Cosmetic skin fillers like Botox are more popular than ever — especially in Los Angeles. But are the products and the process safe?
Infections. Swelling. Lumps and nodules. Localized pain. Even possible blindness. Sound like symptoms of a serious condition? What if we told you that these were all relatively common side effects of cosmetic skin fillers and collagen injections? As more and more people subject themselves to these types of procedures in the pursuit of beauty, data also piles about about the consequent complications that come along with them.
A new paper in the medical journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery takes a much closer look than ever before at exactly what conditions might occur following a botox injection (or similar cosmetic skin filler). As the paper notes, facial rejuvenations (via minimally invasive procedures such as injections) are becoming more and more popular year over year, and it’s critical that the general public are educated on the realistic risks involved.
There are two main areas where the risk comes into play: the composition of the skin filler (what it’s made of, whether it’s approved/reviewed, etc) and the procedure itself (is the practitioner licensed, was the procedure done under proper/sterile conditions, etc). Particularly if you’re planning on receiving an injection around the front of your face (such as the nose or eye), the person performing the procedure needs to be extremely careful not to interfere with blood vessels in that region, as there have been 50 reported cases of blindness associated with those injections.
Believe it or not, there are alternatives to injected skin fillers if you’re looking for some facial rejuvenation. Any type of elective surgery or procedure should be avoided unless absolutely necessary; after all, ask someone who was blinded by a cosmetic injection whether they’d prefer to have wrinkles or their vision.
That being said, although these procedures are usually safe if performed by a licensed professional with a filler that has been vetted and thoroughly tested, you should start off by exploring some other options before going under the needle.
First of all, forget about doing “at home lip kits” or other unbelievably dangerous do-it-yourself cosmetic options that involve self-injection. It’s incredibly easy to do permanent damage with these, and they will likely be legislated out of existence soon anyway. Instead, consider skin creams, changes to diet and nutrition, improved hydration and exercise, and other options recommended by your doctor or dermatologist.
We get it: everyone wants to look good, but you should always weigh the costs and benefits before undergoing any medical procedure that isn’t absolutely necessary.