June 4, 2020 / 10:12 AM / a month ago

Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents

MIAMI (Reuters) - Quarantined Florida residents worried about their laughter lines and crows’ feet need frown no longer - Botox is back, and it’s being offered at a drive-through.

On May 4, the U.S. state allowed a partial relaxing of restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic. That means certain elective medical procedures could resume, including Botox injections and cosmetic surgery.

Michael Salzhauer, a plastic surgeon known as ‘Dr. Miami’ who has also starred in a reality television show, has been conducting drive-through Botox injections in the garage of his building in the posh Miami neighborhood of Bal Harbour.

Salzhauer said the idea struck him as he was sitting in his car waiting for a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies.

“The areas that we inject Botox are the upper face, exactly the parts of the face that aren’t covered by the mask so it’s really ideal,” Salzhauer said, while wearing a mask, face shield and surgical gown as he waited for his next drive-up patient.

Patients sign up online, paying an average of $600 each for a stippling of shots across their foreheads.

Arman Ohevshalom, 36, was enthusiastic as he waited in line with his wife in their car, although it was their first time receiving the injections.

“It’s very creative, and after seeing how they’re running it I feel just as comfortable as I would in the office,” he said.

Slideshow (9 Images)

Florida’s tattoo artists, however, are frustrated. Shuttered since March, they asking why they cannot open, too.

Botox injections are “kind of like tattooing, he’s injecting stuff into the skin,” said tattoo shop owner Chico Cortez. Florida is home to about 10,000 working tattoo artists, according to the Florida Professional Tattoo Artist Guild.

An e-mailed statement from a Miami-Dade County spokesperson said Mayor Carlos Gimenez has yet to set a date for reopening tattoo shops. “He is working with industry members and the medical experts to come up with the best way to reopen safely,” it said.

Reporting by Zachary Fagenson, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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