We’ve all heard of terrifying cases where injectable treatments have gone wrong - most commonly when not performed by someone with a background in medicine. But now, despite continuous warnings from medical aesthetic practitioners, many people have taken to buying dermal filler online and are injecting it into their own faces. Is it just me or does that cause you to break out in a cold sweat?! There’s said to have been a rise in these treatments over the course of lockdown, which is worrying for several key reasons. These, ultimately, come down to safety.
I’ve outlined the main reasons you should only ever see a medically qualified practitioner for injectable treatments like fillers, and why you should never try DIY dermal fillers at home.
Years of training
When you go to see a medically qualified practitioner, you can be sure that they have spent years studying anatomy of the face and neck. So they are well versed in where your arteries and veins are, and are sufficiently trained to know where to inject filler substances, such as hyaluronic acid, and where to avoid. There have been an alarming number of occlusions that have occurred over the last few years, down to a lack of understanding of where it is actually safe to inject. This can be so severe and can cause blindness and even death in some very unfortunate cases.
If issues were ever to arise during a treatment with a medically qualified practitioner, you could be confident that they would know how to deal with the issue. They know what they’re doing! It’s likely that the average person wouldn’t have a clue - me, Jessica from the local supermarket and Paula from down the road don’t.
It’s not just anatomy either. A trained medic will also know how much filler to inject, and the proportions that are needed to get the look you want to achieve. They'll know whether the treatment is suitable for your needs, or - in the case that you're taking certain medications, have certain health conditions, or are pregnant - whether it's even safe for you.
Medical aestheticians are well trained in the products they use, as well as the techniques used to perform each treatment they offer. If you haven't done sufficient training in using substances like hyaluronic acid, how can you expect to know whether you're using it correctly, or whether what you’re buying online is actually the right thing? There are so many counterfeit products out there that it doesn’t even bear thinking about!
Do you know the difference between beauty treatments and medical aesthetics?
Again, in the unlikely event that something does go wrong during an appointment with a medically qualified practitioner, they are likely to have the adequate insurance that will cover you. I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I have at home! Then there’s pets and children to consider. One quick movement, trip or momentary lapse in concentration could result in a whole lot of issues.
This is a huge one. When you go to see a medically qualified practitioner, their clinic will likely be spotless. It is one of the cleanest places you can visit, so much so that you could probably (please don’t - it’s just a saying) eat your dinner off the floor. However, even if you’re in the cleanest room in your house, it probably is still nowhere near as clean and sterile as needed to perform an aesthetic treatment. You'd be amazed!
An eye for aesthetics
It’s not even enough to be a medic. Yes, a medical background and an understanding of anatomy is essential, but it’s also important to have an artistic eye. Aesthetics is about getting proportions right, and having the vision to see what can be achieved. It can't be one or the other, it has to be a combination of the two things.
So, while DIY dermal fillers might seem like a good idea at first thought, there are far too many factors that could go against you to risk it. The old adage buy cheap, buy twice doesn’t even seem enough here. Yes, you might find dermal fillers online that cost less than going to see an experienced practitioner, but A) How do you know that they are safe and not just a dodgy knockoff? B) Do you really know where and how much to inject? And C) Do you know what to do if something goes wrong? Your face is way too precious to f*ck up, so, if you really want to try fillers, PLEASE leave the injecting to the professionals.