‘Hold completely still,’ the matronly woman said, reaching into the pocket of her white coat and withdrawing a hypodermic needle. ‘You’re going to feel a pinch.’ Words you have probably heard quite often, giving blood samples or getting your annual flu shot. Only this isn’t a doctor’s office and the woman in the white coat isn’t a surgeon or a nurse – she’s the lady who does your nails, and she’s about to inject a toxic substance into your forehead.
If this sounds ridiculous, consider that a growing number of intense non-surgical cosmetic procedures are being conducted in unsafe environments by untrained people. Scary? Read on to find out the risks and potential payoffs that have people coming back for more.
Risks of DIY Botox
Botulinum toxin, commonly marketed as Botox, works as a nerve-blocker to temporarily relax the facial muscles that are responsible for causing wrinkles, forehead creases and crow’s feet. The toxin also has other wonderful applications, but let’s not forget that it’s a deadly toxin. Sure, it may be readily available and affordable online, but so are bomb ingredients if you know where to look.
A bunch of cheap Botox and a friend who isn’t squeamish? What can go wrong?
- The Botox you bought might not even be the real thing, or it might be heavily diluted
- Placing the Botox incorrectly may cause it to spread, leading to drooping eyelids, uneven eyebrows, a crooked smile, teary eyes or facial paralysis
- Botox can spread even further and cause vision problems, pain, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness, loss of bladder control or even trouble breathing – surely not what you intended when you wanted a more youthful appearance!
Doing your own fillers comes with its own set of risks – chief of these may be having the fillers migrate to unintended places, causing lumps and bumps and ultimately requiring professional correction.
DIY chemical peels are perhaps the sneakiest culprits because girls have been giving themselves facials since time immemorial, so it’s a logical next step to slather our faces with dangerous acids that, if left on too long, can cause the equivalent of 2nd and 3rd degree burns. In one survey, one-third of women surveyed had felt nervous or frightened before, during or after one of these procedures, yet despite the fear, women are hosting ‘treatment parties’ where they perform these procedures on each other – even though un-sterile conditions and improper technique can lead to bacterial infections and permanent scarring.
Ask your Doctor if Botox is Right for You
Don’t be tempted by low prices in your local salon, online, or with friends. Botox, dermal fillers and peels should only be done by a skilled, certified medical professional with experience administering these treatments. Your plastic surgeon should first assess your condition and determine what interventions would work best for you. Never go it alone: call the Royal Centre of Plastic Surgery for safe, effective facial rejuvenation.