Reality TV personality Ryan Ruckledge was featured on This Morning last week to talk about his nightmare experience with Fox Eye threads, and he was joined on the show by Glowday practitioner Dr Pamela Benito - founder of Dr Pamela Benito Aesthetics, who spoke about safety (and, often, lack of safety) in aesthetics. Read on to find out why the thread lift treatment went so wrong for Ryan, and how to find a safe aesthetic practitioner.
Fox Eye Failure for Reality TV Star Ryan Ruckledge
Fox eye gone wrong: What happened to Ryan Ruckledge’s face?
On Wednesday morning last week, Ryan Ruckledge, who appeared on Big Brother and X-Factor, chatted live on This Morning with Phil and Holly about his disastrous experience when a Fox Eye lift went wrong. He told the ITV presenters how he was sent a private message by an injector that was unknown to him, asking him if he wanted a free Fox Eye lift in exchange for promoting the clinic on his social media accounts. However, what seemed like a great deal ended in disaster for Ryan, 30, who ended up on an antibiotic drip after he developed a blood infection.
Ryan Ruckledge after fox eye lift. Photo credit: Ryan Ruckledge
Turns out, the clinic who offered the treatment didn’t give a thorough consultation before the Fox Eye lift, in order to explain the procedure and talk about the risks and side effects. And they didn’t offer proper aftercare advice either. Ryan explained that, after waking up feeling like he’d “been hit by a bus”, and experiencing swelling and pus in the treated area, he had to go to the hospital. It was there that he received the medical help he needed to feel better and, essentially, get his face back.
Ryan was left looking strange and very poorly after fox eye lift went wrong. Photo credit: Ryan Ruckledge
What is a Fox Eye lift?
The Fox Eye lift is a relatively new trend in aesthetics, and it’s become increasingly popular due to people wanting to emulate the almond shaped eyes of celebs such as Bella Hadid and Kendal Jenner.
Fox eye lifts, which are a type of thread lift, involve dissolvable threads (most commonly PDO, but sometimes PLLA) being inserted into the skin and pulled to lift and elongate the upper eyelid and raise the brow tail. Once inserted, you get your ‘fox eye’ look straight away. And then, as the threads begin to break down in the body, they boost collagen production in the treated area. Results can last between four months and a couple of years, depending on the type of threads used.
Are Fox Eye lifts safe?
Ryan spoke out, advising people not to get Fox Eye lifts, but are they always dangerous? Hmm so this is the interesting bit. Thread lifts can give amazing results and the procedure can be safe…in the right hands. It all comes down to selecting the right practitioner. The problem is that, here in the UK, we have a bit of a wild west situation going on when it comes to aesthetics, and anyone - yup, even you or I - could buy some threads and perform a thread lift without any medical background, training or understanding of complications. It is TERRIFYING! And it’s the same with fillers too.
But this is why issues, like the one Ryan experienced, keep happening. There is no one to stop the people who are performing the treatments, and there are no consequences for those untrained, inexperienced lay injectors who not only mess up a person’s face but also could cause much more serious problems. They don’t lose their business, because there’s no one to tap them on the wrists, and there’s no register to strike them off.
Dr Pamela Benito says, “A thread lift is a minimally invasive treatment that can be performed safely under local anaesthetic. There is virtually no downtime and most patients are able to return to normal activities soon after the procedure. However, even if it is generally very safe, thread lifting is not entirely risk free. Therefore, I highly recommend finding a medically qualified practitioner who can carry out a thorough consultation and assessment, and discuss all the potential risks and side effects with you prior to treatment.”
And that’s exactly what we recommend at Glowday too. If you’re interested in getting an aesthetic treatment like fillers or thread lifts (which are, really, medical procedures, not beauty treatments), see a healthcare professional. Someone who is medically trained. And someone who knows how to deal with complications if they do happen (and they can with aesthetic treatments like these). A medic is trained to care for their patients, knows anatomy inside out (they study for years, remember!) and, if they were ever to do anything dangerous, they risk being struck off their governing body's register and losing their career, which no one wants.
Interestingly, Ryan himself, who has no medical background, trained in aesthetics last year and, subsequently, opened his own aesthetics clinic where he offers fillers and fat dissolving treatments among others. Yet, he still let a stranger, whom he knew nothing about, perform a potentially risky procedure on him that he, himself, didn’t know much about. So, what should you be looking for in a Fox Eye practitioner? And how do you find a safe one?
How to choose a Fox Eye practitioner
As I mentioned before, the Fox Eye lift is a trend, and many medically trained aesthetic practitioners don’t offer trends. This is because most believe aesthetic treatments are there to enhance your natural features, not change them. However, if the Fox Eye lift is what you want, be sure to go to a healthcare professional who will be sure to talk through the treatment, the side effects and risks, and discuss aftercare with you. Dr Pamela adds, “Word of mouth is always very helpful. Although, I would advise anyone who is looking into thread lift treatment to do enough research before selecting a clinic and look for a certified specialist to avoid complications.”
A great place to start is by looking at Glowday, where you can search for a practitioner in your area, look at reviews, see before and afters and know that every single practitioner is vetted and verified (we only list doctors, dentists, nurses and prescribing pharmacists who are trained in aesthetics and are insured on our site).
Red flags when it comes to finding a Fox Eye practitioner (or for any cosmetic treatment for that matter) include: no consultation prior to the treatment (they should always run through what’s going to happen and the risks so you can make an informed decision); no details of their aesthetic qualifications (even if they say they’re an advanced practitioner, this often means nothing - check to see if they’re medically trained); no before and after images to look at; no reviews (or fake reviews…it’s a minefield!).
Remember - be careful when it comes to beauty trends. They come and go, and next thing, something else will be the ‘ideal’. Don’t risk f**king up your face at the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and doesn’t have the medical background to deal with problems they can’t fix.
To find a healthcare practitioner trained in thread lifts, check out Glowday's search tool, which allows you to see practitioner profiles. before and after photos and reviews - all in one place! Get glowing!
Photo credits: Ryan Ruckledge, TikTok