One of the side effects of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order is that many of us are being forced to take self-care into our own hands. For example, in recent weeks, access to hair and nail salons has been prohibited, leading to many individuals attempting their own health and beauty procedures.
This is all well and good when it comes to a simple trim, but what about something slightly more complicated, like the injection of Botox® or dermal fillers? There have been reports of people here in Charlotte taking injectables and DIY Botox® into their own hands, but is that really a smart idea? And are there any health and safety risks you should know about?
Be Careful About DIY Botox® and Injectables
This is by no means a hypothetical question, nor is it just limited to Charlotte. A recent Rolling Stone article notes that people across the country have tried procuring Botox® and other facial injectables for DIY Botox® from less-than-reputable businesses, obtaining them curbside and then taking them home for self-administration.
The desire to return to normalcy is certainly understandable, as is the temptation to undergo these procedures outside the safe environment of a skincare or plastic surgery practice. However, we want to say in no uncertain terms that doing Botox® or dermal fillers on your own, without the help of a trained Nurse Injector, or Board Certified Plastic Surgeon poses very real dangers.
Dr. Jack Scheuer of Charlotte Plastic Surgery has spoken to the press about the risks inherent in these DIY procedures. “If it gets in a vessel, it can block one of the vessels feeding the skin, so you could get a wound on your face that may heal with a scar that you can never really get rid of,” notes Dr. Scheuer. “Or it can travel places you would never expect, like to your eyes. And can you imagine if filler got into the vessel that feeds your eyes? That would be horrible, right?”
Dr. Scheuer goes on to say that, if you’ve ever had Botox® or fillers done, you may assume that the procedure is simple and easy. Please remember that it only looks easy because you’re seeing it done by a trained, licensed professional. In reality, it takes a lot of skill and practice to do fillers and injectables in a way that’s safe and that achieves the desired result.
Frankly, Dr. Scheuer says, there is a high likelihood that places like Charlotte Plastic Surgery will see a huge influx of patients once everything is fully re-opened… in particular, patients looking to reverse the ill effects of botched or badly done home DIY Botox® procedures.
A Safe Approach to Botox® and Dermal Fillers
Needless to say, our recommendation is that patients wait until they are able to have Botox® and dermal fillers administered by a skilled professional. Not only does this mediate the risk, but it also ensures that the end result looks the way it’s supposed to. By entrusting this work to a trained professional, patients can eliminate the need for a post-procedure “fix.”
If you’re new to Botox® and fillers, it may be useful to consider some of the best practices for a safe, effective procedure. We’ve already hit on the big one, which is to ensure you find a qualified and experienced Nurse Injector or plastic surgeon.
Additionally, consider these tips:
- Remember that Botox® and facial fillers are not the same thing. While we are considering them in the same category for the purposes of this article, they actually impact the skin and muscles in different ways, and you may benefit from choosing one over the other. Make sure you understand the difference and ask your provider for a recommendation as to which procedure will best help you meet your cosmetic goals.
- Understand the pre-treatment requirements. While most individuals are cleared for this procedure, there are some for whom we’d recommend holding off. For example, you shouldn’t have Botox® or fillers if you are pregnant or nursing. We also recommend avoiding these procedures if you’re on blood thinners. Finally, it’s usually best to abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours before your injection. Ask your Charlotte Plastic Surgery provider for more details about whether you’re qualified for an injectable.
- Be sure to speak with your provider about any post-treatment recovery steps. While aftercare is not too strenuous or challenging, there may be a few simple precautions you need to take to ensure the best results. For example, you may be advised to go a day or two without exercising, having a facial, or getting a massage. You may also be counseled not to lie down for a few hours after your injection. Again, you can talk to your provider about the specifics.
Overall, we’d simply emphasize clear communication with your Nurse Injector. If you’re new to Botox® or facial fillers, make sure you have a consultation in advance. Gain a clear understanding of which treatment is right for you, how you can best prepare for it, and how you can take care of yourself afterward. And, have all your questions answered by a trained professional.
Just Say No To DIY Botox® Facial Injectables
The bottom line is that, during this surreal season of quarantine, a lot of us are feeling cut off from our usual routines, including health and beauty procedures. It’s very natural to long for the opportunity to have regular Botox® or facial fillers administered, but we’d offer a strong caution against attempting these procedures by yourself. Doing fillers right takes a high level of skill, and if you mess things up, there could be significant risks.
Instead, we encourage all of our patients to wait until it’s safe to have these treatments administered by professionals; and, to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Charlotte Plastic Surgery is a local leader in Botox® injections, injectable facial fillers, and similar cosmetic procedures. We’re passionate about providing solutions that emphasize patient safety and well-being. We’re here to answer any questions you have during this unusual season; contact our team if there’s anything we can do to assist you.
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