Don't Go Cheap

Do you love to save money? Who doesn't? But, did you know that in some cases, saving money can cost you? Go too cheap on your car and you may end up with a lemon. A cheap haircut could leave you stuck in hats for a few months while it grows out. And cheap lip injections could leave you at risk of serious damage, disfigurement and even death, according to a new report from the BBC News.

The report highlighted a Swansea, Wales, woman's experience of dramatic swelling, bruising and splitting of her lip after receiving a lip injection. The article also mentions an increasing number of complaints about lip injections gone awry.

The increased number of complaints has medical professionals in the country advocating for tighter regulations for injections and other nonsurgical cosmetic procedures.

The women in the article had dermal fillers injected for the first time two years ago to look like the famous model sisters Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.

The woman believes that the filler injection was administered into a blood vessel by mistake and that this caused the adverse reaction.

"If fillers are not administered by a professional who has been trained and has experience injecting the filler, anything can happen," said Dr. Mona Alqulali, a Bettendorf, Iowa, cosmetic surgeon and OB-GYN.

There has been an increased interest in injections in the last few years, especially in women between ages 18 and 25. This increased interested has medical professionals worried.

Physicians, nurses and other professionals also feel the widespread interest has trivialized the fact that injections are still medical interventions.

"Even though injections are quick and fairly painless, they are still medical procedures," Alqulali said.

The increased demand for fillers and other injectables has been linked to increased use of social media.

According to a 2018 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association Facial Plastic Surgery, many individuals seek out cosmetic procedures and injections to look better in their selfies and on social media.

Save Face, an organization of accredited cosmetic practitioners in the UK, says they have seen nearly quadruple the number of complaints about dermal filler injections in Wales since 2015.

Statistics from Save Face show that in 2015-16, there were 36 complaints about injections. In 2017-18, the agency handled 123 complaints. The majority of claims came from 18- to 25-year-olds.

"An increasing number of people seeking fillers are young people - they want to prevent the signs of aging from starting at all," Alqulali said.

Save Face has said that dermal fillers have become so commonplace in the country that individuals look for deals to save money.

As a result, discount Botox and injectable parties are popping up all over Wales. Some individuals are performing injections in cars, garages, parking lots and alleyways.

The demand for cheap injections has also meant some receivers of fillers also opt to share syringes to cut down on costs.

"Sharing needles even for injectables is dangerous," Alqulali said.

Without licensing protocols, if something does go awry after an injection, getting help and retribution can prove to be difficult.

In 2017, the Welsh government chose not to include dermal fillers and those who administer them in a bill requiring tattoo artists and piercers to meet health and training standards before being allowed to perform these procedures.

"For the protection of your health, you should only get dermal filler injections from licensed providers trained to perform the procedure. This goes for other types of cosmetic procedures as well," Alqulali said.

Source: BBC News. Lip fillers: 'Perfect storm' due to lack of regulation. 28 March 2019.

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