Selling hyaluronic acid fillers over the Internet is dangerous and illegal. However, despite all the risks, many, wishing to save money, still buy drugs on questionable sites, and some go so far as to inject themselves. SPLETNIK.RU, together with experts, explains why this should not be done under any circumstances.
We live in an amazing time. The Internet, on the one hand, is a place where you can find almost any kind of information, in addition, there are microblogs in which opinion leaders share their recommendations and encourage them to buy a particular product. Finally, there is a global e-commerce market, via the Internet you can order lipstick from the other end of the world with just one click of the mouse.
However, all these amazing technological advances have a flip side to the coin. Experts have noticed a dangerous trend – the black market of beauty products is growing exponentially.
Despite warnings from Roszdravnadzor that the safety of medical devices, including implantable ones (fillers, mesothreads), as well as medicines for performing injection cosmetic procedures (botox, mesotherapy and other “beauty injections”), should be confirmed by a registration certificate, some all they decide to save on their health.
More and more people prefer to do beauty injections not at the offices of certified cosmetologists, but at home. The trend that people buy injection drugs online and inject drugs on their own is not new, but this year it has begun to increase. – says Hollywood dermatologist Nancy Samolitis.
She explains this by the fact that in online stores you can find counterfeit fillers for every taste (and wallet), and video tutorials on YouTube or on social networks will tell you how to handle this or that drug.
One of the best dermatologists in New York, Dawal Bhanusali, warns:
I’m not sure how legal this is, but injections in my own kitchen are made more and more, which is terrible from the point of view of the safety of such handmade procedures.Judging by the comments of a number of other dermatologists, most often they inject themselves into the lower half of the face (smile zone, jaw and lips) on their own.
This is the most dangerous trend I've heard about in recent years. And how many self-taught cosmetologists who do not have a medical education who inject fillers into their own lips, cheekbones, under the eyes and even the nose, Says Lara Devgan, a certified plastic surgeon from New York.
I have a patient whose girlfriend gave her lips an injection. As she said, it was the popular Juverderm drug. According to her, Juvéderm was written on the barcode box, but it turned out to be a fake, and inside the product is based on silicone. Then the girl had to remove the filler surgically, Says Susan Bard, a certified dermatologist from New York.
Recently, I saw a young man who acquired filler over the Internet and tried to inject in the area under his eyes, Says Thomas Adrian, a dermatologist from Washington.
Needless to say, he came to me, worried that because of the filler bumps and lumps had formed, the drug also caused him an allergic reaction, He added.
Somehow, a patient came to me who wanted to remove the "bumps" in her lips that arose after the introduction of the filler. The procedure was performed by her friend. I injected hyaluronidase several times, a drug that dissolves hyaluronic excipients, but to no avail. I suspect that it was silicone that was introduced,
– says a certified dermatologist Mariana Atanasovski.
We can go on and on. There are many similar examples.
One click purchase
Where do people most often buy fillers? Just ask Google. A huge selection of counterfeit fillers can be found on the Chinese site Alibaba, a rather large assortment on Amazon (we did not find such drugs on the Russian Avito and Yule).
That the filler can be bought on Amazon is confirmed by Chicago certified dermatologist Danny S. Del Campo:
Over the past few weeks, I got a call from four girls who purchased an injection drug online. They bought it on Amazon: no documents, no pharmaceutical licenses. The selected product was delivered in two days!Typically, sites that advertise similar products have product descriptions and even positive reviews. Some fillers can be produced under all well-known brands, for example, Juvéderm or Restylane, the average person is unlikely to distinguish them from the original. According to the expert, the average price for a syringe with such a drug is not higher than one hundred dollars. Most of them are illegally imported from Asia and Eastern Europe.
Representatives of Galderma (manufacturer Restylane) and Allergan (manufacturer Juvéderm) are aware of the existing problem.
Both companies have confirmed that they sell their products directly only to licensed specialists, including dermatologists, plastic surgeons and doctors. In other words, any injectable drugs that you see on the Internet are definitely not sold directly from the manufacturer. Does this mean that they are fakes? Maybe yes, maybe no. In any case, risking your beauty and health is not the best option.
This may seem obvious, but trying to introduce a filler of any kind – even if it is licensed and purchased directly from the manufacturer – is an incredibly dangerous undertaking for many reasons. YouTube videos and social media posts give the illusion that everything is quite easy and simple, but it’s not.
It looks easy because we make it easy. But filler or Botox injections are extremely complex and require a deep knowledge of physiology. The anatomy of the face is extremely complex. We have been training for years to learn how to administer drugs correctly and safely, – says one of the experts.
Previously, doctors called the nasolabial triangle (trigonum mortis) the triangle of death. Because there are vessels that feed the brain. Thus, if one of them is affected during the procedure, the consequences can be most sad: from scarring to tissue necrosis and blindness.
The main danger is that when buying a filler on the Internet, you cannot know for sure what it consists of. Even if the package says that there is hyaluronic acid inside, then in fact there may be silicone (including not intended for use in aesthetic cosmetology) or non-sterile ingredients. They can cause an allergic reaction or cause the development of infection, scarring and so on.
When something goes wrong and the injected drug needs to be removed, then the doctors inject the hyaluronidase enzyme. Now cosmetologists are increasingly using it to dissolve excess hyaluronic acid filler. But against silicone, it is powerless.
What awaits us in the future
Unfortunately, experts are confident that the black market for beauty products will only grow. They hope that raising awareness of this situation will lead to the fact that online stores will closely monitor the presence of illegal products on their sites. But often the reality is that when one ad is deleted, another appears immediately in its place.
How to avoid becoming a victim of dangerous beauty fakes
Due to the increasing complications after injecting cosmetic procedures (the most common of them are inflammatory and allergic reactions, purulent abscesses, ulcers, skin defects), Roszdravnadzor made several recommendations that will help them not to become a victim of beauty.
We need to make sure that the institution has a license to provide medical services in the "cosmetology" profile – the Unified Register of licenses can be found in the public domain on the Roszdravnadzor website.
Secondly, the procedures should be performed only at the address indicated in the license.
Cosmetic injection therapy in the home, at home or in organizations that do not have an appropriate license is an illegal activity, – specify in Roszdravnadzor.
Thirdly, a cosmetologist must have professional retraining in the specialty "cosmetology", having previously undergone training in an internship or residency in the specialty "dermatovenerology". A medical organization is obliged to post information on professional training for doctors on its official website.
Fourth, all drugs must have a registration certificate. You can check the registration of medical devices on the website of Roszdravnadzor, and medicines in the State Register of Medicines of the Ministry of Health.