Doctor’s horror as woman attempts DIY lip fillers with disastrous consequences

Lockdown was always likely to trigger insecurities for anyone who relies on treatments such as botox and fillers to maintain their appearance. However, some desperate people are now taking matters into their own hands – with terrifying consequences.

There have already been reports of rogue practitioners offering treatments against lockdown laws, but now there’s an even more alarming development. To the horror of professionals, some patients are now attempting to perform their own injectable treatments, risking their faces and even their eyesight.

One expert raising the alarm is celebrity aesthetics expert Dr Tijion Esho, star of TV’s Body Fixers and founder of London’s respected Esho Clinics.

He has been prompted to speak out after being contacted by a woman who had injected her own lips, with calamitous consequences.

“Last month I coined the phrase ‘Lockdown Face’ to describe the extreme anxiety of people no longer able to access cosmetic treatments,” Dr Esho says. “That became very real for the patient who contacted our Facebook support group a few days ago, desperate for help.”

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“She had purchased filler online and attempted to inject her own lips with no training or medical background. The result was disastrous, to the extent she could have been permanently disfigured,” explains Dr Esho.

Just as disturbing is what encouraged this woman to attempt the treatment in the first place. “She injected her lips herself following the advice of an online group that encourages self injection,” says Dr Esho. “They have no medical qualifications. I find it incredible that such groups are allowed to operate on social media.”

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After attempting the self-injection, the worried woman contacted Dr Esho’s support group, reporting that her lips “didn’t feel right”.

Her case was urgently reviewed by the expert medical team who found her entire face was at risk of permanent damage.

“When I saw her photos I could see a dark discolouration, typical of something known as tissue necrosis,” says Dr Esho. “This occurs when the blood supply to the tissue has been blocked by the dermal filler injected.”

“Without intervention this woman would lose not just the tissue in her lips but it could potentially spread to further regions in the face, leading to blindness and permanent disfigurement.”

The patient was based in the north of England, and was directed urgently to one of Dr Esho’s trusted colleagues, regional trainer and senior regional nurse Susan Young.

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“This was an emergency situation that could not wait until morning,” says Susan. “I had to inject a specialist substance called hyaluronidase to attempt to dissolve the filler, remove the blockage and restore blood flow. Without acting quickly, the tissue would have died and it would have been another patient adding strain to the NHS.”

Dr Esho adds: “The patient was very lucky. Nurse Susan suffers from asthma and is currently shielding during COVID[19]. She put herself at risk to save her.”

The grateful patient has given Dr Esho consent to use her photograph to raise awareness of the dangers of self-injection and to discourage anyone else from trying it. "Filler injection is a specialist treatment with high risks in the hands of anybody who isn't trained," he stresses.

The incident also exposes the shocking lack of regulations over dermal fillers. Astonishingly, the patient had obtained the product without breaking any laws.

“Unfortunately in this country it isn’t illegal for non medics to obtain dermal fillers online,” adds Dr Esho. “This is exactly one of many reasons that it should be.”

For more information follow Dr Esho on Instagram or visit his clinic website here.

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