5 Things You Need to Know About DIY Botox

EliseR on 18 Aug 2011 at 1:33pm

It made its first appearance in late 2008. Now, it yields over 2 million hits on Google and has step-by-step tutorials on YouTube. Do-it-yourself Botox and other dermal filler kits are sweeping through nations around the world, but is it safe?

“The dangers of injecting illegal so-called "Botox Freeze" and other [related] products are almost too numerous to count,” says Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Pearson. Here’s why:

1. They’re not legit.

Prescription Botox and other dermal fillers used in medical offices are just that- prescriptions. Injections that are available to the public are counterfeit products, which means…

2. They’re not monitored.

Counterfeit drugs do not go through the FDA approval process, therefor they have no enforced safety measures, but plenty of room for error.  Example: in 2005 a doctor named Bach McComb purchased and administered counterfeit Botox to himself and 3 other people. This non-FDA approved product (purchased from Toxin Research International) was inadvertently made ten times more potent than licensed Botox. The result was nearly fatal, as each person who received injections suffered more than two months of paralysis.

3. They’re not easy.

Dermal fillers require proper dilution. Counterfeit Botox kits do not arrive “ready-to-inject,” which leaves the responsibility of preparing the mixture to the consumer. Let’s face it, we’re not all mathematicians. In fact a study comparing the math skills of 12th graders in 26 different countries put Americans 3rd to last. Should we really be mixing our own neurotoxin?

4. They’re not sterile.

Botox is packaged in a sterile environment, using sterile equipment, and then mixed with sterile saline. Botox knock-offs often aren’t. This skyrockets the risk of infection. On May 27th, 2011 the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia issued a press release of a woman who suffered severe facial disfigurements and infections (see lead picture) after purchasing a “dermal filler substance” from an overseas website. The woman (who requested to remain anonymous) developed massive swelling, infections, and a large abscess on her cheek due to the unhygienic nature of the dermal filler* she administered.

5. They’re not legal.

Have you seen this woman’s tutorial on administering your own Botox?

Her name is Laurie D’Alleva, and she’s now in jail and facing charges of operating illegal websites and offering prescription drugs without a license.

Dangerous and illegal, it must be hard to obtain, right?

Wrong. After less than 10 minutes of searching, we've already found counterfeit Botox and Juvederm.

Buyers beware: These products are not FDA approved, and could result in facial disfigurement, paralysis, or even death.

*While Botox and dermal fillers have different purposes (one to freeze, one to fill), injecting at home provides similar risks
Photo and video credits: The Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA), Buzzfeed.com

Comments (6)

a DIY botox is a really bad idea. If you want to enhance your face better consult a doctor, they know best and yes you can save more money on these DIY injectibles but, the risk of damaging your face is very high. For me, I don't mind spending money to enhance my face at least I could sleep well at night knowing that I'm in good hands. :

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This stuff just scares me to no end. Most people have trouble with needles when someone else is injecting -- can't imagine doing it to myself!! 

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It's terrifying what some people will do to themselves in an attempt to look better and save money. Even worse are the sorts of people who make and sell these items.

I get at least one phone call a week with someone asking if I will administer some "Botox" or filler that they just happen to have. My answer is always "absolutely not."

~ Dr. Andy
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Many smart people don't realize that "botox" doesn't go in your lips.  Sure, the doctor you go to for Botox can put something in your lips, but it's a filler not a paralyzer.  Putting botox in your lips would definitely qualify as disaster DIY.

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Most swellings come from fillers that plump up the lips, chin, cheeks etc. Botox is not used for plumping; in fact only a small drop is used in each injection site. So if someone wants to inject a tablespoon of "botox" in your face then tell them to stop immediately. Only fillers come in such large quantities. Botox in the lip would leave the lip paralysed for a few monts.
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Oh. My. God!
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