Dermatologists concerned by rise in 'DIY facial fillers' during Covid-19 pandemic

Leading dermatologists have reminded patients facial filler cannot be treated like a "DIY project".

While masks and face coverings became the norm during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, people continued to spend money on beauty products and seek out cosmetic procedures. However, experts have now urged people to avoid doing their own facial filler or Botox at home, as home-administered cosmetic procedures can lead to a range of issues, from permanent scarring to continued abnormality in the pigmentation of the skin.

"During the lockdown, doctor-patient interactions slowly resumed largely in the form of telemedicine clinics, however, many cosmetic clinics remained closed. Unable to seek professional care, many felt compelled to search for easily obtained yet riskier cosmetic options," said Dr. Neelam Vashi, associate professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, adding that it's always best to leave such procedures to the specialists. "While cosmetic procedures such as fillers have a myriad of possible complications, these procedures tend to be very safe with no to minimal side effects when performed by licensed professionals."

In addition, Dr. Vashi warned that a lot of the information available on the Internet, including how-to-videos and instructional web pages that teach one how to self-administer these cosmetic procedures, is "factually incorrect" and is spread by self-proclaimed and unverified "experts".

"The existence of e-commerce websites has made procurement of heavily regulated products such as dermal fillers and hazardous compounds like trichloroacetic acid and many more, exponentially easier, with many retailers selling counterfeit products of unknown quality, containing banned ingredients. This engenders a situation that predisposes vulnerable patients to be taken advantage of and suffer unintended and undesired consequences," Dr. Vashi continued.

The findings have been published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology.