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Is getting Botox in South Korea a good deal if you travel there for medical tourism?

Inside South Korea’s trending beauty parlors, Botox can only set you back €20.

It's not surprise that South Korea is a popular tourist destination because it appeals to K-pop fans, spicy street food lovers, history buffs, and Hanok architectural admirers.

It’s not a surprise that South Korea is a popular tourist destination because it appeals to K-pop fans, spicy street food lovers, history buffs, and Hanok architectural admirers.

South Korea attracts an average of 17 million tourists every year, despite its tense border.

It’s no surprise that South Korea is a popular tourist destination; the country caters to a wide variety of interests, from K-pop fans to spicy street food enthusiasts to history buffs to admirers of the traditional (and highly Instagrammable) Hanok architecture. 

But a new phenomenon is transforming the skyline of Seoul, and it’s drawing in crowds of foreigners: botox.

Cosmetic treatment has become widespread in the South Korean capital, where clinics sell it at rock-bottom prices, tapping into the country’s own fixation with beauty and image.

What is it like to go to one of these low-cost Botox clinics, and are they safe?

South Korean Beauty Standards

As a tourist, one cannot help but notice the palpable societal pressure to attain perfection when walking the streets of Seoul. It can be quite intimidating.

Everyone wears clothes to impress in exquisite high-end designer brands, meticulously groomed to perfection, while giving off an air of nonchalance.

However, South Korea’s culture, which places a significant emphasis on appearance, extends far beyond just fashionable clothing. The country holds the distinction of having the highest rate of cosmetic surgery per capita, as reports indicate that approximately one in three women in South Korea have undergone surgical procedures at some point in their life.

The demand for cosmetic surgery and injectables has reached unprecedented levels, leading to intense competition in the market. It is noteworthy that certain clinics are now providing botox treatments at remarkably affordable prices, as low as 29,000 won (approximately €20).

South Korea’s No-frills Botox Obsession

Gangnam, the renowned district known for its iconic and catchy songs, has emerged as the epicenter of South Korea’s thriving beauty tourism industry.

The area has become a veritable concrete jungle full of physicians and beauty care facilities offering seemingly unbelievable deals on facials, injectables, and cosmetic surgery.

There are two clinics that are consistently frequented and supported by social media influencers. They have both garnered a remarkable following by showcasing patients’ transformational images, along with their most recent endorsements.

However, unlike spas in the United States or Europe, these medical facilities are not light and airy. You won’t find a king-size drying robe and classical music in the waiting room here.

In reality, though, clinics function more like an aggressive fast-food franchise.

What does a Botox clinic in Seoul look like?

Botox is a new trend that is changing the look of Seoul and bringing in lots of tourists.

Botox is a new trend that is changing the look of Seoul and bringing in lots of tourists.

You use an iPad to check in yourself and then wait for your number to display on the TV above you.

While you relax on the sofa couch, no one will bring you peppermint tea. If you want coffee, you’ll have to make it yourself.

It brings back some pleasant memories. It brings back memories of standing in line at Argos when I was eight years old to have my collection number called so I could acquire my roller skates.

Appointments for consultations in English are available but are often quickly filled. In this section, we’ll discuss the costs, risks, and benefits of the treatments you’re considering.

Meetings like these require minimal chit-chat. Expect some discomfort and swelling before having a chip and pin machine thrust into your face.

After that, you are taken upstairs, where you are given face-cleaning supplies and told to put your belongings in a locker.

When your name is called, you’ll be escorted into a room that resembles a morgue: a never-ending hall filled with 20-somethings who are all dying themselves out of insecurity about their appearance.

One more time: this is not a calming, pleasurable place to be. You check in, get your procedure, and depart.

South Korea’s approach to beauty tourism might be good for you if you just want the results and don’t care about all the thrills. 

Botox Tourism in South Korea: “I’m addicted”

One of the clinics in Gangnam was recently visited by a medical doctor from Tunisia.

The 27-year-old got Botox on her forehead, fillers in her under eyes, and a microneedle skin booster.

Assume a minimum of €1,000 in European currency for the total cost of these treatments. In contrast, the lowest price I could find was €158 in South Korea.

An interview with Euronews Travel features a doctor who discusses the prevalence of “before and after” videos from South Korean medical facilities on her Instagram and TikTok feeds.

“At first, I was enticed too, because my sister did skincare procedures here before her wedding and had such a nice experience, so I went there,” she continues.

A doctor claims she was “extremely delighted” with the outcome after waiting a few weeks for the treatment to take effect.

“They were so kind in South Korea that I don’t think I’ll ever go anywhere else. In no way did I expect to find it for so little.”

“I’d like to introduce it to all my pals.”

What are the potential risks of receiving Botox?

The risks associated with Botox (or any anti-wrinkle injection) are not due to the medicine itself but rather to inexperienced or unqualified medical personnel administering the injections.

Botox can cause difficulties if not injected properly or in the right area. Infection, impaired eyesight, respiratory distress, and transient facial asymmetry are all examples.

These kinds of complications are “rare if in the right hands.”

“It’s important to keep in mind that botox and filler injections are performed beneath the skin of the patient, so even though the injector may have a general concept of the patient’s face structure, they must still pierce the skin and muscles in order to get the medicine where it is carried out.”

“A lack of expertise on the part of the person placing this might result in necrosis of the skin, blindness, or paralysis of the muscles responsible for the distortion of the patient’s face.”

This is why it is essential to do research on your clinic and practitioners to ensure they are appropriately trained.

Dentox is a program designed to educate medical professionals on the best practices for administering Botox injections to patients. Dentox has the potential to enhance both the quality of service you provide to your customers and the efficiency with which you run your business. 

When it comes to injectable training, Dr. Howard Katz is without a peer. It is fitting that his name appears on the patent application for botulinum toxin, which protects such household names as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and others. 

While he does teach in a traditional classroom setting, he also makes extensive use of the web to disseminate information and conduct talks. To learn more about our online courses, visit, or check out our live training options at

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