While the DIY craze has never been particularly fantastic in terms of concocting your own face masks and serums in your kitchen, the latest DIY trend in the UK is truly both scary and cringe worthy. Through the use of YouTube videos and other social media tutorials, people have started to "save money" on fillers by injecting themselves at home.
DIY Dangers Ahead
The problem? Most of these tutorials and videos that are showcasing how to self-inject are being uploaded from professionals in the industry. This has caused Tatiana Lapa, M.D., to wonder whether these spa professionals are unknowingly promoting this do-it-yourself culture.1 While the practitioners are providing useful and helpful information, there are plenty of people who do not understand the anatomy of the face which makes this trend incredibly dangerous, as Anil Rajani, M.D., explains in his YouTube video discussing the topic.2
Along these same lines, many people who do not know what they are doing because they are not properly trained could be injecting these fillers in the "danger triangle," as reported by the New York Post. This is the area around the mouth and nose that is anatomically complex, and incorrectly applying fillers in this area could impact the brain as well as cause tissue death, permanent blindness and disfigurement.3
What Are You Using?
Rajani continues to speak in his video about how consumers are not aware of where the product is coming from.2 The FDA issued a formal warning in 2017 that cautioned consumers against buying dermal fillers on the internet because they could be contaminated or harmful, but this warning has not stopped people from partaking in this recent trend and buying their fillers online.3
Cause for Infection
When consumers are self-injecting, they are practically begging for an infection, and often once the bacteria is put in there it can be very tricky to get rid of it. Glamour Magazine discussed people are self-injecting in the nasolabial fold, but if this area is not cleaned properly, this could cause someone to inject bacteria directly into their bloodstream causing an infection.4
Rajani also discusses how the lips are a popular place that people seek to have injections as well, and the oral cavity is very dirty. He continues to explain what the practitioners use in their office to clean, how they clean and the preparation is important to know and more important to follow.2 He continues to explain how there are phenotypical changes that occur in the bacteria, and it can be very difficult to treat.2
Can We Stop It?
Even though plenty of the self-injecting videos have been taken down from the internet, more are continuing to pop up. The best measure to stop this terrifying trend in its tracks would be to educate your clients. Make sure they fully understand the complications and risks that could occur if this is something they are considering.
Lapa also continues to explain how it is important to remember that patients are watching you and learning from what you post on social media. Therefore, be careful of what you are posting and showing your clients. If you do decide to post educational videos on injections, be sure to explain in there how these treatments and procedures should only be carried out by a medical professional. Think "don't try this at home kids" when you look toward educating your clients on treatments.