to do was make it very accessible, take it very seriously but give, administer it, in a comfortable atmosphere. A salon-like atmosphere. We do all the worrying on the back end."
Elkwood says patients' medical histories are reviewed before any treatment and all women are given a pregnancy test to ensure it is safe before receiving any shots of Botox, which is regarded by some as the fountain of youth.
Botox treatments were by far the most common form of cosmetic plastic surgery in the United States in 2006 with more than 4 million treatments, according to figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Elkwood said Botox is becoming a way of life for many people. Treatments are found at spas, malls or ordered at home. Some Americans also hold Botox parties.
Carla Burkhardt, a patient at Smoothmed, said she would have waited hours to see a plastic surgeon in other places.
"Waiting is a big thing," she said. "So it's very nice to be able come here and get it done within a half hour."
Smoothmed is serving about 40 customers a day, of which about 60 percent are women and 40 percent men, who pay $130 upwards for treatment. The effect of the injections lasts about 4 months.