So, because I’m a bit of a geek, I like to see what people are searching for on Google - especially when it comes to cosmetic treatments. But I was completely shocked when I came across so many searches for ‘lip fillers at home.’ Please...no! Lip fillers - although, for many, have become as common as getting their nails and eyebrows done - are a medical treatment, and seriously shouldn’t be performed at home. Let me explain why…
Lip fillers at home: What can go wrong?
Lip fillers are one of THE most popular cosmetic treatments in the UK, and it’s easy to see why! They increase volume to give us gorgeous pouts and they allow us to rebalance asymmetry in the lips - all great! But they should only ever be performed by a medically qualified practitioner. And here’s why. The lips and surrounding area are full of blood vessels, veins and arteries. Hit one of these and your whole life could be turned upside down in an instant! And if you’re not medically qualified and haven’t done countless aesthetics and complications courses, you’re likely to have no clue where these no entry points really are. I know I wouldn’t.
So, what happens if you hit a vessel? Well, an occlusion can happen, which is when the blood vessels are blocked by filler - either by being injected directly into a vein or artery, or by being injected too close to a blood vessel. If you don’t know your anatomy inside out, this is easily done. And I’m not just talking about your A Level in biology. We’ve all seen the horrendous photos of women who’ve had lip filler go completely wrong - puss leaking out of their newly done lips, the shelf effect, where too much filler has been placed in the top lip, and the images of lips so huge they look set to burst. Worst still, many are just hours away from tissue damage or blindness.
Lip fillers gone wrong: The headlines
Headlines in the past couple of years have ranged from…
“Horrific Photos of Lip Fillers Gone Wrong Show Rotting Tissue and Chunks of Lip Falling off” - The Sun
“Lip Filler was Like Having Golf Ball Injected” - The BBC
“Mum’s Lip Filler Left Her with Sausage Lips so Bad They Made Friend Sick” - The Mirror
And if that’s not enough to make you stop and think, I really don’t know what is. Not exactly what anyone has in mind when they opt for lip enhancement, right?
Youtuber Cassidy Valentine found out the hard way how important it is to see a medical expert when a beautician (claiming to know what she was doing) botched her lips last year, leaving her close to losing them. She contacted the beautician after her treatment, sending them photos of her blue and mottled lips, and they replied, casually, telling her to use arnica and antihistamines! When what she really needed was urgent medical attention, which, thankfully, she received from a doctor-led clinic. It turns out she had experienced an occlusion, and was told by a medic that she was close to losing her lips altogether - or going blind. The blood vessels were blocked and blood flow to her lips was restricted. Cassidy explained how she “just assumed that anyone offering [injectables] would have all the correct training.” And I can understand why. If someone’s offering a service, you do assume they’re able to do that service. But it just goes to show how complex a lip filler treatment is.
Cassidy’s not alone either. This is happening all over the country in beauty clinics and people’s own homes.
The issue is that, unfortunately, there’s no regulation around fillers yet in the UK - despite calls for it over the last few years - which means anyone could buy and administer the stuff. That’s why we’re seeing so many unqualified people using filler without any understanding of the complications and how to deal with them. But just because there’s no law to say you shouldn’t, please don’t be tempted to try it. There are so many things that can go wrong, and if you can’t get the right help in time, you’re pretty much screwed!
Even medics experience issues from time to time
Seeing a medic massively reduces the chance of issues happening with lip filler procedures. But due to the fact that fillers, like most cosmetic treatments, come with complications, even medically qualified practitioners sometimes experience issues with them. But the difference is that they know exactly what to do if something does go wrong. They’ve trained for years in this stuff, they know anatomy inside out, and they know how to react in an emergency.
If you end up doing it at home and something goes wrong, you’ll end up going to a medic - whether that’s an aesthetic practitioner or someone in A&E, so you may as well as just go directly to a medic and save any unnecessary stress or serious issues.
Just for the record, this article isn’t intended to sound judgemental or super negative around fillers. It’s simply to warn you of the dangers of injecting lip filler at home. I just want to look out for you because I’ve seen too many BAD examples of people trying it out themselves! Is wanting bigger lips worth risking blindness? No way!
You wouldn’t do your own dentistry, so why would you allow yourself or anyone else who isn’t medically qualified do your injectables? They’re medical treatments for a reason. Lip fillers are incredible in the right hands, so if you’re determined to get them done, seek out a medical pro who will still make sure you have a gorgeous and relaxed experience, but who will also be able to really look after you and give you those beautiful lips you’re after.
To make it easier and safer for you, Glowday only lists medically qualified practitioners, who you can check out at your leisure. And if you like the look of them, book a consultation with them to see what’s right for you.