While it may be tempting to use a needle-free “do-it-yourself” device to inject hyaluronic acid filler purchased online into the face or lips, doing so can come with serious health consequences. While fillers and neurotoxins, such as botulinum toxin, are safe when administered by board-certified dermatologists, who have advanced training in medical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, the internet has become a dangerous marketplace for “DIY” cosmetic injectables that are unregulated, misbranded, tampered with, and/or counterfeit. Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that these illicit products can be found on many popular e-commerce sites, increasing the public’s risk for severe and potentially long-term complications, including blindness, disfigurement and stroke.
Consumers are at risk both from self-injecting these potentially harmful cosmetic injectables found online and visiting unqualified non-physicians for cosmetic injections at spas, shopping malls, and walk-in clinics. Injecting a cosmetic filler is a medical procedure, and the results depend largely on the skill and experience of the person performing the procedure. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) urges consumers who are considering cosmetic injections to receive them in a medical office by a licensed dermatologist. Board-certified dermatologists have the education, experience, and training to safely and effectively inject fillers (which help restore fullness) and neurotoxins (which relax wrinkles) into targeted areas to create a smoother, more youthful appearance without affecting other muscle groups.
The AAD is committed to ensuring safe, quality dermatologic care for patients and is growing increasingly concerned about reports of patients experiencing complications from cosmetic injections administered by themselves or other unqualified individuals. To help protect the public’s health and safety, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) will share its concerns about cosmetic injectables with the Food and Drug Administration at an upcoming meeting of its General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. At the meeting, the AADA will urge the FDA to prohibit the “DIY” administration of cosmetic fillers by consumers and by non-physicians without supervision from a physician.
The AAD encourages patients who experience poor outcomes from unregulated cosmetic injections to report any adverse events to the FDA. The AAD also recommends that all patients considering cosmetic procedures do their homework and consider a doctor’s training and credentials before deciding if a physician or procedure are right for them.
To find a board-certified dermatologist, visit aad.org/findaderm.
**To assist with your media coverage on this topic, board-certified dermatologists from the AAD are available for interviews. To schedule an interview, please contact [email protected].**
About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).