The Dangers of DIY Injectable Treatments

An image of a woman about to perform a DIY injection treatment

It’s fair to say that many people have turned to do-it-yourself during lockdown. However, some have taken DIY to the extreme by injecting their own botox and dermal filler.

Impatient for aesthetics clinics to reopen, desperate men and women have reportedly taken matters into their own hands. This is a particularly worrying trend as the dangers of DIY injectable treatments cannot be overstated.

Increasing concern

Various media reports suggest aesthetic practitioners across the UK have noticed an increase in at-home injectables. This has coincided with both lockdown periods.

You may be shocked to find out, that all necessary products for at-home injectables are easy to find online. Equally worrying is that YouTube tutorials readily show how to self-inject fillers into lips, tear troughs or cheeks, or how to administer your own botox. So, when it’s made this simple to access, the rise is perhaps unsurprising.

Some of you may remember one of the aesthetics industry’s most notorious champions, Kim Kardashian, gave it a go. She was filmed trying to inject herself with filler for her reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Whilst she came away unscathed, others who try to inject their own filler are not so lucky.

Lack of quality and experience

When you visit an aesthetic practitioner, there are certain basic elements you should expect:

  • a fully-trained, qualified and insured practitioner
  • sterile equipment that is fit for purpose
  • good quality products, eg licensed dermal filler or botulinum toxins
  • all necessary PPE for both the injector and the patient.

Why are DIY injectables so unsafe?

  • you are not qualified either to inject the product nor to deal with any complications
  • your environment is unlikely to be sterile, increasing the likelihood of infection
  • you may be allergic to the product
  • you are unlikely to have a credible source from which to buy your products – there are fakes out there
  • fillers need to be administered evenly with skill for a natural looking result.

A big concern when it comes to home injectables is the actual product, the filler or toxin that DIYers purchase online. As an unlicensed injector, it’s likely you will be purchasing items blind from an internet retailer.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has found numerous cases of counterfeit medicines being sold online and aesthetic treatments are no exception. The government agency ran a public information campaign in 2018 cautioning about the dangers of buying medicines and medicinal devices from dubious sources.

These are just some of the factors you should consider:

  • the filler or toxin you are buying may not be genuine
  • it could be mislabeled or out-of-date
  • the brand or formulation may be illegal in this country
  • it may not have passed the necessary strict UK safety and tolerability tests
  • the product may have been improperly stored, rendering it anywhere between useless and deadly.

Long lasting damage

Although the effects of lip fillers, facial filler and botox are all temporary, they can last for many months. Furthermore, if something goes awry – in the wrong hands – they can cause long-lasting damage.

Common mistakes include injecting too much filler or botox and poor injection techniques leading to uneven, lumpy results. “Brow drop” – where botox causes your eyebrows droop downwards – is also seen frequently.

There is also the additional issue of home injectables being carried out in a non-sterile environment which could cause infection.

Additionally, there is the inevitable stress and anxiety that arises from not getting the results you wanted.

Our big message – loud and clear – is don’t be tempted to do your own tweakments at home! It’s not worth the risk. We are passionate about raising the standards of treatments in the aesthetics industry – whilst keeping our prices accessible. Don’t compromise on safety – choose a medically qualified practitioner, such as the practitioners and trainees at our clinic, and don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout your booking and consultation process to ensure you feel comfortable.

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