Many people consider themselves do-it-yourselfers. They bake their own bread, make their own wine, sew their own clothes or repair their own equipment. But one thing that should never be done is do-it-yourself (DIY) plastic surgery.
According to the British newspaper the Metro, the rise in DIY plastic surgery has been apparent since 2007. Images of celebrities are everywhere, and their perfect faces and physiques have led to a rise in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD patients have a distorted view or his or her appearance, usually thinking of themselves as less attractive than they actually are.
DIY plastic surgery is not just a problem in the UK. It happens all over the world. In Korea, a beautiful young woman by the name of Hang Mioku got her first cosmetic procedure done at the tender age of 28. She developed an addiction that was so strong she was driven to find a doctor who could provide her with a syringe and silicone to do her own injections. To make matters worse, when she could no longer afford the silicone, she began using cooking oil instead. In order to fix the damage, doctors had to remove half a pound of foreign matter from her face and neck.
In the United States, we have the same problem. “Botox parties” became popular in the early millennium. Botox kits and even instructional videos can be found on the internet. What many people may not remember is that Botox is made from botulinum toxin, the same bacteria that causes food poisoning. In the hands of a professional physician, Botox can smooth out wrinkles, eliminate muscle spasms, and even ease migraine headaches by temporarily paralyzing muscles. In the wrong hands, however, improper use can lead to infection and in some cases, death.
Dr. Simon Ourian of Epione in Beverly Hills warns about the dangers of DIY surgery and Botox injections. “Many people try to cut costs by doing things themselves, but I see bad work done by even good doctors, ” he says. “The new trend I am seeing now is horrible, in some cases irreversible, work by patients performed on themselves.”
Here are Dr. Ourian’s five steps to make sure you get good results:
- Go to a reputable doctor; do your homework; ask your friends in the know and find out who is the most experienced doctor in your area.
- Insist on seeing the packaging of the Botox or dermal filler that is injected into you and confirm that it is made in the United States.
- Check the expiration date on the package.
- Make sure the person who is injecting you is the licensed to do so.
- If you are OK with an RN injecting you, make sure at the very least you meet the doctor first. (In most states doctors MUST physically examine you before they prescribe a medication…and yes, Botox and Restylane are medications.)
In the quest to save money, plastic surgery candidates will often turn to online pharmacies and other websites. But not all of these sources are what they seem. Here’s how you can identify an illegal pharmacy or website:
- They are not licensed by any federal or state regulatory agencies or have no certification from the National Association Boards of Pharmacy’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site.
- They constantly spam their customers and promote the more illegal aspects of their business via search engines.
- They do not require a doctor’s visit for a prescription—and advertise this heavily on the site. Beware also of “free online doctor consultations.”
- Legitimate pharmacies will have a full inventory of medications, while disreputable ones will only carry the most popular ones. Examples are weight loss medications and painkillers.
- Last but not least, no physical address is listed. The site could be based anywhere, even if it claims to be in Canada.